It’s the end of another week at Queen’s Park, and while we have been fighting to ensure that long-term care facilities are properly staffed, and that the Ontario government is providing the support that our communities need during COVID-19, the government has taken this opportunity to push forward legislation that hurts our province.
To start, one item that was buried inside an omnibus piece of legislation accords Canada Christian College, an institution whose president is Charles McVety (a man well known for his long history of homophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia) university status, and therefore the ability to grant a range of degrees. He is also known for his public support for Doug Ford.
The Conservatives also took the time to eliminate the ability of municipalities in Ontario to hold elections with ranked ballots. An especially odd attack on local democracy, coming from a party that elects their own leaders with ranked ballots. This move is a slap in the face to local democracy in Ontario.
They also have brought forward Bill 218, which protects the operators of long-term care facilities in Ontario and the government for legal liability from the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. This piece of legislation is especially egregious as we know that there were long-term care facilities in Ontario that mismanaged their COVID-19 outbreaks, leading to deaths. In many cases, the decisions that lead those facilities to that point were motivated by private-sector profits.
However, while this government is moving to protect the owners of long-term care facilities, we’re moving to protect the residents.
Today, MPP Teresa Armstrong re-iterated her calls for the Ford government to implement a minimum level of care for long-term care homes. Something both the previous Liberal government and this new Conservative government have refused to do – despite repeated efforts from the NDP. Bill 13 would institute a minimum level of hands on care for residents at four hours per day and would add other regulations that would help ensure the safety of residents and staff in these facilities.
I am also happy to once again invite you to share with me your questions for Doug Ford. If there is something you’d like me to raise directly with the government, you can just click the button below and I will be sure to direct that question to the relevant parties at Queen’s Park.
Finally today, I want to reach out to let you know about a program that’s been put together by our local riding association to make calls to our community to find out what the biggest issues facing our neighbours are right now.
While we know the top line issues, it is vital that we also know what issues are falling off the front page. If you’re interested in helping out, you can sign up for a shift here, and we’ll be sure to connect with you and train you on the simple software that we use to make these calls.
I hope that you have a restful and safe weekend.