(File photo)

Pandemic exposes Canada’s shortcomings

The “pandemic” has exposed Canada’s shortcomings in many areas. Personally, it is disingenuous for the prime minister to react in the sullen anguished manner of the report out of Toronto on senior long-term care in Canada.

I personally wrote to him in 2016 regarding long-term care; the system, the selection, the shortage, the atrocious care for many seniors in these homes. My letter went into specifics about my father who spent two years in hospital at a extraordinary cost to taxpayers because of the policy, process and lack of any due diligence to place a senior who can no longer care for themselves. I had to place him in a private care home, which was less than acceptable, and then my father went into long-term and died within two years.

I had to virtually become a “military personnel” to force a medical assessment, enter into the ongoing battle with our province, which resulted in finger pointing between federal and provincial funding. This problem has been going on for decades and it took the military to become caregivers to expose the atrocities, cruelty, inhumane treatment of the very people who built this country.

The Canadian government has a colossal failure when it comes to inspections. This exists in our most vulnerable systems to wealthy economy-driven industries. It seems it is on a complaint basis or tragedy driven, whether that is with our seniors, our children, our citizens who have no home, live on our streets, citizens who cope with mental health on street corners, seniors and minimum-wage earners who rely on food banks across the country.

We as citizens have learned the foot dragging, excuse making, finger pointing is nothing more than a procrastination and blame game. When there is “political will,” and full and unfettered disclosure, the government can move through red tape, avoid the finger pointing and do it at warp speed.

The take away from this is Canadians and policy makers have learned until you do your job, these anguished incidents will continue, even after the pandemic is behind us. The days of the government making excuses should be over.

Politicians are laser focused on citizens’ rights and social safety when they want your vote, and the takeaway from the many exposed short-comings during the pandemic should not be forgotten when we find ourselves at the polls.

Why do we stand to contain these as separate isolated issues? Reports like this have come up with First Nations, homelessness, child care, mental health, health care, rising food bank use, salary inequities, dental care, environmental issues, etc. Seniors still living in their own homes often choose heat over food and drugs.

We have a pandemic occurring in our democratic system where politicians have been more involved in growing the economy at the cost of our citizens.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich

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