Andre Picard André is an eight-time nominee for the National Newspaper Awards, and past winner of prestigious Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism. He was named Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” by the Canadian Public Health Association, as a “Champion of Mental Health” by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his dedication to improving healthcare. When it comes to public health, he knows what he is talking about.
Writing today in the Globe and Mail Picard said “we don’t need politicians to be shocked and appalled any more. We don’t need their crocodile tears, we don’t need their fist-shaking vows and never fulfilled promises to ‘fix this once and for all.’” And we don’t need any more inquiries or Royal Commissions or earnest 1200-page reports that gather dust on the shelf.”
Opposition leader Andrea Horwath is making a spectacle of herself with her histrionics yesterday when the military report on 5 long term care homes was released and again today in Question Period, trotting out old bromides like calling for the resignation of the Long-Term Care minister. Her response is so predictable, so trite, so obviously pandering to her base, so devoid of any real solution as to be an embarrassment. This crisis covers decades and governments of every stripe including the NDP.
As Picard points out everybody knows what is needed and have known for years. It starts with enough money to develop and sustain a workforce of properly trained and incented care workers. We need better home care so fewer people need to go into long-term care. We need better and more sustained oversight. We need affordable and accessible care to reduce the waiting lists. We know all this now. We don’t need Horwath’s “show trial” enquiry—which will be nothing more than a platform for mock outrage. The only decision that needs to be made is how much money are we as a society willing to pay to fix the system, and then get on with the solutions.