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Ontario Health Coalition Asking Residents To Virutally “Pack The Gallery” Of The Legislature To Pressure The Government To “Fix” Long Term Care

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario Health Coalition is asking residents to pack the gallery of the legislature virtually to pressure the government to fix Long Term Care.

They are trying to organize thousands of Ontarians to pack the Public Galleries virtually for Question Period today at 10:30 am.

Here is how you can take part:

  • Join the Facebook livestream with live comment & send in your reaction https://www.facebook.com/ontariohealth
  • Watch Doug Ford & his Ministers as Opposition Parties welcome all of us, demand answers, raise your questions and experiences
  • Press conference on the livestream: noon immediately following Question Period

Register to be there.

Email [email protected] with your name and town so we can tell the opposition parties you are there. Use the subject line FordFailedSeniors so we can easily spot your email. Include a sentence or two if you have a personal experience with long-term care for the opposition parties to raise if they can, pushing for the key changes as follows.

Use the hashtag #FordFailedSeniors and post your message to @fordnation on Tuesday May 18 — more ideas for social media to follow.

Officials are urging the government to take immediate action including:

Urgently Get Care & Staffing Up– No More Delays
Terribly inadequate care in Ontario’s long-term care homes continues, with staffing levels worse than they were even before the pandemic (and they were in crisis then). The LTC Commission was clear: improved care and staffing levels cannot wait four more years as Ford has planned. There has been no response from Ford’s government on fast-tracking the increase in care to get to a minimum standard of 4-hours per resident per day; no improvements in wages and working conditions to recruit and retain staff; no requirement that LTC homes provide the care that they are supposed to provide.

Immediately Institute Accountability & Enforcement 
The LTC legislation requires adequate care to meet residents’ needs. It is never enforced. In the pandemic, care levels plummeted and they remain terribly low. The Ford government still has not reinstated the comprehensive annual surprise inspections that they cancelled when they took office. Ford has made no commitment to do so. Not one LTC home owner has been fined for their terrible negligence. Not one has lost their license. In fact, the Ford government passed legislation shielding themselves and the for-profits with horrific track records facing lawsuits from liability for their negligence. We are demanding meaningful accountability and enforcement for the LTC homes now.

The Ford government itself also failed to act and continues to do so. They were late, their response was inadequate, they left thousands to die without care and without adequate protection. There has been no apology, no contrition, no conscience. We demand accountability from the Ford government for their role in failing long-term care.

An end to for-profit long-term care
Not only have they failed to hold LTC owners accountable, the Ford government has actually awarded new 30-year licenses and expansions to the very worst of the for-profit LTC chain companies. In fact the for-profits have not only taken profit through the entire pandemic, a number of them have awarded themselves sizeable bonuses. For-profit LTC homes had double the death rate of the non-profits and five times the death rate of the public (municipal) homes. Thousands of families suffered terrible loss. Tens of thousands of residents suffered horrifically, many never to regain their former abilities. We are demanding an end to for-profit long-term care. Public funding and resident fees should go to care, not profits, executive bonuses and lucrative contracts.

Urgently take all measures necessary to get essential families and caregivers in and lift too-onerous restrictions on LTC residents without waiting months longer.Ontario’s vaccination program must fast-track the full vaccination (including 2nd shots) of LTC staff, residents and essential caregivers. The new directives regarding lifting restrictions require high thresholds of vaccination, including 2nd shots, but people cannot get them. The homes that are continuing to impose too-onerous restrictions, locking in residents and restricting essential caregivers and family from seeing them, must be required to respect the fundamental human rights of residents.

Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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