Saskatchewan and the federal government have reached an agreement that will bring $32-million into the province to support long-term care.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Saskatoon Tuesday where he made multiple stops including St. Ann’s Senior Citizens’ Village and announced the increased funding coming to the province.
“As we recover from this pandemic, we must all continue to work together to improve care for our seniors,” Trudeau said. “It is clear that better conditions of work for caregivers lead directly to better conditions of care for residents.”
Trudeau said the investment is meant to improve care for seniors by increasing screening for staff, making dining areas safer and enhancing cleaning and housekeeping.
Saskatchewan Seniors Minister Everett Hindley said the funding will offset costs the province has incurred at care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s not really anything new in terms of where that money is going to be going,” said Hindley.
“What we will be using that money for is actually to offset some costs we’ve already occurred through the pandemic. Whether it’s the cohorting of staff in facilities because of the measures (or) infection prevention and control,” Hindley explained.
Trudeau said the $32 million coming to Saskatchewan is part of a $1-billion commitment made in the fall of 2020 to increase funding for long-term care facilities across the provinces.
“The federal government does have a responsibility to all Canadian citizens to make sure they are supported,” said Trudeau. “To make sure residents of long-term care homes right across the country aren’t just safe but thriving.”
Saskatchewan is the ninth province or territory to reach an agreement through a federal long-term care fund. British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and Northwest Territories have already signed on.
Trudeau said his government is working with the remaining regions to reach a deal.