I never thought I would hear the following statement uttered by my wife as we discussed the Provincial elections choices for this JUNE 2022 in Ontario.
My quiet opinionated wife, not voiced outside the home, says that we should not be voting for the PC’s (Progressive Conservatives Party) as they have given the FOR PROFIT Senior Long Term Care (LTC) home owners a wheel barrow to take their treasures to the Bank at the expense, she says, of the Seniors in Long Term Care, whose welfare will be in their keeping for the NEXT, would you believe it! – 30 YEARS. She says tax payers are on the hook for enriching corporations and their owners at the expense of the tax payers for a generation to come. Their gravy train has arrived! Stop the train, don’t vote for the PCs.
And so it now will happen! The PCs were elected with a majority in the legislature (83 seats) even though the voter turn out (40%) was said to be one of the lowest in the province’s history.
The LTC in Ontario is at least 52% owned by private for profit corporations and some of these were cited as the worst run facilities during the COVID pandemic. Many a family lost an older family member due to lax preventative health and cleanliness routines in the home. Provincial health inspections were few, irregular with a light evaluations of the practices at these homes. Supervision controls were not enforced according to regulations and staff protection and cautions were ignored. The province intervened in 35 of the homes hardest hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, and took over management of some. About 80% were for profit homes. (as reported by the Globe & Mail)
Not much was said by the PCs about the state of LTC in the province during the election (in fact many PC candidates never showed up for a local debate) except in their election rhetoric they promised more beds and facilities. But Doug Ford’s earnest plea as he rolled out the pandemic mandates, from a couple of years ago to keep our Seniors safe, has now taken second (fifth?) fiddle to highways and infrastructure etc building that the PCs proclaimed in election mandates to ‘get it done’.
But the PCs, now with such a majority, have the opportunity to give care workers a decent wage increase (rather then the present legislated 1% per year) which may also help to attract more qualified workers to this meaningful sector for our increasing populated group of Ontario citizen who need and are entitled to decent care in their elderly years. This is their opportunity to upgrade the LTC facilities and perhaps rewrite the rules for the For Profit licensees. Time to strengthen the health care mandates and management rules. Our mothers and fathers deserve every bid of comfort and attention, for they earned it in their working life-time as they helped build and contribute to the wealth in this beautiful province, Ontario.
Even though the number of LTC beds in the province is projected (promised) to rise to 110,000 in the next few years, will there be enough government muscle to get it done? Many promises to keep!
Here (https://ontariopc.ca/) were the PCs election slogans: Note there is a vague reference to LTC care but it is only #5 (last) on the list of promises. Just remember, we all get old!
P.S another party candidate got her vote!
JS June 5, 2022