The Ontario government is investing $933 million in 80 new long-term care projects, which will lead to thousands of additional new and upgraded long-term care spaces across the province. Today’s announcement moves the government a step closer to fulfilling its commitment to add 30,000 much-needed long-term care spaces over ten years.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, our Government has made it clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect our long-term care residents,” Premier Doug Ford said. “These historic investments will provide our seniors with the safe and modern living spaces they deserve, after decades of neglect and underinvestment by previous governments.”
As of December 2020, more than 40,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed. Ontario is investing $933 million in these projects, on top of the $1.75 billion already earmarked for the delivery of 30,000 new spaces over ten years. With this new allocation, Ontario now has 20,161 new and 15,918 redevelopment spaces in the development pipeline.
Chartwell – Markham is being allocated 213 new spaces and 43 upgraded spaces. The project will result in a 256-bed home through the construction of a new building in Markham. Mon Sheong Long-Term Care (Markham) has been allocated 160 new spaces to create a net new home through the construction of a new building in Markham as part of a campus of care. Schlegel Villages in Stouffville is being allocated 192 new spaces.
“The number of people in Markham-Stouffville who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade,” MPP Paul Calandra said. “Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for them.”
“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”
In addition to modernizing the long-term care sector, these projects will add 7,510 new spaces and upgrade 4,197 spaces, helping to reduce waitlists and end hallway medicine.
“While COVID-19 threatens us all, it is the residents and staff in our long-term care homes who have suffered the most,” Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said. “Ontario’s 2021 Budget will build on our commitment to protect our seniors and provide the highest quality of care for loved ones when and where they need it. That includes the creation of new and upgraded long-term care spaces. These most recent allocations will result in a development pipeline of 20,161 new spaces — representing more than two thirds of the government’s commitment to build 30,000 new beds by 2028 — as well as 15,918 upgraded spaces.”
Criteria for selecting the projects being announced today included:
- Upgrading older homes in response to lessons learned around improved Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures, particularly the elimination of three and four-bed rooms;
- Adding spaces to areas where there is high need;
- Addressing the growing needs of diverse groups, including Francophone and Indigenous communities; and/or,
- Promoting campuses of care to better address the specialized care needs of residents.
Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. On March 24, the government will release the 2021 Ontario Budget. It will focus on protecting people’s health, with a plan to defeat COVID-19, and support for people and jobs.
Photo (L-R): MPP Paul Calandra, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton.