Excerpt from remarks by Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod in Parliament this week on the COVID-19 pandemic.
WE KNOW THAT the vast majority of the deaths from the pandemic have been in our long-term care homes. We knew that in phase one. When we look at the tragedy that is happening today and what is happening in our long-term care homes, it has to break our hearts.
I certainly remember that at the time, we said the government had a window of opportunity to prepare for phase two. We knew we had challenges in our homes and we knew we had some time between phase one and phase two.
What happened? The government got so sidetracked with the WE scandal and other issues that, other than sending some money to the provinces to support vulnerable populations, it did nothing.
We now have a commitment from the government for a few things. One is $1 billion for our long-term care homes. It is too late. That $1 billion should have been in the hands of the provinces between phase one and phase two to deal with infection control and do the minor modifications that would make the environment safer through investing capital into infrastructure for
The Liberals had a window of opportunity; they missed it, and now they are saying that they are going to give $1 billion. By the time that money gets out the door, hopefully our residents will be vaccinated, but they missed an opportunity to do what needed to be done, and now they are saying they are going to give $1 billion for measures that should have been done months ago.
The other thing is that their answer to long-term care was talking about national standards. Whether one agrees with national standards or does not agree, everyone in government knew that it would take years to develop national standards. It was not a measure that was going to deal with the
crisis of the pandemic.
What we have is a government that was negligent. The Liberals were sidetracked because they were so busy handing dollars to their friends at WE that they did not do the basics that they should have been doing to prepare for wave two, and that negligence is on their shoulders.
That is just one part of the fiscal update, and when I read it, it broke my heart, because it is too late. It should have been there earlier, so I felt it was important to draw attention to that particular component.