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View Rosemarie Falk Profile
Madam Speaker, we have heard throughout this debate that seniors were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and we know that this was particularly true for seniors living in long-term care.
In the previous Parliament, I had the opportunity to initiate a study at the HUMA committee to review the impact of COVID-19 on the financial and social health and well-being of seniors. The purpose of the study was to understand the impact on seniors, take lessons from that understanding and make specific recommendations to improve supports for seniors. We know that long-term care was central to that study, and the committee heard important testimony that spoke directly to the experiences and needs of seniors, their families and staff in care homes.
I was relieved that in this Parliament, the HUMA committee completed that study. The report entitled “The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Well-Being of Seniors” was tabled in the House just recently. Similar to recommendations in that report, the motion being debated today calls on the government to work collaboratively with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that seniors receive adequate care.
I certainly appreciate and support the member for Avalon calling on his own government to act, but action must be taken. We know that the status quo is unacceptable and that the government can do better.
The conversation really turns to the Liberal government and the seniors minister. It is not enough to pass the motion in the House. The needle needs to move, and we know and have heard that action is past due. There are areas that fall under federal jurisdiction that can be acted on in the immediate term, and while we know that provincial jurisdictions must absolutely be respected, especially as priorities and needs may different regionally, the federal government can certainly provide leadership.
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