Contributed by David Morris – The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Our System is Failing Seniors, Ontario Liberals Have a Plan to Fix It
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched the lives of every Ontarian. We have learned to work and socialize online, lost valued time with family and friends, and far too many of us have lost loved ones. But no group has been hit harder than Ontario’s seniors.
I remain horrified by the media reports exposing how Ontario’s for-profit care homes neglected and mistreated our parents, grandparents and friends all for the sake of “cost savings” during the pandemic. People literally died from dehydration, malnourishment, and neglect. Conditions in these ‘warehouses’ were so appalling that the Canadian armed forces had to step in.
Let that sink in for a moment — Doug Ford promised an iron curtain around our seniors, but he failed so badly that the army had to come in to rescue them.
Unfortunately, things are getting worse, not better. As we emerge from the pandemic, seniors face an affordability crisis, where the cost of groceries, gas, public transit, and care are too expensive for pensioners. The people who built Ontario—the group that enriches our families and neighbourhoods every day—have been abandoned by their government.
We can and are morally obliged to do better.
Seniors across Toronto Centre deserve a government that notices and cares about their suffering. But Doug Ford doesn’t seem to think there is a problem. In fact, the Conservatives are doubling down on their plan to prioritize private long-term care homes operated by their donors and friends with little oversight.
Ontario Liberals are offering a better choice: a plan that gives seniors their dignity back, be it in a care facility, or at home.
If elected on June 2nd, Ontario Liberals will double the Old Age Security top up and increase the number of seniors who qualify for it. Qualifying seniors will have nearly $1,000 more each year to help them make ends meet. We will also reduce the cost of public transit to just $1 per ride to help seniors get around affordably and make public transit free for veterans.
A new Liberal government will also help 400,000 more seniors stay in their own homes by boosting the total base funding for the home care system by $2 billion by 2026. Most importantly, an Ontario Liberal government is committed to ending for-profit long-term care by building 30,000 new long-term care spaces and modernizing 28,000 existing spaces by 2028.
On June 2, Toronto Centre has the opportunity to elect a government that cares about seniors. Either Doug Ford is allowed to continue warehousing them in deplorable conditions or a new Liberal government is chosen that will provide seniors with a more affordable, dignified retirement.
The choice is yours.
David Morris is the Ontario Liberal Party Candidate for Toronto Centre