Veterans Seniors/Seniors Committee
Our committee has been very active attending meetings with V.A.C. and Ministry of Health officials, pursuing Veterans & Seniors concerns and related problems.
We are very disappointed with the Minister of Health, the Honourable George Smitherman, for reneging on his support for the establishment of an Ombudsman for all veterans and seniors in Ontario. In September 2004 when the media was focusing on issues related to care in long term care facilities, he publicly expressed his support for the establishment of an Ombudsman’s Office for Long Term Care.
We received a very positive response to our proposal for an Ombudsman for long term care, with over 90% of the letters received from Ontario members of parliament expressing their support. We met with Andre Marin, the Ontario Ombudsman, and he is strongly in favour of expanding his mandate to include oversight of long term care.
Despite this strong support from Ontario M.P.P.’s, the Ontario Ombudsman, Monique Smith’s “Commitment to Care” report and most importantly the letter from Ontario Seniors Secretariat Committee (12 seniors group representing over one million seniors), Mr. Smitherman has decided to renege on his support for the creation of an Ombudsman for long term care.
We cannot allow the province to abandon our seniors and their right to the protection provided under an Ombudsman.
We will continue our efforts until the mandate of the Ombudsman includes Long Term Care.
Ontario has an obligation to all seniors in Ontario and must implement its commitment as soon as possible.
Chairman, Veterans Services
and Seniors Committee