November 4th, 2019

NDP reveals Ford’s seniors long-term care beds announcements previously announced and not built by Wynne

Seniors need long-term care beds, not news releases

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath revealed Monday that the long-term care home beds announced by Doug Ford’s Conservatives were beds already announced by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, but not built. Horwath said seniors need tens of thousands of new beds — not press releases and re-announcements — to ease the long waits for long-term care and the resulting hospital hallway medicine crisis.

While the Ford government pats itself on the back, claiming to have allocated more than half of the long-term beds it has promised — which aren’t even enough to maintain the disastrous status quo — a new Freedom of Information request revealed that those allocations were actually made by the previous government. The response to the NDP’s request shows that the Conservatives’ Oct. 3, 2018, announcement of 6,000 new long-term care beds didn’t produce any new allocations since the Liberals’ April 18, 2018, announcement of 5,000 new long-term care beds. “Please be advised that there were no changes in the allocation data between the April 2018 and October 2018 announcements,” reads the response to the NDP’s FOI.

“Ontarians shouldn’t have to worry that their parents or their grandparents will go without when they need long-term care,” said Horwath. “We already see families juggling kids, work, and aging parents because of the long waiting list for the care home space they need; and we have thousands of seniors stuck in hospital beds while they wait for a long-term care bed to open up. That’s a major contributor to the hallway medicine crisis in Ontario.”

Horwath said by pretending to allocate beds that were already allocated, Ford is ignoring a crisis. Horwath pointed to a Georgina Advocate article as just one example, in which Caroline Mulroney re-announced 12 beds for Cedarvale Lodge in Keswick several months after the Liberals announced exactly the same beds.

“It’s shameful for the Conservatives to attempt to coast on the abysmal record of the Liberals while taking long-term care in Ontario from bad to worse,” said Horwath. “Seniors can’t sleep in re-announced beds that don’t exist.

“The people who built our province deserve to age with dignity. This government should be investing more in long-term care, not taking credit for the Liberals’ pitiful record while doing even less.”