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Ontario Hansard - 05-March2009

Mr. Frank Klees: Last evening, I met with residents, family members and staff of the Southlake Residential Care Village in Newmarket and heard first-hand of the serious effects the McGuinty government's underfunding of long-term-care homes is having on the quality of care and safety of their residents. Staff also described how impossible it is to provide a reasonable level of care at the current staffing levels and how staff reductions in housekeeping and kitchen services have resulted in the downloading of additional workload onto personal support workers. I heard how, on some shifts, one personal support worker is expected to look after 32 residents-an impossible task.

Dawn Khoury, who is the only social worker at Southlake Village and cares for 192 residents, presented me with these 446 cards signed by residents, their families, friends and staff, with a request that I bring their concerns to the attention of the Premier and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and I'm doing that now by way of this statement.

I'm calling on the Premier to ensure that he and his cabinet prioritize the needs of long-term-care residents in our province and, as the card states, "correct the six-year erosion in funding for housekeeping, maintenance and other services that support resident care, comfort and safety," and "fully implement the already promised 2,500 extra personal support workers and 2,000 nurses."

There can be no greater priority than ensuring our seniors' safety and comfort through the quality care they deserve. It's up to the Premier to do that.

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