Ontario Election 2022 - CARP

The CARP FIVE - Top Priorities for the 2022 Ontario Election

CARP demands that the next government make the necessary investments to allow Ontarians to age healthfully in their own homes. We need more PSWs, more nurses and more hours of home care now!

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The only supportable candidate in this Ontario election will be one that commits to a Transformative Culture Change for Ontario’s Long-Term Care homes as the most effective means of improving the quality of life and care of residents and of dealing with the inherent weaknesses exposed by the current crisis.

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Any candidate who wishes to meet the demands of older voters must address the lack of capacity in emergency rooms across the province. Combined with a lack of geriatric and other specialists and a back log for diagnostic tests, Ontario isn’t meeting the needs of patients in a timely manner.

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Ontario must provide access to a universal adult vaccination program that includes best available COVID-19, NACI recommended high dose seniors Flu, Shingles and Pneumonia vaccines.

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CARP calls on the provincial government to introduce a $1200 refundable tax credit that will incentivize providers to create engaging programs and opportunities designed for older adults – and help offset the costs of these fitness programs for seniors, so they can play a part in their own health through fitness activities.

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What does Transformation of Long Term Care Mean?

Mad as Hell

CARP has often referenced the closing scene of the 1976 movie, Network, and the famous monologue delivered by the character, Howard Beale:

“I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. (shouting) You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value! So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’”

There’s no doubt that older voters in Ontario are mad as hell. They’re mad that a global pandemic has upended the pattern of our daily lives. They’re mad that 12,500 lives have been lost to COVID-19 in Ontario and that over 11,400 were their demographic peers, over age 60. They’re mad that 4,305 died from the virus in long-term care homes that were not prepared to protect them.

Of all the important mandates that fall under provincial jurisdiction, including education, justice, children and social services, highways and transportation, culture and tourism – CARP members are laser focused on health care in this provincial election.

Just a few weeks before the pandemic hit, CARP had launched our #FixHealthCareNow campaign highlighting the pressing need to address the many deficiencies in our system without any further delay, reports, studies, white papers and speeches.

Health care is our largest provincial expense at close to $65 billion and almost 40% of Ontario’s annual budget. The CARP 5 are the issues of most concern to CARP members and taken together, offer solutions to ongoing problems and will help us to prepare for the growing number of older-adults who will be relying on an already strained system.

Transformation of long-term care will finally restore dignity to residents, lost to an ageist policy of warehousing those who can no longer care for themselves. Investing in home care will help reduce the need for already scarce LTC beds and reduce the number of expensive visits to hospitals. With fewer alternative level of care patients, ERs will be able to get patients into a hospital bed quicker and help reduce wait times. Investments in geriatric specialists will triage the needs of older adults before they end up in crisis and hiring and training more doctors and nurses to meet the growing demand of an aging population is already well behind schedule and needs immediate action.

CARP believes that each of our member’s priorities should be priorities for every candidate. Who can argue that we need more investment in homecare, and a transformation in long-term care? Who thinks it is acceptable to wait two days in an ER hallway before being admitted to a hospital room?

CARP asks that each of you take these issues to your local candidates. Let them know what you demand and get their promise to take action and make the needed changes, without delay. If we can get every candidate to agree on these issues of life and death – then we all will win when it comes election day!

Give ’em hell!

– Anthony Quinn, Chief Community Officer, Ontario Election Lead