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Ontario Paramedics - Not Essential?

Date: 2020-03-25

The Ontario Paramedic Association is urgently notifying every MPP in Ontario with regards to a critical oversight within Ontario Regulation 50/20 that was released on March 17, 2020 at 7:30am (Toronto) pursuant to section 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Paramedics across Ontario are asking why “Paramedic Services” and “Central Ambulance Communications Centres” are not listed with the same specificity as police, fire, coroners or pathologists in Ontario's List of Essential Services pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act?

  1. Section 41F (emergency services)
  2. Section 58 (health care professionals)

Paramedics will not use our imagination to infer what government might or might not have wanted to say. We ask that paramedics are respected by ensuring our profession is appropriately referenced as “paramedics” and nothing else oOntario's List of Essential Services.

Paramedic title

Legislation already exists that specifically identifies what we are, and what we are not. On April 01, 2020, Section 20.0.1 of the Ambulance Act will be changed to protect the word “Paramedic” in Ontario.

If government wants to own the word "paramedic", please start using it and please recognize paramedics as an essential service.

Paramedics currently 75% essential

The existing Ambulance Services Collective-Bargaining Act (ASCBA) indicates that paramedics are merely 75% essential. This legislation is 19 years old and fails the needs of Ontarians. It must change.

The metric can also be interpreted as 25% of our 1.75 million patients in Ontario are not essential enough to receive medical or trauma care from paramedics. In other words, 437,500 patients each year are not clinically important to government.

Paramedics need to be 100% essential

Ontario Paramedics are calling on government and our legislators to implement immediate change:

  1. Change the ASCBA language from 75% to 100% essential
  2. Declare that “paramedics” are essential under Ontario Regulation 50/20
  3. Add “paramedics” to Ontario's List of Essential Services pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
  4. Appropriately engage the 6 respective unions representing paramedics (CUPE, OPSEU, SIEU, UFCW, UNIFOR & CIPP)

These are important changes that would better serve 1.75 million Ontarians who rely on paramedics for life-saving emergency health care each and every year. 

The Ontario Paramedic Association is unwavering in our commitment to protect patients and paramedics as we work alongside government to combat COVID-19. We are loyal to the same objectives and working towards the same goals; primarily the health and safety of the public during this evolving pandemic.

Take Action Here

Please help the Ontario Paramedic Association continue to push for Legislated Essential Service Status for all paramedics across Ontario by following these 3 simple steps:

  1. Find your MPP with your Postal Code by clicking here
  2. Update the attached letter and send to your MPP by email 
  3. It is even more important to update the attached letter and send to your MPP by snail mail

With respect and sincerity,

Darryl Wilton 

Ontario Paramedic Association                   
439 University Ave (5th Floor) 
Toronto, ON  M5G 1Y8