QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was joined by Hamilton MPPs Monique Taylor and Paul Miller at a roundtable with Hamilton residents this morning to discuss the ongoing crisis in seniors long-term care in Ontario.
Horwath called for a broad, two-part inquiry into seniors care across the province, stemming from the circumstances of the Wettlaufer murders, and expanding to include an investigation into staffing levels, funding and safety conditions in care homes across the province.
“Residents are being left in bed for 18 hours, seniors don’t always get the basic help they need to bathe and change their clothes regularly, and parents and grandparents aren’t always getting the help they need to get to the bathroom on time,” said Horwath. “Our loved ones deserve care that protects their safety, health and their dignity. It’s time to get to the bottom of these problems, and do something about it.”
Horwath outlined plans for a two-phase public inquiry, and said if Kathleen Wynne fails to do the right thing and investigate the broader, systemic problems in long-term care, a New Democrat government would expand the inquiry after the coming provincial election.
“The last Conservative government made deep cuts to health care and front-line health care staff, and Kathleen Wynne did even more damage with cuts and underfunding,” said Horwath. “Together, they’ve swept problems under the rug and refused to talk about it.”
“Ontarians know there is a crisis in long term care that calls for a much broader inquiry than the one the government is proposing,” said Taylor, MPP for Hamilton-Mountain. “We need an honest picture of the problems in seniors care homes, so Ontarians can feel assured that our seniors are getting the standard of care they deserve, in terms of safety, quality and availability.”
“Workers in care homes are doing the best they can – but they’re run off their feet and aren’t getting the support they need,” said Miller, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. “If Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals won’t take action to fix this crisis now, an NDP government will launch an inquiry within 100 days of taking office.”
The NDP MPPs were joined by families with loved ones in care, who echoed calls for a broad inquiry, and action.