Armed forces casualties of the Afghan war, Snowbirds team members, Armed Forces members who died in the crash of the Sikorsky Cyclone helicopter, all these people get state funerals, complete with motorcades. Meanwhile, no such public tributes, photo montages, biographies nor hymns were organized or published to commemorate the 53 seniors who have died from COVID-19 at Northwood Manor. This is no coincidence, writes Tony Seed.
News release: Contract negotiations between health care workers and Northwood long-term care facility have come to a halt due to a lack of a bargaining mandate by the Nova Scotia government, says Unifor.
Rather than scolding , the premier should take a hard look at the state of the province, and consider the damage done by decades of deadly penny pinching austerity and a paralyzing fear of offending employers.
The recently tabled 2021-22 Provincial Budget seems to provide substantial and long overdue new funding for Long-Term Care, but it still fails to present a concerted plan of action on the real crisis in LTC in Nova Scotia in the short-term, and certainly, for the longer-term. An op-ed by Ian Johnson and Chris Parsons on behalf of Nova Scotians for Long-term Care Reform.
Judy Haiven: “Now McNeil and Dr Strang are screwing down the lid on long term care facilities so that Covid cannot creep in, but neither can the joy of living and the celebration of long lives lived. Relatives and long term care residents are demanding a loosening of restrictions and a respect that, so far, this government has not paid them.”
Tony Seed on the need for a full public inquiry into the Northwood deaths: “Governments give themselves arbitrary discretionary power to make all the decisions including who has the right to speak and be heard, and are negating the concerns, the experience, and the voice of the frontline workers who are protecting the people during this pandemic. No problem that society is facing can be solved in this way.”
Media release; Due to the secretive nature of the Northwood review, NSGEU President Jason MacLean has decided to not take part in the in the process.
The government’s proposed review of 53 Northwood deaths is designed to prevent workers, patients and their families, and Nova Scotians at large from speaking out and being heard publicly
The Nova Scotia Health Coalition is calling for Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness, to commit now to releasing the full report of the Northwood Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Quality-Improvement Committee to the public.
“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.”