November 30, 2020
The Honorable Maryam Monsef
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
House of Commons
Re: Long-term care in New Brunswick
Dear Minister Monsef,
On October 15th of this year the New Brunswick Nurses Union put out a report called “The Forgotten Generation: An Urgent Call for Reform” highlighting the limits of the long-term care system in New Brunswick and the glaring need for change. This exhaustive research on the province’s nursing home sector shows how women are particularly at risk of suffering from the lack of attention paid to this issue.
Most of the workforce of registered nurses are women and they are the ones having to deal with the challenges that come with a lack of personnel, resulting in long hours as well as the degradation of their work conditions. These conditions include an ever-increasing risk of being exposed to violence in the workplace wages that do not consider the importance of their work properly. Furthermore, an important number of people staying in the homes are women who have been care providers for their families for most of their lives. Being able to give them proper conditions of living after having played such a fundamental role in our society is the bare minimum we should aim for as a country.
Since 2004, the province of New Brunswick has seen 16 reports on seniors and long-term care with very little being done after their publication. With Minister Bruce Fitch already questioning some of the statements made in the report and explaining that now is not the time for change, it is clear that the federal government must play a role of leader in this issue. Recommendations addressed directly to the federal government can be found in this report and include security for workers, demographic challenges, funding necessity and lack of workforce.
I hope to see your government be leaders on this issue to ensure that women working and living in these nursing homes are treated the way they deserve. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.