November 30, 2020
The Honorable Deb Schulte,
Minister of Seniors
House of Commons
Re: Long-term care in New Brunswick
Dear Minister Schulte,
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 seniors will suffer directly from the situation in New Brunswick and why the demographic trend of the province will only worsen the situation.
For years, residents of nursing homes have been an invisible part of the population that made it easy to ignore. This resulted in frequent cost cutting of nursing home programs and has resulted in a system unable to provide decent care to everyone. Furthermore, the aging population and the demographic trends (from 19.5% of seniors in the population in 2016 to above 31% in 2038) show that New Brunswick will need larger numbers of beds available. When considering the fundamental role that this generation had in building the country we have today, it is our duty as governments to ensure they have access to the care they deserve.
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 file to ensure that the seniors in Canada are not the forgotten population of our nation and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.