Federal NDP Candidate Brian Barker’s Personal Loss Makes Long-Term Care Issue Real
A News Release from the Campaign of Niagara Falls Riding Federal NDP Candidate Brian Barker
Posted August, 2021 at Niagara At Large
NIAGARA, Ontario – Niagara Falls (Federal) NDP Candidate, Brian Barker, said the loss of his grandmother to COVID in a retirement home during Niagara’s first wave makes the long-term care platform personal to him.
“The frontline workers were and continue to be amazing during each and every day they’ve battled the pandemic. Their levels of compassion are second to none. However, the privatization of care for our seniors, is ultimately about making money off of our most vulnerable.
Long term care should never put profit over the health and safety of our seniors,” said Barker who lost his own grandmother to COVID-19 during the first wave while she was a resident at Lundy Manor.
Lundy Manor is a privately owned retirement residence in Niagara Falls. The home is currently facing a class-action lawsuit over allegations <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/lundy-manor-1.5558664> that the home was negligent in taking actions that would’ve prevented infections and reduced the rapid spread of the virus, including allegedly hosting a pub night.
While Lundy Manor is not registered as a long-term care residence but a retirement residence, Barker says the loss helped him understand what families were facing in long-term care during the crisis. During the pandemic Niagara lost 249 residents to COVID in long-term care.
“When the Canadian military needs to be called to intervene in long-term care homes, when seniors are literally dying of dehydration – it’s clear that companies which focus on making profit don’t care about the conditions our loved ones are living in.
We have O’Toole saying there can be ‘other options’ in our public healthcare system and we have Trudeau who joined him in voting against the NDP motion to remove profit over care from long-term care homes. Simply put, our seniors deserve better and that includes strict standards of care,” said Barker.
On Tuesday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held a press conference outside of Revera Retirement home headquarters. During the conference Singh reiterated the NDP’s promise take profit out of the long-term care sector and ban any new for-profit care homes, as well as develop national care standards, accountability measures, boost wages for long-term care.
“Canadians living and working in for-profit long-term care homes were the hardest hit by the pandemic. Justin Trudeau allowed big corporations to make big money by cutting corners and neglecting our loved ones,” said Jagmeet.
“Justin Trudeau said a lot of things about making life better for seniors in long-term care, but he voted to keep profit in long-term care, and is giving even more control to big corporations. My team and I will take profit out, pay long-term care workers a living wage and guarantee quality care for seniors,” said Singh.
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Although I obviously cannot identify the person or company involved, a RN friend who years ago worked for a private nursing home group said they often had to bring in food for the residents because they often went hungry and the little food they did get was terrible. This is nothing new.