May 19th, 2023

NDP: Fords rejection of Older Adult Advocate a slap in face to seniors

QUEEN’S PARK- Yesterday, the Ford Conservatives voted down Bill 101, An Act to Establish the Advocate for Older Adults. Bill 101 was co-sponsored by NDP MPPs Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay-Superior North) and Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre).

The bill sets out to create an Advocate to make recommendations to the government and service providers on areas such as healthcare, housing, income support, personal support, and accessibility support.

MPP Lise Vaugeois stated, “ I am extremely disappointed the government said no to seniors by saying no to Bill 101. Creating an Advocate for Older Adults would have helped countless seniors in our province. Unfortunately, there are several systemic failures in our province that don’t serve our elders well.

Only an Independent, non-partisan Advocate could offer constructive solutions and advice on how seniors could be better served. Other provinces have similar seniors' advocates. In BC, the Seniors Advocate acted immediately to get staff to work at only one LTC facility at a time, thus reducing the transmission of covid drastically.”

MPP Laura Mae Lindo stated, “It is bewildering that the Ford Conservatives supported this Bill last session, and now, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the need for an independent body to provide guidance and support to this government so we can finally ensure older adults have what they need to thrive, they said no.

The housing crisis disproportionately impacts older adults - elders who are facing evictions and homelessness at staggering rates. Their traumatic experiences with long-term care homes have been well documented. The Official Opposition handed them a golden opportunity to act proactively during such uncertain times, and they said no.

Ford’s Conservatives are ignoring various concerns brought forward by older adults and advocacy organizations across Ontario that have been shouting from the rooftops that older adults need our help. This sends a clear message to everyone across this province that they simply do not care about older adults. And that is utterly shameful.”

Several advocates for older adults endorsed Bill 101, including:

  • The Alzheimer Society of Ontario
  • Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario
  • Care Watch Ontario
  • Accessible Housing Network Access to Seniors and Disabled Advocacy Group


Maria Sardelis, founder of Access to Seniors and Disabled Group:

“Time and time again, the Ford Government can be counted on to demonstrate that the lives of seniors and persons with disabilities do not matter. The opposition shamefully accused MPP Lise Vaugeois of not knowing seniors are concerned about social isolation. And yet, Bill 7 isolates seniors by placing them in homes far away from their social and cultural connections. The irony is that right after the Bill was voted down; I was again contacted by another woman who was trespassed from seeing her parents in LTC. This is social isolation! This is what Bill 101, Advocate for Older Adults, would address. Calandra, you turned down enforcement of Motion 129-Voula’s law, saying that the Residents' Bill of Rights offered protection from trespass. Will you write the Elizabeth Centre and tell them the Residents Bill of Rights does not permit the barring of family and related senior isolation?”