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Election debate on seniors issues in Sudbury

Posted: September 1, 2021

(August 31, 2021)

By: Alana Everson, Videojournalist

Sudbury – Issues facing seniors in the Sept. 20 federal election were the focus of a debate in Sudbury Tuesday. The groups CARP and Friendly to Seniors Sudbury hosted the event.

“Both are advocacy groups for seniors and, as most of us know, there are more seniors in Sudbury relative to population than any other city in Ontario — and seniors vote,” said John Lindsay, the interim chair of CARP and the president of Friendly to Seniors Sudbury.

The Ontario Health Coalition Sudbury chapter wants to phase out for profit long term care in favour of public ownership and points to what happened in the pandemic.

“There were the most deaths that happened in long term care happened in for-profit facilities,” said Dot Klein, of the coalition.

Candidates were give the opportunity to respond.

“The divide between the devastation was actually quite clear – for-profit homes performed so much worse than public … owned homes,” said Andreane Chenier, the Nickel Belt NDP candidate.

“And so the NDP we are committed to removing the profit from healthcare.”

“The issue is ensuring that there is accountability, there is standards and the federal government has stepped up to the plate,” said Marc Serré, Liberal incumbent in Nickel Belt. “We have put over $3 billion on the table,” said Marc Serré.

“We will be hiring more personal care workers — 50,000 more — across Canada. We will also be increasing the wages,” said Viviane Lapointe, the Sudbury Liberal candidate.

“Private public partnerships can work, but the key is regulation and robust funding mechanisms to ensure that whatever model of long term care provinces chooses to pursue, that they are supported,” said Charles Humphrey, the Nickel Belt Conservative candidate.

Candidates were also asked if they support national pharmacare.

“No one should be forced to choose between the medicine that they need and their next meal, so we definitely support pharmacare,” said Nadia Verrelli, the Sudbury NDP candidate.

“National pharmacare is not a project that we need to get moving now,” said Ian Symington, the Sudbury Conservative candidate. “I don’t think there is a lot of money in this country. We are in heavy deficits.”

Concerns were also raised about skyrocketing real estate prices, high rents and the cost of living in long term care.

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