NDP: Profit should never be the bottom line when it comes to seniors in care

NDP Health Critic Don Davies made the following statement regarding reports that long-term care homes in Ontario with concerning care records are getting even more tax dollars from the government:

“Canadians care deeply about our seniors. That’s why they are rightly troubled when they hear that public money is going to long-term care homes who had some of the worst records of neglect during the pandemic. Many of these facilities are run by for-profit, investor-focused corporations who cut costs at the expense of care that vulnerable seniors need.

During the pandemic, seniors lived through what can only be described as horrific conditions in some of these homes - and now the Ford and Trudeau governments are rewarding these very companies.

While it’s clearly essential that Ontario increase the number of long-term care home beds, that doesn’t mean the government should be handing out money without effective oversight to companies who have deplorable records.

Prime Minister Trudeau promised to deliver long-term care standards. The NDP believes these standards ought to be high, mandatory and enforced. But instead of defending the best interests of seniors, Mr. Trudeau chose to reward CEOs by making these standards optional. And now we know that fines for operators cutting corners haven’t been applied consistently and that the number of proactive inspections has dropped off significantly. These are major red flags that the government is failing to ensure our parents and grandparents are safe and well-cared for.

They deserve better. And action is needed.

The premiers’ meeting is happening tomorrow, and Conservative premiers will continue to push their agenda of funneling more money to privately operated homes where CEOs and shareholders make a profit by underserving Canadian seniors.

The prime minister can choose to show leadership and address the ongoing issues in long-term care by keeping his promise to provide more funding for long-term care and ensuring standards are actually upheld.

New Democrats will press him to do so. We will continue to work diligently to end public funding of for-profit delivery and to bring long-term care homes under the public umbrella. We believe seniors deserve a quality care guarantee, including mandatory national standards for care and appropriate working conditions in long-term care homes.

Canadian seniors deserve much better than what they’re receiving. It’s time we delivered the dignified care they need.”

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