Gretzky's More Than a Visitor Act Receives Unanimous Consent

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The MPP for Windsor West is one step closer to accomplishing her goal of assuring essential caregivers of people in congregate care homes are more than a visitor.

New Democrat Lisa Gretzky's private member's bill, the More Than a Visitor Act, passed its second reading with unanimous consent in Queen's Park Thursday.

Gretzky says the bill is an answer to issues that denied loved ones and care givers access to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The act would create a legislated framework for continuous and safe access to essential caregivers.

She says the Ontario PC's support gives her hope the third reading of the bill will be fast tracked.

"They seemed as though they were very supportive and they spoke very highly of the bill, so now we just push for them to get it through committee and the house for a third reading and make it law to start developing this strategy," says Gretzky.

She hopes the third reading of the bill gets fast tracked next week.

"For many still being denied access to their care givers, I'm sure they would fully support the government moving this through the house very quickly," added Gretzky.

She says there's still a lot of work to be done to ensure funding and supports are in place.

"To ensure that these essential care givers have the training they need in infection prevention and control. To ensure the homes have PPE for everybody and they can do the cleaning that they need to do and the workers have everything that they need to be safe and the residents as well," she says.

Gretzky says there would need to be an interim-framework formed within 30-days of the bills third reading with a goal of having a finalized document prepared within a year.

The finalized framework would be up for review every five years after that.