June is Seniors’ Month in Ontario, and while every day is a good day to recognize and thank our seniors for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for us, the pandemic has given us a lot to think about.
COVID-19 has helped us appreciate our senior population more now than ever. They truly are a resource of experience from days gone by and they have a lot to teach us. And yet years of neglect and cronyism by successive governments has left our seniors vulnerable to what’s happening in Long Term Care homes. Privatization put a price on care when no profit was ever worth the dignity that has been taken away from many people.
OPSEU is on the front-lines of the fight for seniors’ rights and dignity. Putting people before profits is part of our DNA and now decision makers have proof that there are some things that just can’t be sold off.
We must take a long hard look at the crisis in long term care. Those who made the terrible choices in the past are now in the midst of their reckoning. But it goes beyond the current long-term care crisis. We must create a better future for our senior populations.
We appreciate the Ford government’s admission that seniors have faced the brunt of COVID-19. However words require action to back them up. We want to see measures that will fix the current problem and to establish preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
OPSEU looks forward to being invited to the table to discuss how workers can best provide top quality public services to the beloved seniors in this Province. Putting their wellbeing in the hands of private organizations will never accomplish that goal.
Happy Seniors’ Month to the people who have always been there for us. OPSEU is here for you!
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice President/Treasurer