Ontario NDP join fight for LTC beds in Tilbury

Tilbury Manor is seen on June 16, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Ontario NDP members are joining residents in Tilbury who are fighting to keep long-term care beds in the rural area.

Arch Long Term Care LP has applied for a license to move the beds from the Tilbury Manor Nursing home into a larger facility in Belle River.

“It’s not just moving a few beds out of town. It’s moving 75 residents to a place where they will be more isolated,” said Kathy Cottingham with the Tilbury Area Action Team.

The Tilbury Area Action Team is asking the provincial government to deny the application. The public had until July 4 to officially comment on it.

“The nursing home environment should be more caring of its residents, the bottom line shouldn’t be the main motivator,” said Cottingham.

Ontario NDP critic for long-term care Sara Singh said it is not too late to advocate for the home to remain in Tilbury.

“We need to continue to pressure the government to deny the application to move this home out of the community, and to also come up with solutions for the residents of Tilbury so that they aren’t being forced out of their community,” said Singh.

Singh said to avoid situations like this in the future, the NDP is proposing to move away from for-profit long-term care facilities.

“To get profit out of care and transform our long-term care system to one that actually does prioritize people and not private companies and their shareholders,” said Singh. “We do that by actually transitioning over a period of time those for-profit providers to the not-for-profit sector.”

According to the NDP plan, it would take about eight years to transition all homes in Ontario from a for-profit to a not-for-profit model.