Canadians will elect a new government September 20. Each of Canada’s major parties has published a platform that describes the priorities it would implement if elected.
To help voters understand how the parties compare on important consumer protection issues, Consumers Council of Canada will publish platform excerpts. The issues selected were identified by the Council’s Public Interest Network (PIN) as the most important current consumer protection matters in recent questionnaires. Comparisons on other policy priorities are available from the CBC and elsewhere.
Topic: Long-Term Care
Health care issues are complicated because of shared responsibility between federal and provincial governments. The outcomes for patients in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic have made this a more urgent issue for Canadians.
An invitation to provinces to develop a set of best practices will provide “guidance for provinces without intruding on their jurisdiction” akin to the National Building Code. The platform also promises $3 billion of infrastructure funding over the next three years to renovate long-term care homes in all provinces and territories. Priority in immigration platforms will be provided those who can work in long-term care or home care, to increase the supply of personal support workers.
A proposed Canada Seniors Care benefit will pay $200 per month per household to any Canadian who “is living with and taking care of a parent over the age of 70”, in order to “help the many Canadians who are taking care of their parents and help seniors avoid having to live in Long-Term Care homes.”
The Liberal platform proposes guaranteeing a minimum wage of $25 per hour for personal support workers, and training up to 50,000 new workers. It also will improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds by implementing strict infection prevention and controls measures, “including through more provincial and territorial facility inspections”, and through the development of a Safe Long-Term Care Act collaboratively with provinces and territories.
The platform proposes ending private, for-profit long-term care, bringing it under the “public umbrella, beginning with the federally-owned long term care company Revera. It also will “work collaboratively with patients, caregivers, and provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards for home care and long-term care, regulated by the same principles as the Canada Health Act.”