CanAge notes serious gaps in newly announced Quebec budget

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TORONTO, March 26, 2021. CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization, is raising concerns that Quebec’s 2021 budget falls short of necessary investments to protect older people in the province—most notably in the urgent areas of vaccination against preventable illness and a formalized emergency response plan for vulnerable seniors in CHSLDs. The advocacy group, which made a pre-budget submission outlining a clear set of actions to safeguard aging Québécois, supports the recommendations made by FADOQ: the province’s official body representing seniors.

“Yesterday’s budget made a few important commitments in supporting family caregivers and improving quality of care for people aging in both CHSLDs and in place at home, but it simply doesn’t go far enough,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CanAge President, and CEO. “CanAge supports FADOQ in their budget recommendations, which clearly outline the full scope of what’s needed to truly protect older people in the province.”

“The investment to bring high-speed Internet to the entire province will be particularly helpful for seniors in rural areas, and will be a useful tool to combat social isolation.”

Ms. Tamblyn Watts is available to comment in both French and English.

CanAge’s pre-budget submission leverages policy recommendations made in the organization’s comprehensive policy platform, ‘VOICES of Canada’s Seniors: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada’, released last year. The document presents over 130 evidence-based solutions to advance the rights and well-being of older Canadians Following is a summary of recommendations made in CanAge’s submission and their subsequent representation in the 2021 Quebec budget:

 

CanAge Request Included in the Budget?
Increase funding for long-term care to address challenges related to outbreaks, infection control management, and inadequate resident care.
Partially

$97.3 million to “enhance the organizational structure for services to seniors

$70 million for more than 900 new beds and residential spaces

Financial assistance to help bring private seniors’ homes up to standard, refunding 20-80% of eligible expenses depending on size


Raise and amend the Seniors Assistance Tax Credit according to FADOQ’s recommendations. Make this tax credit refundable.


Yes

Increase in tax credit for non-autonomous seniors making under $60,135 per year

For autonomous seniors, a higher tax credit for those on lower income, and steeper reduction rate (7% versus 3%) for those making more than $100,000 a year, with no benefit for those making more than $194,344 a year

Increased tax credit for seniors living in an apartment building, with maximum rent increasing from $600 to $1200, and given automatically based on income taxes on the $600 amount



Fund immediate reimbursement for actual uncovered COVID-19 related costs to CHSLD. Work with the Federal government to cover these costs as appropriate


Partially

COVID-19 subsidies to private seniors’ residences to be gradually withdrawn over five years after the end of the pandemic — a cost of $335.8 million over five years

Investing in increasing the quantity and quality of home care, so that it is equal throughout Quebec, that it will not depend on one’s postal code, or their ability to pay privately. Establish home care as the primary provincial model of care.


Yes

$150 million to improve home care services

Increase in refundable tax credit for home services, from 35% to 40%, gradually over five years (cost of $268.5 million

Automatic minimum payment of refundable tax credit for home-support services for seniors

$95 million over five years to improve quality of life for informal caregivers

Increase and modify the tax credit for caring for a senior in accordance with the recommendations of FADOQ. Make this a refundable tax credit.



Yes

Automatic minimum payment of refundable tax credit for home-support services for seniors


Fund and create a Provincial Seniors’ Emergency Response Plan (“PSERP”), with specific sub-plans for people in CLHSD and congregate care settings, community settings and rural and remote regions.
Partially

$1.255 billion over two years to expand high-speed internet to the entire province


Create a provincial integrated health and human resources aged-care staffing strategy to meet the care needs of the growing seniors’ population while upholding the rights and needs of overworked care providers in CHSLD and the community.Partially

$1.8 billion over five years to add 10,000 new patient-care attendants in CHSLDs and $1.2 billion to upgrade existing ones to full time
Invest in appropriate staffing ratios both in terms of the number of staff per resident, as well as a greater mix of expertise in staffing. Fund an integrated holistic care team. Expand funding for staff beyond nurses and orderlies to include allied health professionals and in-home physician care.Partially

$1.8 billion over five years to add 10,000 new patient-care attendants in CHSLDs

$1.2 billion to upgrade existing ones to full time
Fund programs for best in class vaccines for all seniors (65 and over) and also those who are immunodeficient.No
Create and fund a vaccination program against shingles, the best in its class, to reach all people 50 years and older.No
Finance and create a Provincial Emergency Response Plan for Seniors (PERPS), specifically for residents of long-term care homes, community settings, and rural and remote areas. No


CanAge recently published a groundbreaking report, Adult Vaccination in Canada: A Cross-Country Report Card, which assigned the Quebec Government a low grade of D- on the province’s immunization efforts in protecting older people from preventable illnesses like the flu, shingles, and pneumonia. The report showed critical gaps in vaccines in the areas of funding, access and public awareness.

CanAge is Canada’s national seniors advocacy organization that works to advance the rights and well-being of Canadians as we age. We work collaboratively with corporations, nonprofits, the media, and governments to amplify seniors’ issues, influence policy and effect change. To learn more, visit www.canage.ca.

For more information or to book an interview:
Lisa Hartford
Communications Director
CanAge
[email protected] or call 647.466.8053

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