Demonstration against Bill 175

Sarnia-Lambton Health Coalition Chair Shirley Roebuck and Steve Clendenning with Unifor Local 914, taking part in a province-wide day of action to bring attention to Bill 175. 24 June 2020. ( photo by Colin Gowdy)

There was only a couple of people at a demonstration outside Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey’s Christina Street office in Point Edward Wednesday morning.

Sarnia-Lambton Health Coalition Chair Shirley Roebuck said they were acknowledging a province-wide day of action to bring attention to Bill 175.

She said the new legislation, under debate at Queen’s Park,¬†would restructure and privatize home care and not address critical care and the staffing crisis in long-term care homes.

“We think it should be withdrawn,” said Roebuck. “Our provincial government has done nothing, nothing to alleviate the staffing crisis in long term care. So, I’d say to you, where has Bob Bailey been in these issues.”

Roebuck accused Sarnia-Lambton’s MPP and his provincial conservative party of ignoring constituents living in long term care.

“The staffing crisis in long term care has been ongoing for a number of years. In fact, about 18 months ago, the Ontario Health Coalition held a round table for PSWs [Personal Support Workers] working in long term care and we heard the same problems over and over. Not enough staff, no full-time jobs, the inability of PSWs to provide adequate care.”

Roebuck said they’re still waiting for immediate action promised after the release of a scathing report from the Canadian Forces on conditions in long-term care homes.

“The only thing Mr. Ford has done has said they will have a private review of long-term care,” said Roebuck. “That is far from adequate. We want a public inquiry. We want Mr. Ford and his government to step in now and take control of these nursing homes, and I’m talking about the private for-profit ones.”

Roebuck is encouraging Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford to do what he has to do to ensure our elderly loved ones are receiving good care.

-With files from Colin Gowdy.