Unifor Local 127 President Nicole Grainger with chair of the local Ontario Health Coalition, Shirley Roebuck.
Photo credit: Chris Taylor.

Health care advocates are calling on the provincial government to do more to protect residents in long term care.

A small rally was held in front of MPP Rick Nicholls’ Chatham constituency office yesterday with a motorcade of vehicles circling by the Heritage Road building, honking their horns.

Last week, the province announced more than half a billion dollars to help long term care hire workers and purchase more equipment, but Shirley Roebuck, chair of the local chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition, says that’s still not enough.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re making a bad wage or a good wage, if there’s only an insignificant or inadequate number of people to take care of our folks in long term care, then the residents are going to suffer,” Roebuck says.

Nicole Grainger, president of Unifor Local 127 says attracting new people to train as personal support workers is a challenge.

“I believe it’s gotten a bad rep because of the burnout, the lack of staffing, the lack of vacations,” Grainger says. “People don’t want to go into that department in that industry because you’re not guaranteed to finish. You could come out injured, you could never get time off the job, and you could work around the clock and it still wouldn’t be enough.”

The Ontario Health Coalition demands the Ford government recruit and train more staff and provide a minimum daily standard of four hours of hands-on care for every resident.