Today Liberal candidate David Orazietti voted in the advance polls at the Seniors’ Drop-in Centre and spoke with local seniors about the Liberal plan to support Ontarians as they age. The Liberal plan makes significant investments in programs and services that benefit seniors and help to make Ontario the best place to age.
“Our 2014 Budget included important supports for seniors and programs to help Ontarians as they age, including the creation of an Ontario pension plan and a $750 million investment in home care to help seniors stay in their homes longer,” said Orazietti. “We need to ensure that seniors in our community are treated with the respect they deserve, and that is why we want to implement our plan, which includes programs specifically designed to keep seniors safe, active and healthy for as long as possible.”
The number of seniors in Ontario is expected to double over the next two decades, and the Liberal plan addresses the growing needs of the province’s aging population by:
- Investing $750 million for seniors care and community care services, including $270 million in 2014/15
- Providing a family doctor for every senior who needs one through our Primary Care Guarantee. As of February 2014, 91% of high-needs seniors who registered with Health Care Connect have been referred to a family health care provider
- Doubling the Seniors Community Grant Program to $1 million per year, making it easier for seniors to stay engaged in their communities
- Introducing an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), cost-effectively building on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to help seniors retire with security and dignity
- Increasing the hourly wage for community Personal Support Workers (PSWs) by $4 per hour to strengthen front-line care
By contrast, the NDP have rejected improvements that would provide Ontarians with a stronger retirement future and by opposing the Liberal plan, the NDP rejected increased wages for personal support workers, as well as Early Childhood Educators and are giving the PCs the chance to make devastating and reckless cuts to services. The PC’s are committed to cutting 100,000 jobs, including 1,349 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, which would include frontline healthcare workers.
Since 2003, the Liberal government has increased funding to Long-term care homes by 81%, opened 9,000 new beds, renovated 35,000 beds in LTC homes, and increased LTC home staff by 10,000 additional positions. The provincial Liberal government has also invested in the training of 47,000 LTC workers to adapt to the changing needs of patients and provided an additional 200,000 seniors and patients access to physiotherapy, exercise classes and fall prevention services.
Provincial Liberal support for seniors in Sault Ste. Marie includes the following:
- $114 million to the CCAC last year, an increase of $47 million, or 73%, since 2003
- $40 million to build Mapleview, a new 256 bed long-term care home
- New Nurse Practitioner-led clinic
- As of 2011, the North East LHIN has 819 more nurses than in 2005
- 2 new Family Health Teams
- Investing more than $127 million at the SAH last year, an increase of nearly $36 million, or 39%, since 2003
- At SAH, shortened wait times for cataract surgery by 47 days or 41%, and knee surgery by 363 days or 50%
“David’s dedication, passion and persistence have resulted in major improvements to the quality and availability of health care in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Dr. David Walde, consultant in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine, Group Health Centre. “He is an extremely hard working and effective leader who understands what needs to be done to protect the gains we have made in health care and how to secure new investments in our community. We need David to continue to be our strong representative, so that he can continue to champion our health care interests. He has enormous expertise and experience.”