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Residents sit in a common area of the Lanark Heights long-term care home in Kitchener on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Ontario politicians say they plan to examine a bill that would enshrine the rights of couples to live together in the province's long-term care system when they return to the legislature next month.

NDP legislator Catherine Fife's bill --dubbed the Till Death Do Us Part Act -- passed second reading in December and will now come before a committee for review.

Fife's bill would amend the provincial long-term care bill of rights to ensure couples continue to live with their spouse or partner even if their care needs are different.

She says currently many couples are split up because they are aging at different rates, adding the separation creates stress for the seniors and their families.

Progressive Conservative legislators voted in favour of Fife's bill in December but it must still pass a third and final reading before becoming law.

A spokeswoman for Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton says the government is committed to examining how it can keep loved-ones together in long-term care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2020.