Trudeau says feds want fixes, not control, of long-term care system

Trudeau says feds want fixes, not control, of long-term care system
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has no intention of trying to assert federal jurisdiction over long-term care facilities but still believes there is a role for Ottawa to play in fixing the country s troubled nursing homes.

Trudeau is pushing the provinces to agree to harmonize minimum standards for long-term care so that vulnerable seniors are protected and cared-for well no matter where they live.

"This is a moment for us to step up and reassure Canadians that their loved ones, that they themselves as they advance in age, won t be left aside, won t be made vulnerable," Trudeau said Friday.

Trudeau met with the premiers by phone about the issue Thursday. The Canada Health Act does not govern long-term-care homes, and their existence and operation are entirely up to each province, a fact Trudeau said he fully recognizes.

"Obviously, I respect provincial jurisdiction in running those institutions," he said. "But we ve seen that those institutions haven t done a good enough job in this pandemic particularly, but in a long-standing challenge."

He said his proposal for "national norms" wouldn t mean a top-down approach from Ottawa, dictating what provinces must do on long-term care. Rather, he said provinces that have done better can share what worked with their counterparts, and all can commit to reaching minimum basic care standards on their own.
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