TORONTO – The Liberal government must not resolve the economic crisis on the backs of Ontario’s frail and elderly in nursing homes, Sid Ryan, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, said today in his submission to the government’s pre-budget consultation as front-line long-term care workers rallied outside Queen’s Park.
“We will not stand idly by and let the Ontario government renege on its commitment to long-term care,” Ryan said. “Our frail and elderly in nursing homes didn’t make greedy banks and investors muck up the economy, so they should not be the ones to pay for others’ mistakes.”
As Ryan spoke, front-line workers and other supporters of better long-term care took the demand for “3.5 hours of care per resident per day” to the front steps of Queen’s Park today. The rally was organized by CUPE and strengthened by other organizations and unions demanding better long-term care.
Ryan noted the Liberal government promised a “revolution” in long-term care, but has so far refused to introduce the minimum care standards that residents need. More money has flowed to for-profit homes but this has not translated into increased care.
“Where has the money gone?” Ryan asked. “We demand accountability for funding and 3.5 minimum hours of care per resident per day, not more easy profits for private companies.”
“We will not let the economic crisis become a smokescreen behind which the Liberals renege on their commitment to residents of long-term care facilities,” Ryan says. “We call on the Liberals to honour previous funding commitments for long-term care so care levels rise, and to create a staffing regulation to ensure the extra money actually translates into extra hours of hands-on care for residents.”
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE-Ontario, cell 416.209.0066
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell 613.878.1431