Manor replacements shouldn't be political props: Aylward
Stratford – Manor replacement projects in Tyne Valley and Montague shouldn't be used as political props by the MacLauchlan government, says Stratford-Kinlock MLA and Opposition Health Critic James Aylward.
“Announcing, delaying and re-announcing these manor replacements has been going on for years and it's become a habit for this government. Island seniors deserve better treatment than to have such a vital service as long-term care used as a political prop. This will be the second time in ten months that Riverview Manor has gone to tender so many people question how committed the MacLauchlan government really is to these projects," says Aylward.
First promised in 2009, the replacement of the 49 year old Riverview Manor has been delayed several times since and was previously tendered as recently as May 2016. Premier MacLauchlan himself re-announced the projects in April 2015 days before a provincial election was called. The current 48 bed manor in Montague and the 24 bed manor in Tyne Valley were to be replaced without any additional bed capacity being added at either location. Aylward noted that contrary to the government's current line of explanation of projected cost overruns, when the projects were delayed again in 2016 the reason given to communities for the delay was that cost sharing was being pursued with the federal government. No federal cost-sharing of manor replacements ever materialized.
”What's more disappointing than all the delays and political grandstanding is the lack of vision from this tired old government. We have an aging population with hundreds of people on waiting lists yet not a single extra bed is planned for these manor replacements when the demand for long-term care is growing. It just shows how out of touch this government has become when it comes to helping care for our parents and grandparents in communities across Prince Edward Island," said Aylward.
Aylward was also skeptical that new targeted federal funding for home care will be enough to help manage the growing demand for long-term care.