For decades — long before the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the systemic disregard for the elderly in Canada — health care advocates have been calling for federal leadership in ensuring comprehensive, accessible, and high-quality long-term care. Decades of funding cuts, privatization that puts people’s care in the hands of for-profit corporations, and weakened regulations have all contributed to a significant drop in the quality of care. Workers at long-term care homes are made vulnerable by the same issues hurting residents. Most of them women, they tell stories of impossible workloads, staffing shortages and low pay.
The Council of Canadians is bringing people from across the country together to call on the federal government to act urgently to ensure all seniors have the care they need now and in the future. People are always more important than profits. Caring for seniors and the workers who care for them is an essential part of our health care system that requires strong public oversight and funding.