42e législature, 2e session

L022B - Tue 23 Nov 2021 / Mar 23 nov 2021


Report continued from volume A.


Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2021 / Loi de 2021 sur le temps alloué aux soins (modifiant la Loi sur les foyers de soins de longue durée et prévoyant une norme minimale en matière de soins quotidiens)

Ms. Armstrong moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 14, An Act to amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 to establish a minimum standard of daily care / Projet de loi 14, Loi modifiant la Loi de 2007 sur les foyers de soins de longue durée afin d’établir une norme minimale en matière de soins quotidiens.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Pursuant to standing order 101, the member will have up to 12 minutes to make her presentation, and then we’ll continue with the debate. I return to the member from London–Fanshawe.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: I rise on behalf of the constituents of London–Fanshawe and I’m proud to talk about this bill, Bill 14, the Time to Care Act. Just over a year ago, all of us in this Legislature agreed that residents in long-term-care homes deserved to have a minimum of four hours of hands-on care per day enshrined in legislation. In the shock and grief of losing thousands of loved ones, we all understood that action needed to be taken in order to safeguard those who lived and worked in long-term care.

When the bill, the Time to Care Act, passed for the fifth time last year with unanimous support, I and thousands across the province thought that, finally, the minimum standard of care that we have been fighting for would be implemented; that, finally, for-profit long-term-care giants would be held accountable to provide quality care; that staff would finally have the time to care for their residents; that residents would finally feel safe and nurtured; and families could finally rest easy, knowing their loved one was well looked after.

However, Speaker, in true form, this government once again found a loophole to exploit. Experts, academics, advocates, staff, family and residents all agree that four hours of care should be a requirement today, not in five years. Rather than taking the time to care bill through the committee process so that people of Ontario could weigh in and jointly come to solutions, this government let the bill die without giving it serious consideration.

Now, with Bill 37, which this government touts as a triumph, they offer Ontarians a watered-down version of what we have been fighting for. It is simply a repackaging of the status quo that does not go far enough to protect residents and staff today.

It is bewildering, especially after 19 months, that this government has yet again neglected to protect long-term-care residents today—residents that have already lived through a nightmare. What this government has shown once again is the lack of political will to get the necessary work done. It has once again chosen to protect its for-profit buddies from liability rather than protecting the residents and staff from harm. Once again, it has chosen to protect profit before it protected its people.

With enough political will, four hours of care could be a reality for seniors within the next year. We’ve seen massive hiring and training campaigns by our Canadian neighbours. In the summer of 2020, the Quebec government initiated a hiring spree to fill the gaps in care in long-term-care homes. Ten thousand folks who completed a paid three-month training were guaranteed full-time jobs by September 2020. Soon after the announcement, the program had over 55,000 applicants.

In contrast, Speaker, the Ontario government announced on October 6 of this year that within a year’s time they would hire 4,000 staff—so little and so late. If the Premier or the minister for home and long-term care could explain why the Ontario government can’t move as swiftly as the Quebec government, that would be very helpful.

This is not a matter of a shortage of available labour; it is a shortage of political will and funding. It is a matter of not prioritizing resident safety and well-being. It’s a matter of not taking the labour crisis many years in the making seriously and refusing to immediately implement retention strategies.

If this government cared about resident safety, it would have reinstated the resident quality inspections that would have predicted where the gaps in care would be. Instead, the number of inspections decreased under this government’s watch. If this government cared about resident safety, you could have reversed the damage done by the previous government, the Liberal government budget cuts. Instead, you made cuts of your own. If this government cared about resident safety, you could have followed through and launched a full public inquiry into long-term care, which the previous Liberal government failed to do. Instead, you rushed a commission through.

The last 19 months have made abundantly clear that a failure to legislate minimum standards of care is a failure to safeguard vulnerable residents. It is a failure to value and protect staff. It is a failure to instill confidence in Ontarians that a publicly funded system will provide them with quality care.

The government’s own Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission did not mince words in its final report. It read, in part: “Ontario was not prepared for a pandemic and ... the province’s long-term-care homes, which had been neglected for decades by successive governments, were easy targets for uncontrolled outbreaks. Staff, long-term-care residents and their families suffered terribly during this pandemic. Residents and long-term-care staff who lost their lives to COVID-19 paid the ultimate price.”

In short, due to the poor leadership of not only this government but also successive Liberal governments and Conservative governments before it, the province was not prepared a year and a half ago. Based on the current government’s track record, it’s safe to say that this government is not prepared now nor will it be tomorrow.

I would like to take a moment to remind you of what and who is at stake by sharing a day in the life of a long-term-care worker: “We feel like we’re working on an assembly line and not dealing with people who are vulnerable and fragile. We are spending an average of” about “six to seven minutes per resident to provide them with their daily needs, such as grooming, dressing, toileting and eating.

“We are told continually to prioritize our work, so all the responsibility falls on us, and if we make the wrong choice, we are held accountable. How do you prioritize your work when you have one resident asking to go to the bathroom and a cognitive resident asking” to be put “to bed” because they need “physical help—or do you” put the resident to bed “who has been” up for “12 hours” in a wheelchair “and is unable to speak for themselves,” and then “you have to become their voice?” This happens to us on a regular basis. “There are so many times my co-workers and I feel so overwhelmed that we feel like crying. We have cried.

“Our residents deserve better than to be told, ‘I’m sorry, you have to wait to use the bathroom,’ ‘I’m sorry, you have to wait to’” get up or “‘lie down’... or ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have time to talk’” right now, “even though that’s what the resident needs at that point in time. It feels like PSWs are apologizing their entire shift for the lack of time they have to spend with the residents. How can we be expected to deliver resident-centred care, when all we can do is hopefully just meet their basic needs for the shift, and more times than not, it comes at the expense of our breaks? There are ministry standards for everything, but they mean nothing if we don’t have the staff or the time to provide quality care to our residents with compassion and dignity.”

Speaker, this PSW testified to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs pre-budget hearings under the Liberal government in 2016.

Since then, it has only gotten worse, so let me tell you a little bit more about a recent account. Last year, a PSW in a London long-term-care home called me. He told me he’s been a PSW for 14 years. Especially over the last four years, he witnessed, in his own words, that “the foundation of long-term care is crumbling.”

Over the course of the pandemic, he said he has routinely walked in to his evening shift to find residents not yet up for meals and often with pools under them. He told me it’s not out of the norm that residents go weeks without a bath. He recalled speaking to a colleague who told him that they couldn’t remember the last time they bathed a resident.

He said sick calls were through the roof, and many of his colleagues had indicated burnout. He said repeatedly he called the ministry for help to no avail. There was no help coming. They were left alone in crisis.


Last year, when the Minister of Long-Term Care, Minister Fullerton, was questioned about legislating four hours of care at the committee for estimates, the minister said, “You have to understand that in order to provide four hours of care per resident, you need the staff to provide that.” Well, it’s been over a year. You had over a year to attract, train and hire new staff. You had over a year to retain and retrain existing staff. You had over a year to raise the wage floor and offer full-time jobs with benefits. You had over a year, and the bare minimum hasn’t changed. Ontarians are tired of the bare minimum. Ontarians are tired of the status quo. We need an overhaul. We need reform.

Underfunding, undercutting, undermining and underappreciating seniors’ care in Ontario has left such a stain on our province. I cannot begin to tell you the shock and horror I felt and so many across this province experienced when reading report after report of residents dying of dehydration and malnutrition last year, of staff left traumatized and overwhelmed, of families left to mourn without closure.

Seniors’ care in this province could be different. It needs to be different, and here’s what we could do: We want the people of Ontario to be able to age at home and know that, when and if the time comes, they can feel safe going into a long-term-care home. We want a long-term-care-home sector that is properly staffed, resourced and modern. We want residents to feel happy and secure every single day. We want them to be nurtured, cared for and treated with dignity.

We want staff to go home from work and still have the mental and physical energy to spend time with their families. We want staff to have full-time hours and benefits, and therefore have the time and the means to contribute to their communities. We want them to do the job they went to school for and dreamed about. We want them to go to work every day knowing that they are appreciated and treated with respect. We want them to leave work feeling fulfilled.

We want families and caregivers to be able to go about their lives, secure in the knowledge that their moms, dads, siblings, child and grandparents are receiving the best care possible.

In short, Speaker, we want better, and on behalf of the 3,824 residents and 13 staff who died during the pandemic, the Ontario NDP will keep fighting until we achieve that vision. It starts with legislating a minimum standard of four hours of direct care per day now, not in five years.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Mr. Lorne Coe: I’m pleased to speak in support of Bill 14, the Time to Care Act. This bill seeks to amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act so that a long-term-care home will have to provide its residents with at least four hours a day of nursing and personal support services, averaged across the residents.

Speaker, after decades of inaction from successive governments, our government has moved quickly to fix long-term care in Ontario. One of the pillars of our plan is to improve staffing and care. Earlier in the fall, I was pleased to host a round table with the Minister of Long-Term Care and my colleagues from Durham region, and we heard from residents in long-term care, families and workers about the importance of ensuring we have enough staff to provide the high-quality care that the builders of our communities deserve.

When our government was elected, we knew that there was work to do, but we also knew that we weren’t going to be able to do it on our own, and so we listened, and we listened well. We listened to the people who live and work in long-term-care homes, as well as the experts who study and support them. That’s why we’ve made improving staffing and care a key pillar of our plan to fix long-term care.

Our plan to increase staffing involves hiring 27,000 new care staff to provide more care to residents in long-term care and raise the standard of care to one that puts residents first. In October, we announced the first step in this plan, with an investment of $270 million this year to long-term-care homes to increase staffing levels by 4,050 new long-term-care staff across the province. This will raise the average level of direct care to three hours per day per resident.

Next year, our plan will see an investment of $673 million for three hours and 15 minutes of care per resident per day. In 2023-24, our plan will see an investment of $1.25 billion to increase to three hours and 42 minutes of care per resident per day. And finally, Speaker, by 2024-25, our plan will see an investment of $1.82 billion to culminate in four hours of direct care per resident per day. This is an investment of $4.9 billion over four years to increase the average of daily direct care from 2.75 hours, where the previous government left it, to the four hours of direct daily care that residents deserve.

Speaker, our plan has the clear funding targets to back it up, and we have included these annual targets in our new Fixing Long-Term Care Act to ensure that they’re reached. This plan has been praised by stakeholders throughout the sector. For example, Lisa Levin, who is the CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, called this increased funding a “watershed moment for long-term care in Ontario.” Jerry Dias, the president of Unifor, called the announcement “a step in the right direction for helping long-term-care workers provide the residents the adequate care they deserve.” Candace Rennick from CUPE Ontario said, “We are encouraged to learn that this government is finally taking the necessary step of enshrining the four hours of hands-on care commitment into legislation. This is an important and long-awaited step.”

In my Whitby riding, these investments mean over $1.9 million this year for additional staffing. By 2024-25, long-term-care homes in my riding, of which I have four, will see a combined $11.9 million more than their current funding. Speaker, this is our government putting dollars directly where they are needed and which will ensure that seniors in my community have access to the high-quality care they deserve.

Now, back in the spring, I had the privilege of joining the Premier and the then Minister of Long-Term Care at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Glen Hill Terrace in my riding. This project saw 160 upgraded beds in my community. These staffing investments mean over $500,000 more to hire additional staff this year, and almost $3.5 million more than their current funding by 2024-25 to hire new staff.

Speaker, seeing these investments in my community and in communities across the province makes me proud to be part of this government, a government that is indeed fixing long-term care. But it’s not enough to just provide the funding to hire this much-needed staff. We need to make sure that the staff has received the proper training to deliver high-quality care to our seniors, and we need to make sure that this staff is ready quickly. That’s why our government has partnered with our publicly funded colleges, like Durham College in my riding, with an investment of $121 million to accelerate the training of 9,000 personal support workers. On top of that, we are investing $86 million to train up to 8,600 personal support workers through private career colleges and district school boards. And we are doing that, Speaker, because we listened and we consulted well, and the evidence is here today.

Overall, that’s $207 million for 17,600 personal support workers. Our government is providing the funding necessary to train and hire the staff we need to provide the four hours of care our seniors deserve.


But I know, Speaker, that you realize that all of this will not mean much if we cannot retain this staff. We want people to see long-term care as a lifelong career. We want people working in long-term care to grow, advance and stay in the field. Residents benefit from receiving care from the same group of people, and staff members benefit from working with the same residents. That’s why in October our government introduced our innovative programs to encourage bridging and laddering for personal support workers and nurses who wish to advance their careers in long-term care.

The first program is the Bridging Educational Grant in Nursing, or the BEGIN initiative. This program is offered in partnership with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Health and the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario. It will provide tuition to support workers and registered practical nurses, so they can pursue further education to become registered practical nurses and registered nurses respectively. Eligible personal support workers will receive up to $6,000 a year and eligible registered practical nurses will receive up to $10,000 a year in financial support for their education and training needed to advance their careers in long-term care.

The second program is the Nursing Program Transformation in Ontario’s Colleges, which is offered in partnership with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and Colleges Ontario. This program will increase access to nursing programs at Ontario’s publicly assisted colleges through the introduction of hybrid online and in-person learning models in practical nursing and bachelor of science in nursing programs, to provide students the flexibility to learn as per individual schedules; and, through the Nursing Program Transformation in Ontario’s Colleges, an additional 500 enrolments in bridging programs for the 2022-23 academic year that are designed to give applicants the skills and credentials needed to move to the next stage of their careers.

When speaking about this program, Linda Franklin, the long-time president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, had this to say: “This tremendous announcement will create many exciting new opportunities for health care professionals to advance in their careers. It ensures more nurses and PSWs will have opportunities to strengthen their qualifications and helps address the need for more nurses across the province.”

Speaker, what’s absolutely clear is that after decades of neglect from successive governments, after decades of stakeholders and countless studies and reports calling for a standard of four hours of daily direct care for residents, our government is the government saying yes to training staff in long-term care, our government is the government saying yes to hiring over 27,000 new staff for long-term care, and our government is the government saying yes to providing a standard of an average of four hours of daily direct care for every resident in long-term care in Ontario. They deserve no less.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Mme France Gélinas: I was pleased to hear the member from Whitby saying that he will be supporting this bill, but I want him and everybody in his caucus to fully understand that what the NDP is putting forward is not the same thing as what you have in Bill 37. In Bill 37, the four hours of hands-on care that comes in five years from now is averaged over the 78,000 beds—which will be, with the other 30,000, over 100,000 beds—in 626 long-term-care homes.

We all know, Speaker, that not every long-term-care home is created equal. We have the not-for-profit charitables, we have the municipal homes, the homes for the aged, and we have in Ontario a whole lot of private for-profit homes. Once the government averages the four hours of hands-on care, I can tell you exactly what will happen: The not-for-profit charitables, the homes for aged, the municipal homes will have no problem meeting the four hours of hands-on care.

When it comes to the private for-profit homes, well, the first thing that they will do with the money that the government is putting forward—and billions of dollars are going to flow—is that they will continue to hire through nursing agencies and temp agencies. They will hire a nurse, a PSW. They often have to pay 35, 37, 40, sometimes up to 50 bucks an hour to the agency to send them a PSW, but the PSW will continue to make $15 an hour. That’s wrong. To make it even worse, those nursing agencies and those PSW temp agencies are owned by the long-term-care agencies, so they pay themselves through the companies that they own to send them staff that get really poorly paid. This is where the billions of dollars that this government is putting forward are going to go: into the pockets of investors who invest in long-term care because there’s lots of money to be made.

How do we fix this? How do we bring four hours of hands-on care to every single one of the 78,000 residents in our long-term care right now? You make it easy to recruit and retain a stable workforce. How do you do this? You mandate in law that a minimum of 70% of your staff has to be permanent, full-time, well paid, with benefits, with a pension plan, with sick days and a workload that a human being can handle. You make sure that your nurse practitioners, your registered nurses, your registered practical nurses all get treated the same way as if they were working in the hospital, because do you know what, Speaker? They could be working one shift in the hospital, looking after Mrs. X. Mrs. X gets transferred into a long-term care, and then they take a 10-buck-an-hour pay cut. They don’t have benefits anymore. That doesn’t make sense.

We can fix this. We have an opportunity. Vote for this bill.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Mr. Mike Schreiner: I rise today to speak in favour to speak in favour of Bill 14. I want to thank the member from London–Fanshawe for bringing it forward.

Speaker, for years Greens have been calling for a minimum standard of care of four hours for our elders. I was encouraged when the government finally came around and seemed to commit to this. However, I was deeply disappointed when the government said that the earliest they could provide four hours of care would be in 2025. Our elders need four hours of care now, not four years from now.

You judge a society by the way it cares for its most vulnerable. I think we in Ontario collectively have a lot to answer for, for the tragedy that happened in long-term care during COVID. Numerous studies—I think RNAO says around 30 studies in the last 20 years, or maybe it’s 35. I can’t remember the exact number, but stacks and stacks of studies over the last few decades have documented the inadequate care provided to elders in long-term-care homes.

We have a moral obligation to fix this. We owe it to our elders to ensure a decent standard of care, a minimum standard of care, quality food, a quality place to live, a place that not only provides health care but provides a home. That’s what four hours of care provides the foundation to support.


I remember, in the summer of 2020—I think it was the first question I asked when the Legislature came back. I asked why the government hadn’t listened to its own staffing study that said the government needed to increase the number of staff in long-term care to care for our elders. I remember the minister saying that you can’t just snap your fingers and hire more staff. I think the minister was right: You can’t just snap your fingers. That’s why you have to start now with a plan to recruit and retain staff. That plan starts with treating staff with decent wages and working conditions; making pandemic pay permanent; ensuring adequate staffing levels so people are not asked to do impossible tasks; ensuring full-time work with benefits and paid sick days, because we know that the conditions of work dictate the conditions of care.

And we owe it as a province to ensure that those front-line heroes, who took huge personal risks each and every day when they went into care for the people, for our elders, for our loved ones—they deserve to be paid like the heroes that we continually say that they are, because that’s how we’re going to recruit enough staff now to provide minimum standards of care. That’s how we’re going to ensure that our elders get the care they need.

When people are working in our long-term-care homes, we need to ensure that they have access to mental health supports. I’m going a little bit beyond the bill for a second here, but we need to ensure that those personal support workers who care for our elders at home have their travel paid for, are ensured guaranteed work hours.

Speaker, the bottom line is, if we’re going to deliver the care our elders need, we have to ensure that the people who are caring for our loved ones are cared for. That’s what this bill starts laying the foundation to do, and that’s why I’ll be voting in favour of it.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Ms. Sara Singh: It’s an honour to rise here again and contribute to the debate on behalf of the good people of Brampton Centre. Also, as the current critic for long-term care, home care and seniors care, I just want to take a moment to thank my colleague from London–Fanshawe for bringing forward yet again this important piece of legislation, something that New Democrats have been fighting for, if I am not mistaken, since 2016 and even before that, with Howard Hampton.

But, Speaker, let’s just be clear here: As the member from Nickel Belt indicated, this piece of legislation is vastly different from what the government has proposed in its Bill 37, to provide a minimum of four hours of hands-on direct care. As has already been outlined, it’s very difficult to say that the government is actually going to meet those targets, because as the Financial Accountability Office already has indicated, the government will not meet those targets, because they haven’t taken into account the increase in demand in our aging population and aren’t keeping up with the staffing ratios that are needed. What we are proposing is to actually have a staffing policy in place to ensure that we are recruiting, retaining and training the workforce that we need to help actually maintain four hours of direct hands-on care.

We heard through the commission and the Canadian Armed Forces horror stories of staff who did not have the resources they needed or the time to provide the care that residents so desperately needed. Whether that was feeding, whether that was clothing or changing residents, staff simply did not have the time. In order to make sure that this is actually going to become a reality, the government needs to commit to ensuring that we are paying these workers fairly, that we are addressing the unsafe working conditions, but that we are getting for-profit out of care. Until we do that, Speaker, we’re going to see this vicious cycle of undignified care continue in the province of Ontario, because there are companies who continue to put their profit before the health of workers and before the health of residents in those long-term-care homes.

I want to encourage this government to think very critically and carefully about the work that needs to be done, and to not just make empty promises to the people of Ontario but to actually make the investments and the commitments needed to deliver on those promises.

Again, New Democrats have outlined how we can actually get to a four-hours-of-direct-hands-on-care target. I encourage the government to look at our proposals, learn a little bit more and perhaps support this bill so that we can actually provide care in a dignified way to people in Ontario.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Mrs. Jennifer (Jennie) Stevens: I stand today in support of the Time to Care Act sponsored by my colleague MPP Armstrong.

For all of the important and obvious reasons to pass this bill, and to pass it with intention, I think dignity for seniors ranks number one. I can tell you that in St. Catharines we are still seeing the cost of this government’s delay to solve the staff crisis. Over the weekend, I had pictures delivered to my office that were very, very, very hard to look at, Speaker: A 101-year-old grandmother, a resident at one of our for-profit long-term-care homes in St. Catharines, was covered in her own feces, in day-old clothes. She hadn’t been washed. Her granddaughter April reached out, knowing she had nowhere else to turn, because the long-term-care sector is still suffering from staff shortages. This problem still exists. This is really still happening today. These pictures that were common throughout the pandemic, common when the Canadian military came in to help, still exist today. It is disgraceful that this government still has not actioned solutions that make a real difference for seniors like April’s grandmother.

I have to say there is no excuse, Speaker. This will be the fifth time the NDP has tabled this bill, which is a commitment to families, older adults and residents of long-term care that I admire so much about my colleagues. Why five times for a policy that is reasonable, a policy that existed before the pandemic and had been ignored by both the Conservatives and the Liberal governments, one that easily would have contributed to preventing some of the over 400 lost lives in Niagara?

We deserve a plan and can have one—one that creates quality care today, not one that the government proposes that is five years away. It can be done. This legislation creates the road map. We have seen the other provinces already do it. Quebec did it. Last summer Quebec hired, trained and retained 10,000 PSWs.

There are many reasons I can point to for the urgent need of this legislation, but simply, we need it today, because politics can change tomorrow. The records of both the Conservative and Liberal governments, having a history of reducing care in nursing homes, is a concern. Both increased privatization of nursing homes. Both tried to or did remove comprehensive inspections. We have a policy and a road map to fix it today with this legislation for seniors in my community and all communities across Ontario.

Speaker, it is a disgrace that I am still seeing pictures like the ones I saw this weekend in St. Catharines after all we know. Families in Niagara know they deserve more than election promises and plans that are still five years away.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?

Mr. Jamie West: I’m very proud to rise to speak to the member for London–Fanshawe’s bill, the Time to Care Act. This is an important bill. It has gone back a long way. It has been tabled several times by the New Democrats: tabled three times under the Liberals and tabled at least twice with the Conservatives, with similar results, where it’s a great idea and it gets to second reading. It’s a great idea, but the cheque is in the mail. We’ve seen this time and time again. The reason that we’re skeptical about the promises of the Conservative government is that, like the Liberals before them, they failed to really look out for the workers; they failed to look out for the family members of long-term care; they failed to look out for the clients of long-term care.

If you think back to when we needed an iron ring around long-term care, they didn’t rush in for those workers. They didn’t rush in for the families worried about their family members. They didn’t rush in for family. They rushed in to protect private companies from liability. They rushed in to protect shareholders’ profits. On this side of the House, as New Democrats, we’re proud that we stand with families, to protect families.


When your hear the horror stories of people lying in their waste, when you hear PSWs frustrated because they have eight minutes to get a client ready—imagine getting ready in the morning in eight minutes, being able-bodied and ready. Now try to do that, helping somebody’s who’s not, someone in care, someone in distress, someone who is a little bit sore, someone with dementia. We on this side of the House know, and they on that side of the House know as well, and the Liberals knew as well when they were in government, that they need four hours of hands-on care. We need a minimum of hands-on care. That’s success for the workers, that’s success for the clients, and that’s success for the families. This is ultimately important to us.

The Liberals before them said and the Conservatives now will say, “It can’t be done. You need to attract workers. We’ve got to get the workers.” And do you know how you attract workers? Just like the member from Nickel Belt said, you pay them a decent wage. When we need tradespeople, we pay them a decent wage. When we need doctors, we pay them a decent wage. And when we need PSWs, we pay them a decent wage. And we can do that by passing my bill. My bill would create a wage floor for all PSWs, not some, and my bill would ensure that it’s reviewed annually, on a regular basis, so that they don’t fall backwards as inflation climbs, instead of temporary pandemic pay for some PSWs that always eventually expires.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): The member for London–Fanshawe has two minutes to reply.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Thank you to everyone on each side of the House for their debate on Bill 14. The title of the bill is Time to Care, and I think we all agree that it’s overdue. We’ve had warning signs. We’ve had red flags when it comes to long-term care. We’ve heard the worst of the worst when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic, and if this is not the time to care, I’m not sure what it’s going to take for any government to move, whether it’s the Conservatives or whether it’s the Liberals. We know that under the Conservative government they deregulated the hours of care in long-term-care homes. That started the ball rolling. We need to learn from those things, and we can’t wait another five years.

When we talk about long-term care, we’re talking about people, human beings. I can’t imagine being in long-term care with what we have heard—and I’ve been elected for 10 years—what I heard when I first started and then what happened under COVID-19. How did it get so bad? Because governments have neglected to do the necessary steps to make real changes—not five years from now, not incremental, not in phases. If you want to make this a lifelong career, as one of the members said, the conditions that have to be created have to attract the workers there to look after our most vulnerable.

Speaker, with that I want to end my debate and ask for a point of order.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): The MPP from London–Fanshawe is raising a point of order.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: I’m asking for a point of order for the remaining time on my summary for a moment of silence for all of those who were in long-term care and died under COVID, and all the workers who have been contributing to making their care better, and the workers who suffered under COVID-19 and also sacrificed their lives.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): I have been advised by the table that that is not a valid point of order at this stage of the debate. So your time is now expired, and I move to say—


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Point of order?

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Not that I’m challenging the Chair—

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Point of order, the member for London–Fanshawe—a different point of order?

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Yes. I’d like to make a point of order now. I request that we have a moment of silence for at least a minute for the people who—

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): The table has informed me that it was not appropriate then or now, so we will move on.

The time provided for private members’ public businesses has expired.

Ms. Armstrong has moved second reading of Bill 14, An Act to amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 to establish a minimum standard of daily care. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Did I hear a no? No? I did hear a no.

All those in favour of the motion will please say “aye.”

All those opposed to the motion will please say “nay.”

All right. I did hear a nay.

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Now, a recorded vote being required, the vote on this item of private members’ public business will be deferred until the next proceeding of deferred votes.

Second reading vote deferred.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): All matters relating to private members’ public business having been completed, this House stands adjourned until 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

The House adjourned at 1835.