CUPE Calls For Relief in Long-Term Care

Windsor-Essex MPPs Lisa Gretzky, Percy Hatfield and Taras Natyshak listen to testimony at a pre-budget public hearing in Windsor on January 19, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

The president of CUPE Ontario is asking the provincial government to provide more help to Ontario’s seniors.

Fred Hahn provided a presentation to a legislative finance committee during pre-budget hearings held Friday at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor. The discussion was one of several held across the province as the process of completing Ontario’s next budget gets underway at Queen’s Park.

Hahn focused his remarks on funding for the province’s long-term care facilities. The legislature is considering Bill 33, an amendment to a bill package setting new standards for Ontario’s long-term care facilities. Bill 33 would require long-term care providers to allow a minimum of four hours per day of care in long-term homes. The bill passed second reading in November.

Hahn says when there isn’t enough qualified staff to take care of seniors, the care suffers.

“Staff have only between five and ten minutes to help each resident get ready in the morning,” says Hahn. “This includes helping them from bed, assisting them to get washed and dressed, and to use the washroom.”

During his remarks, Hahn pointed out that individuals in Ontario are paying more in taxes than corporations. In fact, Hahn says due to roughly 20 years of corporate tax cuts, individuals are now paying three-and-a-half times more tax than companies. He says that’s a way of thinking that must change.

“Our communities’ physical and social infrastructure is starting to crumble because governments haven’t focused on the things that people need in our province,” says Hahn. “Instead they’ve been focused on building corporate profits.”

All three of Windsor-Essex’s MPPs, Windsor West’s Lisa Gretzky, Windsor-Tecumseh’s Percy Hatfield and Essex’s Taras Natyshak attended the hearing.

The budget is expected to be delivered to the legislature sometime this spring.