Protestors gather outside MPP Sam Oosterhoff's office. SUE HOTTE

The Ontario Health Coalition, a healthcare advocacy group that says it represents the interests of long-term care residents, seniors’ and retirees, as well as healthcare professionals, staged a protest outside the Beamsville office of MPP Sam Oosterhoff on Monday, Oct. 2, the opening day of the Ontario Legislature.

It was one of a coordinated series of protests across the province as the Coalition seeks to lobby legislative support for improved care and staffing levels in LTC homes, including four hours of daily care per resident; increased inspections and fines for non-compliance; repealing an act shielding LTC operators from lawsuits for negligence; and the end of for-profit care homes.

Reached for comment, Oosterhoff told the Voice that the Ford government has taken “serious action to protect and assist our seniors in long term care, including building 30,000 long term care beds across the province, with hundreds here in Niagara.”

Oosterhoff said that Ford has also committed to hiring “thousands of new PSWs and nurses,” to ensure four hours of care for every resident—a doubling of the requirement that was in place when the government took office. “Moreover, with the expansion of community paramedicine for seniors and the Seniors Home Safety tax credit, we are working to expand supports for seniors and Niagara, as well as everywhere across the province.”