Trudeau says feds want fixes, not control, of long-term care system


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has no intention of trying to assert federal jurisdiction over long-term care facilities but still believes there is a role for Ottawa to play in fixing the country’s troubled nursing homes.

Trudeau is pushing the provinces to agree to harmonize minimum standards for long-term care so that vulnerable seniors are protected and cared for well no matter where they live.

He says that doesn’t mean a top-down approach from Ottawa to dictate what has to happen, but rather having provinces share and learn from what has worked best.

He says the pandemic laid bare the failings of long-term care and it would be “completely irresponsible” for all governments not to make fixing those failures a priority.

Trudeau spoke to premiers about the matter in a call Thursday, as the second-wave of COVID-19 is starting to roll through long-term care homes in several provinces for the second time.

More than 80 per cent of the deaths from COVID-19 in the spring were in long-term care homes.