WINDSOR – Marit Stiles, Official Opposition Leader, was in Windsor today, supporting solutions that will end ambulance code blacks once and for all. Stiles was joined by MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West), Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy, and President of CUPE 2974 EMS James Jovanovic.
In October 2022, Essex County declared a state of emergency after a string of ambulance code reds and blacks left the entire region with no available ambulances. In 2022, Windsor-Essex spent 2257 minutes in code black. By March 2023, just three months into this year, Windsor-Essex had already matched that number.
“Everyone in Ontario should be able to trust that if they need emergency help, an ambulance will be there when they need it,” said Stiles. “Our caucus members are in full support of Essex County’s motion and passed a similar motion in Queen’s Park because we know we need all levels of government to work together to end this crisis. Premier Ford’s systematic underfunding of healthcare is making things worse – we know we can take steps to make things better.”
On May 15, Essex council unanimously passed a motion urging the provincial government to recognize issues facing local emergency responses and for them to urgently work to address the gaps in health care.
“Last year we had a deeply concerning state of emergency in Windsor-Essex because no ambulances were available”, said Gretzky. “This year, instead of getting better, the situation is quickly getting worse – and Premier Ford’s underfunding of our health care system isn’t going to help. Our local municipal leaders are stepping up, and I will continue raise their voices at Queen’s Park.”
Last year, MPP Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas) passed a motion at Queen’s Park to ensure the government made a commitment to end ambulance shortages. Our members are committed to ensuring the government follows through on that promise to put an end to ambulance code reds and blacks once and for all.