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View Deb Schulte Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much for that question. We've all been struck by the horrors we have seen in the news of seniors being negatively affected in these homes.
I just want to make a point that not all homes are challenged like this. There are many well-run homes, both private and public. I have my mother-in-law in a long-term care home and my father-in-law in a seniors residence. I can tell you that the staff there on the front lines supporting them are excellent, and they're well-run homes. Not every home is facing these challenges, but every home is working very hard to keep seniors safe, and you're definitely seeing that some are not doing well.
The federal government immediately wanted to provide support. This is regulated by provinces and territories. However, we've been there, as I mentioned, as a team Canada approach. Rather than wrangling over things, it was, “What do we need to do right now to keep the staff and the residents in these homes safe?” We immediately asked what we could do.
I heard on my calls that what was needed was help in understanding the guidance needed to keep people safe. Very quickly, the Public Health Agency of Canada worked with the public health agencies across the country to come up with guidance to help these homes keep their residents and staff safe.
We knew that there was an issue in acquiring personal protective equipment, with a world shortage in these supplies, so we worked 24-7 in engaging with all the resources we had to bring in as much PPE as possible, and we engaged with businesses in Canada that were looking at a built-in-Canada approach. Many have taken up the torch, and I give much credit to companies that have stepped in to start working on building PPE to support our essential workers, who are working so hard to keep us safe.
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