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LONDON, ONT. -- London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong’s ‘Time to Care Act’ (Bill 13) will be voted on Thursday at the Ontario Legislature.
The NDP critic for long-term care is calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford's government and all MPPs to pass her private member’s bill.
“(Thursday’s) vote is only one step. The Ford government decides if this bill goes to a final vote and when. For the sake of our loved ones, we can’t have them pay it some lip service, then bury it,” Armstrong said.
The bill is an amendment to the 2007 Long-Term Care Homes Act, that calls for a minimum of 4.1 hours of direct hands-on care per resident per day.
According to Armstrong, on Tuesday, Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton indicated she would vote for the bill at second reading but when asked if she would support it at third reading, the minister refused to commit to fast-tracking it into law.
Personal Support Worker Mary Rymal, who attended a virtual news conference Wednesday morning, says the workers are stretched too thin right now, but welcomes an influx of support.
"Staff are educated in various types of resident-focused training and programs, but they are not afforded the time to utilize those skills they’ve been taught.”
Janice Duffy says her father is a resident of London’s The Village of Glendale Crossing, and when the pandemic struck she provided support over the phone for her father. When she became exhausted from the demand, she claims management told her they would have to provide one-on-one care themselves or hire a private caregiver at a cost of $14,000 a month.
“Glendale management said my dad’s needs are greater than the resources they have to provide for, and their initial solution when I became too exhausted to continue phone support, and wrote letters to senior management and government including Premier Ford, was to send him to hospital.”
Matt Drown, director of Community Connections at Schlegel Villages, which runs the home, responded with a statement to CTV News.
“Our residents are at the centre of everything we do, and the team at Glendale Crossing takes great pride in working with our family partners to create environments where our residents receive the high-quality care they need and deserve. While we cannot discuss any specifics regarding a resident’s health or care plan due to privacy and confidentiality considerations, our team is not aware of any circumstance where a family has been directed to seek private caregiver support as a condition for the resident remaining in the home.”
The ‘Time to Care Act’ will be voted on Thursday at the Ontario Legislature, if it passes it will most likely go to committee before coming back for third and final reading.