NDP: New Long-term Care Funding should be spent on the frontlines, not backfill bottom line

SASKATOON - Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Seniors Critic Matt Love called on the provincial government to ensure the $32 million from the federal Safe Long-Term Care Fund is used to improve conditions on the frontlines for residents and staff.

In a joint media event with Prime Minister Trudeau last week, Minister for Seniors Everett Hindley told media the $32 million in new funding from the federal government would be used to “offset some costs” incurred throughout the pandemic, including cohorting and infection control measures, but “not anything really new in terms of where that money is going to be going.” 

“Saskatchewan lost 223 seniors who were supposed to be protected and safe in our provincial long-term care system. They were failed by this government,” said Love. “This funding injection is an opportunity to address the deficiencies that led to hundreds of outbreaks and should not be used to pad the government’s bottom line.”  

Love noted that Ontario and British Columbia have used the same funding to improve infrastructure, staffing levels and infection control measures in long-term care into the future. In a letter to Minister Hindley today, Love highlighted that Saskatchewan seniors are no less deserving of the same improvements.

“Scott Moe and the Sask. Party ignored serious issues in long-term care for years. These challenges no doubt contributed to the tragic loss of life in Saskatchewan care homes throughout the pandemic,” said Meili. “Scott Moe needs to do the right thing: change course and commit to investing those dollars where they are needed the most – on the frontlines of long-term care.”

Meili and Love call on the Minister to dedicate all $32 million in Safe Long-Term Care Fund to future improvements to the frontlines of long-term care.

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