The RNAO: speaking out for whom?
Registered nurses, including those who have chosen not to take membership in their provincial professional association the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario or RNAO (it is supposed to be voluntary) and those who have actually resigned over the RNAO’s hyper-politicized policies, received an interesting piece of mail last week.
If you don’t read the missives from the College, you will have missed the fact that the College will now require registered nurses to have liability insurance in excess of $1 million, no matter where, or if, you practise. The RNAO is now luring former members back with the offer of insurance coverage.
For nurses in independent practice, this is a conundrum: the RNAO offers such insurance, but then you have to rejoin at a cost of several hundred dollars, AND once again belong to this organization that has, frankly, developed a rather curious set of policy goals.
Despite increasing reports of problems with the environmental noise and vibration produced by industrial-scale wind power generators around the world, and in spite of ongoing health studies in Canada, Denmark and other places, the RNAO persists in its belief (encouraged by its patronizing association with CAPE, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, one of the groups behind Ontario’s deeply flawed Green Energy Act) that air pollution is killing hundreds of people in Ontario every year. Wind power is the solution, the RNAO believes.
You recall that the wind power lobby group contracted with a PR firm The Sussex Group, whose advice in a leaked document was to co-opt health care organizations to confirm the need for wind power. RNAO bit hook, like and sinker, and hasn’t let go.
The letter received by Ontario RNs this week is a laugh a minute. First they tell you that being a member of RNAO will meet the College’s new insurance requirement. True, but it is not nurses’ only option (more on that later).
Next they tell you, join now and get two free months of membership! Among the membership benefits listed (this is rich) is a subscription to Canadian Nurse, the journal of nurses national professional association, the Canadian Nurses Association. This is a riot because RNAO earlier this year announced that your RNAO membership would NO LONGER mean automatic membership in CNA–you have to stipulate that to RNAO now. But, oh! The venerable national journal is an RNAO membership benefit.
And, here’s the kicker: your RNAO membership will help nurses contribute to “shaping the health-care system.”
Read this: We know all-too-well [sic] the effects government policies have on the health of clients. That’s why RNAO calls on decision makers to influence policy.
But, if you’re reading this blog, you know the RNAO has turned a blind eye to the Ontario government’s policy on wind power and the effects on health. Wind is green, wind is good, wind is green, wind is good lalalala… (To see how the RNAO turned on two of its own members, read our page under The Resolution.)
The letter closes with “When you invest in RNAO, you’re investing in your future.”
Here are the facts:
-Ontario has good air quality
-what air pollution that remains is from transportation, and from coal plants and industry south of the border
-wind power has not replaced coal as a source of power. Wind power is intermittent and unreliable, produced when we don’t need it.
-wind power in fact requires back-up by fossil-fuel power generation, namely natural gas.
If those of us who understand this are being forced back to the RNAO “family” because of this new insurance requirement, life at the RNAO is going to get interesting again.
Nurses for Safe Renewable Power
P.S. We understand there is a group of health professionals banding together to protest the government’s policies on wind power and its lack of action on reports of excessive noise and ill health. When we get contact information, we will pass it along.