PM links new funding for provincial long term care to national standards

Additional money to help provinces run long term care homes will be available to provinces that meet national standards, which are yet to be developed.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hinting that provinces that don't want to work with Ottawa to improve standards in long-term care homes won't get federal funding.

In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press today, Trudeau says his government will "happily partner" with provinces that want to improve standards and will help them with the costs of doing so.

He says provinces that don't choose to take the federal government up on that offer will have to explain to their residents why they are not providing the highest level of care to seniors in long-term care facilities.

The pandemic has exposed deplorable conditions in some long-term care homes, whose residents account for more than 80 per cent of the deaths in Canada from COVID-19.

Delivery of health care is a provincial jurisdiction and some premiers, particularly Quebec's Francois Legault, have strenuously objected to idea of the federal government setting national standards for long-term care facilities.

But Trudeau says ensuring the dignity and safety of seniors is not a matter of jurisdiction.

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