CCPA news release in midst of pandemic is “shameful,” says BCCPA CEO

BCCPA responds to CCPA release…

A release today from the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) aims to use the pandemic for its own political purposes, by making highly questionable claims about the model of care in B.C., says BC Care Providers Association CEO Daniel Fontaine. He provides the following response to the CCPA’s claims.

“While we can agree that there are systemic issues in our system of seniors care, it has been proven that they relate to staff shortages and outdated infrastructure, and not about ownership,” says Fontaine. “Regrettably, it appears CCPA have made the global pandemic serve their political purposes at a time when all Canadians are rallying together.

“We say shame on them for turning this public health crisis into a political issue.

“COVID-19 never distinguishes on where infections happen based upon who owns the care home or assisted living residence. Government owned and operated care homes in B.C., across Canada and around the world are also victims of the coronavirus. Locally, even non-profits where their staff are all paid at top union master collective rates are being impacted.

“It should be noted that care homes in Washington State, Ontario and Quebec are being impacted at significantly higher rates than B.C., yet they are not based upon a contracting out model.


“Suggesting the staffing model is to blame requires real evidence, not just baseless claims.

“CCPA says that the move to a single site ‘is largely a response to the erosion of wages and working conditions that began in the early 2000s.’

“In response, we would like to remind them that BC Care Providers Association – who represents the majority of non-government seniors care employers – was the first organization to push the Ministry of Health for single-site only, and we stand by that initiative today despite the fact it has yet to be fully implemented or costed out, and will have serious operational consequences.

“Furthermore, the reason for the single-site public health order is to prevent any cross-contamination of the spread of disease by staff – full stop. It is not a measure meant to satisfy any political objective. It is meant to ensure that staff and residents are kept as safe as possible.

“Not only is CCPA is attempting to ‘dumb down’ the more serious problems faced by the sector when it comes to health human resources, they are silent when it comes to promoting real solutions widely agreed upon by the sector’s leaders.

“For example, why isn’t CCPA advocating for extending post-graduate work permits for people who are trained in Canada to care for seniors, or pushing to relax the barriers for internationally-educated nurses, who live in Canada but their skills are going to waste?

“Regarding the claim that there are distinctions between private and government-operated care homes, even the monitoring reports by the Office of the Seniors Advocate have shown no significant differences in the quality of care between government owned or private long-term care sites. The public wants the best service possible for our seniors, and spending billions to buy up private care homes would hardly constitute a top priority for tax dollars in B.C., or anywhere else in Canada for that matter.

“Suggesting that even more red tape be foisted upon the sector clearly indicates that the CCPA has limited understanding of how care works here. B.C.’s long-term care and assisted living providers are among the most heavily regulated and accountable sectors in Canada.

“Simply put, every moment spent filling out paperwork is time not spent with a senior in care.

“The public should know that all of B.C.’s seniors care providers are working extremely hard under trying circumstances to provide the best care possible. We are so grateful and thank them all for the work they’ve done during the pandemic.”

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