Trudeau says feds want fixes, not control, of long-term care system
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has no intention of trying to assert federal jurisdiction over long-term care facilities but still believes there is a role for Ottawa to play in fixing the country's troubled nursing homes.
Trudeau is pushing the provinces to agree to harmonize minimum standards for long-term care so that vulnerable seniors are protected and cared-for well no matter where they live.
"This is a moment for us to step up and reassure Canadians that their loved ones, that they themselves as they advance in age, won't be left aside, won't be made vulnerable,'' Trudeau said Friday.
Trudeau met with the premiers by phone about the issue Thursday. The Canada Health Act does not govern long-term-care homes, and their existence and operation are entirely up to each province, a fact Trudeau said he fully recognizes.
"Obviously, I respect provincial jurisdiction in running those institutions,'' he said. "But we've seen that those institutions haven't done a good enough job in this pandemic particularly, but in a long-standing challenge.''
He said his proposal for "national norms'' wouldn't mean a top-down approach from Ottawa, dictating what provinces must do on long-term care. Rather, he said provinces that have done better can share what worked with their counterparts, and all can commit to reaching minimum basic care standards on their own.