First Ministers Meeting opportunity to prioritize universal Long-term Care, says Green Party

OTTAWA – Ahead of tomorrow’s First Ministers’ Meeting, the Green Party of Canada is urging provincial and territorial leaders to put aside jurisdictional squabbling and come together with the federal government to begin discussions on the inclusion of long-term care under the Canada Health Act.

“This is a perfect opportunity to prioritize radical reform of long-term care across Canada,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “After witnessing the tragic loss of life in so many long-term care facilities, including my father, and the horrific living conditions many residents have endured, it’s clear that major changes are urgently needed and can only be achieved via a national approach. An unconditional blank cheque will not solve this problem." 

In June, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that just over 80 percent of Canada’s known COVID-19 deaths occurred among residents of nursing or long-term care homes, nearly double the average in other OECD countries.

“The time has come to reimagine long-term care in this country and bring it under the umbrella of the Canada Health Act,” said Ms. Paul. “At the beginning of this pandemic, there was welcome cross-party, intergovernmental cooperation. This showed us what can be accomplished when there is true collaboration that puts people first. This is what Greens strive for, and electing more Green MLAs and MPs will make this more of a reality. 

“Now, with the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Again, it’s crucial we ensure that there is a national approach to vaccine distribution that is non-political and guided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. A Team Canada approach also requires regular briefings of opposition party leaders by the Prime Minister.

“Intergovernmental cooperation will also be critical for the implementation of a National Pharmacare program. Ultimately, our priority must be the wellbeing of all Canadians, and as we recover from this crisis and begin to address the climate emergency, a cross-party approach is what will help us achieve that.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary