Liberals withheld information about cuts to long-term care

November 4, 2016

For immediate release.

HALIFAX – After several requests over several months from the NDP and a Freedom of Information request, yesterday, the Liberal government finally released a document outlining the full extent of the cuts to nursing homes across the province.

A document tabled yesterday in the House shows the cuts are $1.5 million more than initially reported.  According to the document, cuts to nursing homes over two years total $8.2 million, with 77 per cent of the cuts made to non-profit nursing homes.

“After seeing these numbers, it is clear that the McNeil government has been trying to hide the true value of their cuts to nursing homes and other facilities,” said Dave Wilson, NDP Health Critic. “Nursing home staff and residents have spoken publicly about how these cuts are impacting food quality, recreational opportunities for seniors, and staffing levels. Instead of acknowledging these impacts, the Premier and Minister of Health have repeatedly tried to misrepresent the cuts.”

The NDP Caucus requested a breakdown of long-term care cuts by facility during budget estimates in April, in a written letter to the Minister, and through a Freedom of Information request. In July, the Caucus received a breakdown of the cuts by facility, but when these were publicized, nursing homes quickly contacted the NDP Caucus to say that the numbers were inaccurate.

In an attempt to access the accurate value of the cuts, Wilson wrote again to the Minister of Health and Wellness and the Caucus filed an appeal regarding the Freedom of Information request. In a letter dated October 3, 2016, the Minister of Health and Wellness Leo Glavine claimed the original numbers were “complete and accurate.” However, yesterday in the Legislature, Glavine tabled the actual list, which shows the government cut $1.5 million more than previously reported.

“Not only have Stephen McNeil and his government disrespected seniors and their families by cutting funding to nursing homes, but they have also disrespected seniors by being dishonest about it,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “The Liberal government should reverse the cuts to long-term care and apologize to residents of nursing homes.”

A full list of cuts to long-term care facilities is available here.

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881 or kaley.kennedy@novasocita.ca