IN THE HOUSE – Federal help for long-term care homes comes too late

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.


About Mel Rothenburger (9034 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on IN THE HOUSE – Federal help for long-term care homes comes too late

  1. Some non-Western cultures is their general belief in and practice of not placing their aged family members in seniors care homes. I really admire that.

    Resultantly, family caregivers don’t have to worry over those loved-ones being left vulnerable by cost-cutting measures taken by some care-home business owners to maximise profits.

    Care home neglect was present in Canada before Covid-19; however, we didn’t fully comprehend the degree until the pandemic really hit, as we horrifically discovered with the CHSLD Résidence Herron in Dorval, Quebec, 10 months ago.

    Western business mentality and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments mostly dared not intervene, perhaps because they feared being labelled as anti-business in our avidly capitalist culture.

    But, as clearly evidenced by the many needless care-home resident Covid-19 deaths, big business does not always know or practice what’s best for its consumers.

    Morally and ethically, the profit buck has to stop with the health and lives of human beings, especially those who have little or no voice.

  2. Thank you for this information. Now to follow up on LTC homes. It would be informative if they could show the statistics that show the difference of Covid in government owned and privately owned LTC homes. I’m wondering why this import stat is being ignored. thank you again for your covering of these.

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