Here are today’s new developments:
- The eventual reopening of Canadian businesses will take a phased-in approach, but any ease on restrictions is most likely weeks away.
- Travellers arriving in Canada must now show officials they have a credible plan in place for quarantine, or will be forced to self-isolate in a hotel.
- Outbreaks at seniors’ homes account for nearly half of Canada’s COVID-19-related deaths.
- The situation at seniors' and long-term care (LTC) homes is especially dire in Ontario and Quebec -- the government has failed to mandate that LTC workers and residents be tested to slow the virus's spread. (The Official Opposition has been calling for major changes to LTC, like increased testing and raising PSW and registered nurse practitioner (RPN) wages to a liveable wage.)
- In a special sitting of the Legislature today, Ontario extended the province’s Declaration of Emergency -- Andrea Horwath said the government’s emergency bill should have included support for the many Ontarians still falling through the cracks.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- For weeks, Premier Ford has refused to mandate an end to LTC staff working at multiple homes, which has contributed to the wildfire-like spread of COVID-19 in long-term care. Tonight, his government is expected to announce an order to deploy more staff to LTC homes, and limit LTC staff to working at one facility.--The Official Opposition looks forward to making sure this directive follows through, with no exceptions.
- But for many, this order comes too late. Many seniors have lost their lives, and so many families are grieving the loss of their loved ones. This practice has damaged many lives. It should not have been allowed to proceed for weeks.
- The Official Opposition also believes the government still needs to increase wages for PSWs and RPNs. Many LTC workers are earning near minimum wage. They deserve better, and we want to make sure they have decent wages and full-time hours so they aren't forced to moonlight at various homes.
"It shouldn’t have taken weeks to put a stop to something that put vulnerable seniors in the crosshairs of COVID-19, and I am heartbroken knowing that this announcement is simply too late for some families," said Horwath.
- Email me to let me know how you’re doing, what you’re concerned about: [email protected]