October 29, 2020
TORONTO – Today, members of Ontario's provincial parliament unanimously passed second reading of Bill 13, the Time to Care Act.
"We are thrilled to see Members of Provincial Parliament come together and vote in favour of this much-needed legislation," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "For decades, the lack of a legislated minimum, measurable, enforceable standard of care in long-term care homes resulted in residents not receiving the care they deserve and workers getting burnt out and leave the sector in droves. Today's victory brings us all one step closer in rebuilding Ontario's long term care sector."
NDP MPP and Long-term care and home care critic Teresa Armstrong introduced the Bill 13 Ontario Long Term Care Act to establish a four-hour minimum of care in long-term care homes. Based on the latest pre-pandemic estimates by the Ontario Health Coalition, Ontario's long-term care homes average about 2.7 hours of daily care for each resident.
"The pandemic showed many Ontarians just how valuable long-term care workers are, and the lengths these workers will go to deliver the best possible care to the most vulnerable among us," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "Today’s victory is a result of the years of advocacy and co-operation from workers, their unions, residents and Ontarians who recognize the need for change in long-term care and our efforts won’t stop till this is enshrined in legislation.”
Ontario’s long-term care sector has not had a minimum care standard since the Ontario Progressive Conservative government eliminated it in 1996. Since then, health care unions and advocacy groups have consistently called for a restoration of the staffing requirement amid worsening conditions.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/covid19.
To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).