“The Ford government is preparing to reward some of the for-profit companies with the worst performance records during the first and second waves of the pandemic with 30 year licences and millions of dollars in public funds.”
A News Release from the Office of Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath
Posted October 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
QUEEN’S PARK – On Monday (October 18th) , Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will force a vote on a motion to stop Doug Ford from giving new or renewed licences to the for-profit long-term care corporations that devastated seniors during the pandemic.
The Ford government is currently considering 30-year licence renewals for many for-profit homes, including Orchard Villa, where hundreds were infected and 70 people died in horrific conditions.
“During the pandemic, thousands of our precious parents and grandparents suffered through a humanitarian disaster. Nearly 4,000 of them died. Some literally died of neglect — hungry, thirsty and in pain. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the disaster lurking in long-term care. But the problems didn’t start or end with COVID-19,” said Horwath.
According to the government’s own Science table, for-profit long-term care homes had twice as many COVID infections and 78 per cent more deaths than non-profit and public homes. Ford was quick to pass legislation to protect his long-term care corporations from lawsuits as that disaster unfolded.
“Conservative and Liberal governments have cut, underfunded, understaffed and privatized — handing care over to corporations that keep staffing levels low and profits high. It’s got to stop,” said Horwath. “The quality of life of residents should be the top priority, not profits. Liberals and Conservatives cannot continue to reward their buddies while the families they hurt continue to pay the price.
“I’m calling on all parties to agree to put a moratorium on new or renewed licenses for profit-making nursing home corporations, and to start prioritizing non-profit and public homes. An NDP government in 2022 will take profit-making out of long-term care in Ontario entirely.”
Andrea Horwath and the NDP have already released Aging Ontarians Deserve the Best (https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ontariondp.ca%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Faging_ontarians_deserve_the_best_-_en.pdf&data=04%7C01%7CSRezvany%40ndp.on.ca%7C1a0788cb88794e9ac87a08d9922ffc43%7C6b9fd2ec77a64ae0822a6bb9108fb274%7C0%7C0%7C637701557051358547%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=CYxdJJMn16oO0kz5BS9bG3Dyv%2FAgKtSrf9ph%2BNDqtQo%3D&reserved=0) , a plan to end for-profit long-term care and overhaul the sector by building small, family-like homes, increasing staffing, improving cares standards, and adding 50,000 new beds.
The NDP’s Opposition Day motion reads as follows:
MORATORIUM ON LONG-TERM CARE LICENCES FOR FOR-PROFIT OPERATORS
Whereas COVID-19 has tragically revealed the systemic failures of long-term care in Ontario; and
Whereas the previous Liberal government expanded privatization in long-term care, causing an erosion of care that now needs to be reversed; and
Whereas successive Conservative and Liberal governments failed to hold accountable for-profit long-term care operators who prioritized profit over safety and quality of care; and
Whereas evidence suggests that COVID-19-related deaths in long-term care were more frequent in for-profit long-term care homes than those operated by municipalities or non-profit organizations, and research data from as far back as 2011 suggests for-profit facilities “are less likely to provide good care than non-profit or public facilities”; and
Whereas the Ford Government acted faster to pass Bill 218, the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act 2020 and shield negligent for-profit operators from accountability than it has to improve quality of care for our parents and grandparents or the working conditions of the PSWs and medical professionals who take care of them; and
Whereas some homes, such as Pickering’s Orchard Villa facility, are still being considered for licence renewal and expansion by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, despite the horrific conditions uncovered by the Canadian Armed Forces that resulted in 70 COVID-19 deaths in the home; and
Whereas investing in not-for-profit long-term care would mean that more money is available to improve the quality of care for our loved ones who call these facilities home, and multiple studies show that not-for-profit facilities provide, on average, more hours of care per resident and are better at retaining the qualified staff our loved ones depend on; and
Whereas the Ford government is preparing to reward some of the for-profit companies with the worst performance records during the first and second waves of the pandemic with 30 year licences and millions of dollars in public funds;
Therefore, the Legislative Assembly calls on the Ford government to place an indefinite moratorium on the issuing of new licences and the renewal of licences of for-profit long-term care providers and prioritize the development of not-for-profit long-term care in Ontario.
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