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Ottawa announces $221M for Quebec’s long-term care homes

Residents watch television at CHSLD Rose-de-Lima seniors residence Friday, March 12, 2021 in Laval, Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

The federal government is injecting more than $221 million to help Quebec long-term care homes improve the prevention and control of infections.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the funding is the result of an agreement with Quebec and is part of the $1 billion set aside in the federal government’s 2020 fall economic statement for provinces and territories to improve long-term care.

Duclos was not joined by any provincial government representatives as he made the announcement Monday in Montreal.

Read more: Quebec presents plan to ‘overhaul’ long-term care for seniors

He said the money is intended for improvements to ventilation, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and hiring and training more staff to prevent the spread of diseases.

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Quebec’s long-term care homes were particularly hard-hit at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost 4,000 deaths between March 2020 and June 2020, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the deaths reported in the province during the first wave.

Duclos declined to comment on when his government would be prepared to discuss with the provinces and territories their long-standing demand to increase federal transfer payments for health care to cover 35 per cent of their costs, up from the current 22 per cent.

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