New Democratic Party calls for end to for-profit long-term care homes

By: Vincenzo Morello
Canada’s New Democratic Party has called for an end to for-profit long term care homes and to implement a care guarantee that aims to protect people in long-term care and the workers that care for them.
In an announcement on Friday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh revealed the party’s first campaign promise to work with provincial and territorial governments to establish a national standard for long-term care as well as invest $5 billion in long-term care systems.
“Every Canadian, of every age, deserves to live in dignity and be treated with respect by their government and the health care system,” Singh said. “And families need to know that their loved ones are safe in long-term care facilities, and that they’re getting the very best care possible.”
The NDP’s plan calls for the immediate creation of a rapid response unit in long-term care facilities, which would have a number of responsibilities including support for provinces and territories to save lives in long-term care homes and to monitor best practices in Canada and elsewhere and share them with authorities.
The response unit would also send the military to assist long-term care homes struggling with large outbreaks and help speedup vaccination rollouts for staff and residents in long-term care homes.
“We need a government on the side of seniors, their families, and frontline health care workers – instead of on the side of wealthy investors,” said Singh.
“The NDP will continue to fight to make sure people are ahead of profits.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care homes were particularly hit hard, especially in Quebec and Ontario.
Last year, Trudeau said that the federal government did not want to assert federal jurisdiction on long-term care facilities, but that he was asking provincial governments to agree on minimum standards so that seniors are protected no matter where they live in the country.
With files from CBC News, The Canadian Press (Mia Rabson)