NDP vows to fight scheme to send people to long-term care homes they don’t want to go to
QUEEN'S PARK--The Official Opposition NDP said Ontarians should be alarmed that the Ford government doubled down Monday on its refusal to let the public weigh in on Bill 7, legislation that will allow seniors and people with disabilities in hospital to be forced into a long-term care home they don’t want to go to.
"This legislation is terrifying for families," said Wayne Gates, NDP critic for Long-Term Care, Retirement Homes and Home care. "That Doug Ford wants to ram through this bill and silence the concerns of the people it will hurt most is alarming and shameful."
The Ford Conservatives voted down a proposed NDP amendment asking the government to put public hearings for Bill 7 back on the table. Instead, the Conservatives are using a time-allocation motion to bypass committee and ram the legislation through.
Earlier Monday, the NDP hosted its own emergency public hearing, giving health care and seniors' advocates a chance to share their concerns.
"Experts are telling us Bill 7 isn't just cruel -- forcing frail seniors to a long-term care home that may be far from their families, caregivers and communities -- but a flimsy scheme that won't fix the staffing crisis in our hospitals," said NDP Deputy Leader Doly Begum. "Alternative Level of Care (ALC) patients aren't staffed by doctors or nurses, but by PSWs. Bill 7 won't free up a single nurse or doctor; it won't keep ERs open or help the surgical backlog."
Lise Vaugeois, NDP critic for Seniors, Persons Living with Disabilities and Accessibility, stressed that the NDP's emergency hearings did not take the place of the public hearings the government should be holding, but "provided a forum for some of the public outcry against Bill 7 that needs to be heard."
The NDP will continue to fight Bill 7, to protect seniors and people with disabilities from being forced into long-term care homes they don’t want to go to.
Instead, the NDP is calling for effective solutions to the hospital crisis, which include:
- Staffing up hospitals by repealing Bill 124 and giving health care workers the pay, incentives and respect they deserve.
- Passing legislation to address workplace violence in health care settings
- Providing unlimited mental health supports to health care workers
- Making education for nurses and other health professionals free or low-cost
- Hiring tens of thousands of the most qualified internationally educated doctors and nurses by reinstating the Practice-Ready Assessment program Doug Ford cancelled
**The NDP's emergency public hearing on Bill 7 can be watched here.