Federal candidates have continued to discuss the topic of long-term care ahead of the election. 

Here’s how each candidate running for the Parry Sound-Muskoka seat in parliament answered the following question:

The pandemic has shone a light on long-term care and the poor care some of our seniors are receiving. What will you do to improve the care seniors are receiving at long-term care homes?

Photo supplied by Office of Scott Aitchison

Conservative incumbent Scott Aitchison says:

“Even though the provision of long-term care falls under provincial jurisdiction, I believe the federal government can play a role by helping to set national standards of care for Canadians. I propose to work closely with my provincial counterparts here in Ontario to help the province address any outstanding challenges, and to ensure we have an adequate supply of affordable long-term care for our residents.”

jovanienicoyishakiye.liberal.ca

Liberal candidate Jovanie Nicoyishakiye says: 

“To improve the care of our seniors in long-term care homes, I will work with the provincial government to ensure that personal support workers get a raise and a proper education. There is a need to have a certified nurse working closely with a registered nurse assistant in those long-term care homes. We cannot just close our eyes on what we’ve learned. Our seniors did everything they could for our wellbeing; it will be my duty and responsibility to make sure that the system changes for the better.“

(Photo supplied by NDP Parry Sound/Muskoka)

New Democratic Party candidate Heather Hay says her party would end for-profit long-term care. 

“One of the key things we found with long-term care homes during the pandemic is that private, for-profit long-term care is a disaster for our seniors,” says Hay. “If you look at communities where the municipalities are in charge of running the long-term care homes, they seem to be the lowest rates of infection and death within long-term care facilities. I think a priority would be to get the municipalities involved.”

Photo from PS-Muskoka Green Party of Canada

Green Party candidate Marc Mantha says:

“Seniors want independence. Most Seniors are not interested in long-term care and would prefer quality home care. Lifestyle programs improved home care support and relief for family caregivers means healthier outcomes, less stress on healthcare resources, improved mental health and overall well-being. Our long-term care facilities have had an excellent pandemic record compared to other regions. Congratulations to all the front line and support staff who made that possible. They saved lives. Improved quality of life makes cost savings inevitable.”

Photo supplied by: peoplespartyofcanada.ca

People’s Party candidate James Tole says: 

“First of all, healthcare is exclusively a provincial jurisdiction and it’s up to the provinces to regulate long-term care homes and all the rules and regulations around that from the money available that they put into it,” Tole says. “Now, there are transfer payments from the federal government to the provincial governments in this country regarding healthcare, and what the PPC wants to do is to sort of simplify that and just have stable funding for the provinces in terms of giving back the price on the GST, so that they’ll have that money available for spending on healthcare but they’ll have full jurisdiction on it. So again, healthcare is a provincial responsibility.” 

National Citizens Alliance candidate James Fawcett says:

“With long-term care, it showed an ugly truth when it was sold to private investors, and health oversight was there, however, was it an honest inspection? I would push for a program that would entice individuals to join, with better wages, secure full-time work, benefits, and the ability to work within the means of your life.  As we have learned, working at multiple different locations doesn’t work out well.”

Image provided by Daniel Predie Jr.

Independent Daniel Predie Jr. says: 

“First, I would properly have investigated and then brought before Justice, non-lawyers and non-legal, those responsible here. This bringing before Justice here is also all about the closure through conviction for any victims. No more legal suits costing the taxpayer, etc. Just Justice! I would then look at transferring the responsibility of long-term care to local governments who would be in a better position to feel how our Seniors are being treated. Of course, this would be much easier to accomplish with the abolishing of the provinces, Ontario as a pilot.”

**with files from Mathew Reisler, Martin Halek and Mo Fahim