Ontario NDP Speaks Out Against Niagara Couple Separation in Long-Term Care

“The chance of Jessie and Clarence Terpstra being reunited is zero (and) this is wrong. The system has to be changed.”                – NDP health critic France Gélinas

News from the Ontario New Democratic Party

Posted November 3rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Niagara couple Clarence and Jessie Terpstra facing forced separation after seven decades together.

Niagara couple Clarence and Jessie Terpstra facing forced separation after seven decades together.

Queen’s Park, TorontoFrance Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and the Ontario NDP’s Health and Long-Term Care critic, rose in the legislature this November 2nd to demand the Wynne government change its inadequate spousal reunification policy in the province’s long-term care system, after an elderly married couple were unwillingly separated in Grimsby.

“After almost 70 years of marriage, Jessie and Clarence have now been separated by what I call our heartless long-term care system,” said Gélinas.

The couple lived together at Shalom Gardens, a retirement home in Grimsby, and believed that they would be transferred together to the long-term care facility on site, Shalom Manor, if the time came that they needed for long-term care.  Instead they were separated.  This separation was caused by the CCAC, which insisted that Jessie put four choices on her long-term care application.

Gélinas demanded that the Minister of Health intervene to keep the couple together.

“Jessie was sent to a nursing home in St. Catherine’s, away from her husband who now lives at Shalom Manor in Grimsby, by himself,” said Gélinas. “Spousal reunification comes after crisis on the priority list. The long-term care system in their community has a crisis list all the time.

The chance of Jessie and Clarence being reunited is zero because there will always be a person in crisis ahead of them.  This is wrong. The system has to be changed. The minister must intervene and make sure that those two people are allowed to live their lives together, like they have for 70 years since they said yes to marriage.”

“They are not the first ones to go through this,” Gélinas said. “It has to change. It has to change now so that no other couple in Ontario should have to go through this.”

To hear or watch the full question and answer session on this issue in the provincial legislature, click on the following –

Audio:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/wswo62dj8vcm1f4/Gelinas%20Statement%20Nov%202.mp3?dl=0

Video:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/lj3rybdpr0rueh4/Gelinas%20Statement%20Nov%202.mp4?dl=0

Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

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