On October 28th, the Time to Care Act, Bill 13, will go to 2nd reading in the Ontario Legislature. The bill would ensure a minimum daily average of 4 hours of hands on care per resident in every long-term care home in the province. The bill reflects the recommendations of the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s own special Advisory Group on staffing in long-term care.

This is the fourth time this legislation is up for debate in the Ontario Legislature.  The last time it was debated, near the end of the Liberal government’s term, every Conservative MPP voted in favour at 2nd reading.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed just how critical a legislated care standard is. Without it, residents in long-term care homes, the epicenter of the crisis, are more vulnerable than ever.

MPPs must support the Time to Care Act at 2nd reading for it to be referred to the committee for public hearings and then to the 3rd reading before a final vote making it law.

And the government has the ability, which they have used often since the onset of the pandemic, to fast track legislation to become law.

Our representatives must take action and support Bill 13 to ensure that front-line workers have the Time to Care.

Dear Premier Ford, Minister of Health, Minister of LTC, your MPP:

Your government has acknowledged the unimaginable impact of COVID-19 in long-term care homes. You have called front-line workers heroes – and you have specifically named the contributions of personal support workers and nurses who care for our elders. And you have said openly that the system is “broken”.

Now is the time for action. Many have said for years that seniors in Long-Term Care and the dedicated healthcare workers who support them need a legislated care standard of 4 hours of daily care per resident, based on hours worked and not hours paid. This summer, the government’s very own expert panel on staffing echoed that recommendation.

On October 28, you have an opportunity to act, to follow the lead of the experts, and to support seniors and front-line healthcare workers who care for them by supporting the Time to Care Act, Bill 13.

Our parents and grandparents, and workers in this province’s long-term care homes, need you to vote in support of Bill 13 and make sure they have the Time to Care.

And we all know your government has the power to expedite making bills into law. You have used it several times in the last six months. Don’t just vote at second reading for Bill 13; use the power you possess to make this the law in Ontario as fast as you possibly can.

Sincerely,

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