By: Greg Staley
Written On: 2021-07-05
Image was screen grabbed from CPAC press conference.
Today, Premier Ford’s government announced that Ontario is redeveloping and expanding Water’s Edge Care Community, a long-term care home in North Bay. It is expected to house 160 long-term care residents. Premier Ford then announced that his government will be investing $4.9 billion over 4 years into long-term care to hire 27,000+ long term care related staff. Vic Fedeli, the Minister of Economic Development said that the investment is to “ensure residents receive on average 4 hours of direct care per day.”
Minister Fedeli told reporters that we will need to hire 27,000 more staff for long-term care and that would include registered nurses, personal support workers and support staff – although the exact number of personal support workers, nurses and support staff that will be hired with the $4.9 billion investment is unclear. When the word “including” is used one must ask that question. One thing is certain, the problems in long-term care have been highlighted during Covid-19 and the cracks in Ontario’s long-term care system have become very apparent to voters.
Rod Phillips, Premier Ford’s Minister of Long-Term Care made the point to take aim at the former government for their handling of long-term care. “This government is repairing and rebuilding Ontario’s long-term care sector after decades of neglect,” Minister Phillips told reporters. Ontario now has 20,161 new and 15,918 upgraded spaces in the process of being developed for long-term care. According to the government of Ontario, “As of February 2021, more than 40,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed in Ontario.”
The government of Ontario also announced an investment of $2.68 billion in long-term care development. That includes a $933 million investment in 80 new long-term care projects this past March. The goal is that this will lead to the creation of “thousands” of new and upgraded long-term care spaces across the province.
This is a good announcement for Ontarians but the devil is always in the details. At this point, the Ford government needs apply actions and not words to win back the confidence of voters. This announcement is nice but I’m at the point with the Ford government that “I’ll believe it when I see it” so to speak. We will see how these funds will be used.
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