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Quebec parties promise more spending for seniors’ care

Tue, Sep 4: Quebec party leaders on the campaign trail have revealed parts of their platforms to better the lives of seniors across the province. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, many seniors are hesitant to believe these campaign promises.

Quebec’s campaigning political parties have revealed parts of their platforms to better the lives of seniors.

Some of the promised measures include a plan from the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to build new modern seniors homes, the Liberals’ promise to hire more orderlies in CHSLDs and a proposal from the Parti Québécois (PQ) to give family caregivers eight hours of rest a week.

However, some seniors are hesitant to believe these promises.

READ MORE: Which party deserves the title of most ‘progressive’ in Quebec politics?

Some in Thetford Mines say the government has not been doing enough for Quebec’s seniors.

“They’ve been doing a lot of talking, but not enough doing,” said Claude Veilleux.

“I have no faith in the government because they don’t keep their promises,” added Nelson Breton.

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Earlier that morning, close by, the CAQ made its latest campaign announcement outside a Thetford Mines seniors’ home.

“It’s unacceptable the way we treat our elders (in seniors’ homes),” CAQ leader François Legault said.

READ MORE: CAQ leader announces ‘party’s most important healthcare commitment’

Legault has already promised to build new modern seniors’ homes with bigger rooms and air conditioning. On Tuesday, he promised to help caregivers by more than doubling their tax credits.

“They are at about 1,100$ per person, we want to increase that to $2,500,” he said. Legault also estimates that 1.6 million Quebecers are daily caregivers to a family member.

The idea has received mixed reviews from some seniors.

“It’s more than a good idea,” Breton said, explaining that he thinks people who take care of their loved ones deserve to be compensated.

Veilleux said that if people have children who can take care of them, more tax credits are good for those families, “But if they don’t, then what’s going to happen? They need more orderlies or nurses, and there aren’t enough nurses.”

READ MORE: 9 in 10 seniors plan to stay in their homes while retired — that’s a problem for new homebuyers

Both the CAQ and the Liberals say they will increase orderlies’ salaries to attract more staff in long-term care facilities. The Liberals add that they will also turn to immigration to attract much needed employees.

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“A lot of them already come from immigration,” said Liberal leader Philippe Couillard during a campaign stop Thursday last week.

“If you visit the large hospitals in Montreal, you will find in certain shifts, almost the totality of orderlies on a shift come from elsewhere in the world, so it’s happening and we need to continue doing this.”

It appears the three main political parties have gotten the message about increasing spending on seniors’ care. All three parties have promised to increase investment in home care, with the PQ promising $500 million dollars over five years, and the Liberals promising to make their own announcement soon.