Nursing leaders in Timmins came out to talk health care Tuesday with local MPP Gilles Bisson in a series of information sessions that are being hosted by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

Although the RNAO makes it a habit to meet with members of provincial government, they say it's been a few years since they sat down with Bisson.

Jennifer Bertrand is the Director of Care at Golden Manor in Timmins and is the President of the Porcupine Chapter of the RNAO.

"The RNAO is very vocal in terms of, you know, trying to move issues forward, like RN’s prescribing medications and advocating for practitioner compensation. And we want to look at making sure the MPP is aware of these issues and that he can be a voice for us at the parliament table." said Bertrand.

She and Trina Austin are both nurses in Timmins and they've seen firsthand the negative impacts poverty can have on people's health.  They say this is one of most serious issues facing Ontarians, especially in the north, and they want to see some changes.

"Bring the minimum wage to be indexed towards inflation, increase social assistance rates so they reflect the actual costs of living, including access to nutritious food and safe shelter. And establishing some clear timelines and targets for ending homelessness." said Bertrand.

Bisson says he agrees with everything the nurses are saying and he'll continue to push for the concerns to be addressed.

He also says what Premier Doug Ford's government ultimately decides is another story.

"Is it going to be easy with the Ford government?  I don't think so, but I've learned one thing in politics all these years, you've got to be hopeful and you've got to continue with what's right. And in the end, we usually win." said Bisson.

He says he will bring up the Porcupine chapter's concerns at future caucus meetings to help shape policies and that he will be participating in a forum on these same health matters next week in Toronto.