NDP MPP Lise Vaugeois brought forward her Private Members Bill 101, 'An Act to Establish the Advocate for Older Adults,' today for debate in the Ontario Legislature.
The proposed legislation aims to create an independent Advocate for Older Adults as an officer of the Legislative Assembly, prioritizing seniors' care and addressing long-standing systemic issues says a Party news release.
"COVID-19 has exposed the failures in senior care, making the need for an Advocate for Older Adults urgent," said Vaugeois. "Chronic understaffing and underfunding have harmed seniors for decades and have only worsened under the Ford Government. By establishing an Advocate for Older Adults, we can ensure their voices are heard, their rights protected, and their needs met."
According to Vaugeois, Home operators across the province have been inappropriately using the Trespass Act to retaliate against family members who speak out about their loved ones' living conditions. Instead of responding to family concerns, certain home operators illegally use the Act to ban them.
"This alarming trend further highlights the urgent need for an Advocate for Older Adults to protect the rights of families and ensure their voices are not silenced."
If passed, it would empower the Advocate to make recommendations to the government and service providers, influencing areas such as healthcare, housing, income support, personal support, and accessibility support. The Advocate would also have the authority to establish an advisory council and prepare annual reports on their activities and recommendations.
However, private members bills have a poor success rate.
After tabling this bill last session, the NDP hopes for full government support to turn it into law across Ontario. Initially, Bill 101 passed the 2nd reading; however, the Conservatives chose not to call it to committee says the release.