May 13th, 2022
May 13th, 2022
CHATHAM-KENT – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will help seniors live at home for years longer by letting them defer property taxes, putting about $375 back in their pockets every month — and investing $1 billion to make sure home care is there to support them.
“Home is the happiest, healthiest place for our parents and grandparents. We can help them avoid hospitals and long-term care. We can give our loved ones a better quality of life as they age — in their own neighbourhood, living on their own terms,” said Horwath.
“Together, let’s make sure seniors have the money and the help they need to live at home for years longer. We’ll fix home care so support is there when people need it. And we’ll help seniors on a fixed income hold onto more of their money. With our plan, hundreds of dollars will stay in their pocket every month to help with groceries, gas and living a more full life.”
The NDP will make it safe and affordable for seniors to live at home longer by:
The Ontario Community Support Association reports that 18,000 people living in long-term care in 2019 could have been at home with better home care, and the Ontario Hospital Association reported 750,000 patient days where someone was trapped in a hospital bed while waiting for home or long-term care. Families frequently report that a loved ones ended up in a facility because home care failed them — with last-minute cancellations, no-shows, and rushed PSWs that don’t have enough time to deliver what’s needed.
Previous Liberal and Conservative governments broke home care by privatizing it — leaving an unaccountable patchwork that can let people down, while the company still gets paid. Doug Ford is privatizing Ontario’s home care system further, even handing over the development of care plans to for-profit corporations who also provide the care — a scheme that can easily be gamed by Ford’s buddies, while seniors pay the price.
Seniors Property Tax Deferral
Andrea Horwath and the NDP will allow seniors who own their home to defer property taxes until their house is sold. The province will finance the deferral, so municipalities don’t see their tax bases reduced. Evidence from a similar program in British Columbia shows that seniors will maintain substantial equity in their homes, ensuring that they can pass something along to their kids and grandkids.
$1 billion bump for home care
Andrea Horwath and the NDP will make a sustainable investment of $1 billion over four years into better care and better living, with a direct investment of $235 million in the first year. The NDP will invest to expand the non-profit system, phasing out the for-profit patchwork
Seniors Home Safety Grant
The Ontario NDP will transition the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit to a Seniors’ Home Safety Grant Program, where up to $5,000 in eligible expenses are covered, eligible expenses for the program will remain the same, and grants will be processed through the same single-window entity we are creating for the Home Retrofit Program and will cover the cost of handrails, stair lifts, and other modifications to make homes safer for seniors.
The Ontario NDP recognizes the invaluable role that family caregivers play, and all the ways they help with their time and money. That is why we will create a provincial Caregiver Benefit Program that provides direct support to family caregivers to expand on existing federal tax credit programs. This program would provide $400 a month to informal caregivers of elderly, frail, or infirm loved ones. After one year, the program will be evaluated to determine the most appropriate rate.
New Democrats will legislate a new independent office of the Seniors’ Advocate to safeguard the interests of elderly Ontarians.
Andrea Horwath and the NDP will scrap Bill 124. Ontario will undertake a mission to train, recruit retain and return health care workers, adding 10,000 PSWs and 30,000 nurses. With Horwath, PSWs will get a $5 raise over pre-pandemic wages, and their jobs will become full-time, well-paid careers instead of part-time gigs.
The NDP will prioritize aligning home care services to communities’ needs, creating culturally appropriate resources and training for home and community care programs and developing a provincial jobs-matching program to attract and match PSWs and other home care workers to communities where they have shared cultural and linguistic knowledge.