A few weeks ago, I talked with Bev Munro, a long-term care patient at the Edmonton General Hospital. She is a woman in her 60s that gets around in a wheelchair. She spent her life working on construction sites, and she still doesn’t mince words. So when she said she’d be better off living in a ditch, she got my attention.
Of course, she was trying to make a point. A warm and comfortable place to live and be cared for is what she really wants. It’s what Alberta seniors deserve. But instead, the Conservatives have left our seniors out in the cold.
The common room on Bev’s ward is covered in tarps. So are parts of the hallways. The roof is leaking, and taking the elevator risks being trapped behind doors that won’t open.
This isn’t the kind of life people plan on when they get older. We want to know we’ll be well cared for. But the Conservatives have left us with a seniors care system that’s understaffed, underfunded, and has long waiting lists. And what is their answer? To invite private developers to build for-profit facilities, with seniors and their families paying far more for reduced levels of care.
Many families can’t afford these fees. Some family members even quit jobs to provide needed care for aged or chronically ill parents. This is unacceptable, especially in a province as well off as Alberta. We can, and must, take care of the people who raised us and who built this province. Under a New Democratic Party government, we will make it so.