By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Feb. 24 online meeting of Haliburton County council.
Council passed a resolution providing support in principle for the activities of the Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition, receiving a presentation from co-chairs Bonnie Roe and Mike Perry.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of the long-term care system, Roe told councillors the system has been broken for decades.
“COVID-19 has shone a light on this crisis due to the horrific deaths, but we can’t kid ourselves, that this has been happening for decades, several decades,” Roe said of the circumstances in which residents of long-term care facilities live.
The coalition recently passed a declaration calling on the provincial and federal governments to improve the long-term care system. Recommended changes include putting long-term care under the Canada Health Act to ensure public funding and apply national standards; immediately increase staffing to ensure at least four hours of care per resident per day; raising wages and improving workloads and working conditions for frontline workers; increasing infection prevention; enhancing specialized expertise in long-term care leadership; and reinstating thorough annual resident quality inspections of all long-term care homes.
Haliburton County Warden Liz Danielsen noted that the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, to which the county belongs, has identified long-term care as one of its top priorities.
“The wardens’ caucus is definitely supportive of the four hours of care, as minimum care,” Danielsen said.
County supports arts centre fundraising
Councillors approved a letter of support for grant funding applications by the Haliburton Highlands Performing Arts Centre Foundation after hearing a presentation from foundation president Dan Manley.
The foundation’s goal is the construction of a modern arts centre in the Haliburton Highlands that would include an acoustically engineered performance space large enough to house an orchestra, a secondary theatre for smaller events, acoustically isolated rehearsal spaces, a centralized box office for performing arts events, and a lobby where alcoholic beverages could be served.
It is currently seeking funding to perform a feasibility study, that study expected to cost $75,000.