The Royal Canadian Legion is demanding better and humane treatment for veterans and seniors in all long-term care centres in Canada, joining the outcry following a damning report about conditions in some southern Ontario centres, as observed by the military’s Joint Task Force.
"Many of our veterans are in long-term care, and to know that some of them are being mistreated and ignored is shameful,” says Thomas D. Irvine, Dominion President. “The fact that our governments have known for a long time that some of our most vulnerable citizens are living in deplorable conditions during their final years of life, is disgraceful. We need a systemic overhaul – and now.”
"Previous governments have failed to address this ongoing issue adequately and Canada now finds itself in a deadly quagmire," the legion declares. It took a pandemic to truly expose this multi-faceted crisis, says the legion, which expressed its outrage in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We have been shouting from the rooftops for many years,” says Dave Gordon, Chair, Veterans Services and Seniors Committee at Ontario Command. “In most cases if not all, many staff members at long-term care facilities are underpaid for the work they do.”
In an effort to help, the Legion’s Ontario Command itself has made millions of dollars in financial donations to Ontario long-term care homes over many years. Other Legion Commands and Branches have made contributions in many parts of the country as well.
“The time to act and end this intolerable situation, is now,” says Mr. Irvine. “After what they have done to help build the foundation of the society we enjoy, our Veterans and our Seniors deserve much better in their later years.”