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Champlain Family Council petitions for Bill 33

By Celina Ip

RENFREW COUNTY – The Champlain Region Family Council Network (CRFCN) have launched a petition in support of Bill 33: Time to Care Act.

 

The Bill amends the Long-Term Care Homes Act (2007) so that a long-term care home will have to provide its residents with a minimum of four hours a day of nursing and personal support services, averages across the residents. The minimum hours may also be increased by regulation.

On Oct. 20, CFRCN chair Doreen Rocque sent a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne in which she expressed the irrefutable need to move forward with Bill 33 in order to improve the safety and quality of life for those living in Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes today and in the future.

Representing the family members and friends of residents in 60 long-term care homes in the Champlain region, the CRFCN has been passionately advocating for more hours of care in long-term care homes by meeting with local politicians, presenting before the Finance Minister and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, and petitioning in support of Bill 33.

“The many dedicated individuals in long-term care are frustrated because they can’t provide good quality care to the residents in their home,” Rocque wrote in the letter to Premier Wynne. “Those of us who regularly visit long-term care homes see the impact of insufficient staffing, most notably the serious increases in critical incidents that include neglect, abuse and resident-on-resident homicides.”

Through the collaborative efforts of long-term care workers in the region, the CRFCN collected over 13,000 signatures for their petition in support of Bill 33.

“Respected research studies in both Canada and the U.S., including an Ontario government sponsored report released in 2008 (the Sharkey report), recommended a minimum of four hours of direct care per day per resident as a threshold for quality care,” continued Rocque. “We are convinced that the only way to ensure that government funding goes directly to improved staffing levels to deliver the care needed by long-term care residents is through a legislated minimum care standard such as that recommended in Bill 33.”

During the County of Renfrew Health Committee meeting on Nov. 15, Renfrew County Warden Jennifer Murphy spoke in support of Bill 33 as she commented that more long-term care staff are needed to care for today’s increasingly aging population.

“I think that this Bill is extremely important especially at this time, considering that our baby boomers – our largest demographic – will certainly be needing more long-term beds over the next 10 years,” said Murphy. “An investment like this is very important for not only Renfrew County but all of Ontario.”

The second reading of Bill 33 took place on Nov. 2 at Queen’s Park in Toronto and led to the Bill being referred to the Sanding Committee on General Government.

If it passes all three readings, the Bill will legislate a minimum care standard of four hours a day for seniors living in Ontario’s nursing homes.

cip@postmedia.com