Approximately 40 people gathered to join a protest at the Civic Memorial Cemetery on Second Avenue on Monday.
The Ontario Health Coalition organized today’s rally in 16 different cities across Ontario. The coalition said it wants to see immediate action on improving care levels to four-hours for every resident per day in the province's long-term care facilities, as well as the enforcement of long-term care standards with government monitoring. The coalition also wants an end to "for-profit chains" operating long-term care homes and increase funding to ensure proper staffing in the industry.
One demonstrator in Sudbury said Premier Doug Ford’s PC government has failed to deliver change in the sector.
“You have to stop believing them because they’re professional liars,” Alessandro Presenza said.
Addressing the crowd, Presenza said his family was deeply affected by the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on long-term care residents.
While some were angered by the lack of action, some expressed exasperation.
“We are still short-staffed in long-term care. We are underfunded,” said Dot Klein, who organized the rally for the OHC and is a registered nurse. “Caregivers are leaving health care, and they’re not coming back. They are burnt out, they are tired, the families are tired.”
Klein said that after a year of constant work under extremely stressful conditions for frontline healthcare workers in long-term care, the government has not come through with additional funding. Turning to the effect of for-profit "chains" in the long-term care sector, Klein criticized the management of these homes, saying for-profit homes are "negligent" in their duty to provide care
To find out more, visit the Ontario Health Coalition’s website here.