Demand an overhaul in long-term care in this federal election

Demand an overhaul in long-term care in this federal election r1 ... Election 2021 Dear Friend,

Our long-term care system is broken.

The tragic outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic plainly exposed what many have long been saying: profits and long-term care don’t mix. Across the country, for-profit long-term care (LTC) homes saw higher rates of deaths and outbreaks,1 while shareholders and executives raked in profits and bonuses.2

Even before the pandemic, the long-term care sector was under strain. In the absence of federal standards, the system has been a patchwork of public and private homes, governed by regulations that differ from province to province. We urgently need federally regulated and enforceable standards that require better care, improved staffing levels, meaningful accountability, and the removal of profit from care. Any funding for long-term care homes should be contingent on meeting these national standards.

The federal government promised last year to set new national standards but has since passed that work on to the private accreditation industry instead.3 Accreditation is no substitute for national standards: it’s voluntary, unregulated, and non-enforceable.

As you speak to election candidates at your door or at local events, we urge you to ask them the following two questions about long-term care:
  1. What is your position on removing profit from long-term care?
  2. Will you commit to working towards federally regulated and enforceable national standards for long-term care?
You can read more of our analysis about these questions here. Read more The Council of Canadians has also joined 17 other organizations – among them trade unions representing LTC workers and community stakeholders – in demanding that we put long-term care system reform front and centre in this upcoming federal election.

Together, we have penned an open letter to all federal party leaders, calling for new legislation that sets federal LTC standards linked to government funding, as well as the phasing out of for-profit long-term care.

This election, let’s work together to put politicians in office who commit to real change in long-term care.

In solidarity,

Donya Ziaee
Communications Officer (Research and Analysis), The Council of Canadians

P.S. If you’d like a printed copy of all our key questions for candidates – on climate, water, Indigenous rights, Big Pharma, and electoral reform – check out our pamphlet. Help support our work! Our team is busy creating online resources with key questions for candidates and background to support this work. We’ll also lend a hand in writing letters to editors, and host calls and conversations with our Chapters and members to make sure they have what they need. Can you chip in to help us produce, print, and ship these materials?
  1. For-profit long-term-care homes once again seeing significantly worse outcomes in Ontario’s second wave, Star analysis finds
  2. Big for-profit long-term-care companies paid out more than $170 million to investors through Ontario’s deadly first wave
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