“We were short-staffed to begin with. Now it is a disaster,” says a Halifax long term care worker employed at three separate group homes, reflecting on the first COVID-19 wave. “Of course, when someone feels sick, it is important that they stay home. But nobody is there to replace them. The care responsibilities are falling on fewer and fewer of us. Everyone calls us heroes, but we don’t have a choice. This is our job.”

Nova Scotia Federation of Labour President Danny Cavanagh wants protection for all workers – particularly in the long-term care sector – to have the broadest protection possible to report to authorities or the public if the conditions in facilities or for residents are unacceptable, unhealthy, unsafe, or otherwise inhumane.

The coronavirus crisis is an absolute disaster for women in so many ways—work, income, personal safety, housing, family life. Judy Haiven takes a closer look.

Gary Burrill: We stand in admiration before the steadfast and herculean efforts which continue to be made at Northwood in the battle against the virus. And we call, when the clouds clear and the time is fitting, for an inquiry into long-term care and the pandemic–an inquiry not in search of culpability or accusation, but of understanding and improvement.

Nova Scotia’s failure to adequately protect nursing home residents resulted in Canada’s third worst rate of death from COVID-19, writes Richard Starr, who wonders whether ageism is a factor in both government neglect of the long term care sector and how it’s being reported.

“When this is over, we cannot listen to those right-wing voices rally against the heroes of today.,” writes Danny Cavanagh. “Our health care system needs national standards, and increased funding from the federal government. It’s time to eliminate profit from all of health care including long term care, home care, residential care and group homes. All those segments of the system must be brought under the Canada Health Act.”