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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Letter: Not optimistic long-term care homes will improve

Dear editor:

More than 80 per cent of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in seniors long-term care homes.

The outbreak, as quoted by 86-year-old Marie D'Rozario, a Toronto-area resident, “has cast older people as dispensable.” A further article, reported in the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, touted the virus as a way to cull the elderly population.

There will be nothing more frightening than the death statistics and  images seared into the minds of seniors as they perhaps contemplate spending their twilight years in one of these homes, which clearly are more akin to “warehouses for the dying.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his response to this systemic problem, was to call for a special commission, especially for-profit ownership ones. (There are exceptions and excellent long-term homes).

At the same time during his Monday, June 1, news conference, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was reporting that Trudeau was meeting with a lobbying group from the long-term care home owners.

Additionally, he said, those owners paid out hundreds of millions in executive bonuses and shareholder dividends. Any wonder there is no money for supplies and adequate staffing etc. These same actors will no doubt be looking for and receiving millions of taxpayers' dollars in government handouts.

We have seen this rodeo hundreds of times before: Set up a commission, form a committee or several to study the commission report.

All political BS or double speak. It makes them feel important chairing another useless commission or committee. Same old, same old end result – no action, political waffle.

In short order this issue will fade to page 6 in our  news reports, much like the unresolved problems with our Indigenous population living in abject poverty, usually with no clean drinking water.

How often over the decades have we seen this movie?

Some things never get resolved. The black discrimination and guns in the United States, which is part of their DNA, the Arab-Israel conflict, the Protestant-Catholic issue in Northern Ireland, all passed down through generations.

It lies dormant for a period of time and invariably raises its ugly head again.

Sadly my wife, who is retired from the medical profession, and I, have witnessed the long-term care home debacle ever since emigrating to Canada more than 50 years ago. 

As I said, some things never change and often get worse. I am not optimistic this time will be different.

Samuel Young