Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Historically long ER wait times symptom of dramatic Conservative underfunding

Published on January 17, 2024

TERRACE BAY – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, issued the following statement following reports Ontario emergency room (ER) wait times are at an all-time high: 

"Just about everyone in Ontario has experienced long ER wait times or knows someone who has. It’s terrifying not to have the care you need when you or a loved one is injured or sick. 

“Ford’s Conservatives are worsening our health care by starving the public system and funnelling money to a select few of their insiders. That not only lengthens wait times, but it also wastes taxpayer dollars. 

“This is first and foremost a staffing crisis. Drop the appeal of Bill 124 and pay health care workers fair wages. Establish safe nurse-patient staffing ratios. And cap the use of nursing agencies, which are forcing public hospitals to go deeper and deeper into debt.” 


  • The Auditor General found that private staffing agencies are forcing hospitals to spend more for less: some hospitals have more than tripled spending on private staffing agencies, adding to their financial pressures. 

  • In 2023, the Ontario NDP introduced legislation to limit spending on private health care staffing agencies. 

  • The Liberals, who created hallway medicine in Ontario, have a Leader who wants to spend less on health care. Ontario’s healthcare crisis didn’t happen overnight