With Canada set to vote in just over a month, Justin Trudeau is the first federal leader to make a stop on Vancouver Island.
Trudeau spoke with seniors living at a Saanich long-term care home, setting the stage for an election promise.
“Seniors, families, you’re right. You deserve so much better than what we saw in too many places across the country,” said Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
“Think about it. We had to send the armed forces into retirement homes. In Canada!”
Trudeau says the pandemic laid bare unacceptable and heartbreaking situations in too many long-term care homes across the country.
As a result, if re-elected, Trudeau is promising to invest $9 billion into the long-term care sector to address Canada’s shortfalls. He’s also planning to raise the minimum wage for personal support workers in long-term care to $25 an hour, training 50,000 more personal support workers, and doubling the home accessibility tax credit by adding $1500 to help seniors stay in their homes longer by making them more accessible.
Trudeau says the plan would also have an Indigenous care framework and would be a partnership with provinces and territories.
Meanwhile in Edmonton, the leader of the NDP Jagmeet Singh called Trudeau’s announcement a contradiction.
“I know that Justin Trudeau is making an announcement on long-term care, I find that really troubling because when given a chance to vote for removing profit in long-term care when we know that profit in long-term care directly resulted in some of the horrific conditions our loved ones and seniors were dealing with, he voted against getting rid of profit in long-term care,” said Singh.
Back on Vancouver Island, Trudeau took a couple of questions from local media covering topics like affordable housing and the legalization of drugs as B.C. continues to face a deadly opioid crisis. Trudeau though, offering no concrete promises or policies, did explain why the marine border remains closed to ferries like the Clipper and the Coho.
“I can certainly assure you it is a situation we are working with directly. I know how important it is for folks here on the island to have ferry access directly to the United States. It isn’t something that we have capacity at this exact moment to manage safely,” said Trudeau.
What that capacity comes down to remains unclear.
So far it’s unclear when the other party leaders will make their way to Vancouver Island.
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