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Smith announces staff increases at Bay of Quinte long-term care homes

A veritable who’s-who in of Quinte area politicians were in attendance for Wednesday’s announcement. (Left to right) Belleville Councillor Sean Kelly, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Minister of Long-Term Care Rod Phillips, Mayor of Prince Edward County Steve Ferguson and Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison. Photo by Jacob Willis, QNet News

By Jacob Willis [1]

BELLEVILLE – Prominent political figures in the Bay of Quinte met in front of Hastings Manor Wednesday for the announcement of a $4.9 billion provincial investment in long-term care homes across Ontario.

Over the next five years, the funding will go towards extra staff to increase the number of hours of care each resident receives on a daily basis.

This year, over $3.2 million of this funding will go to long-term care homes in the Quinte region. The most funding will go towards Hastings Manor – by 2025, the facility will receive just over $5.5 million annually.

These funds are required to achieve a standard of three hours of daily direct care per resident by March 2022, and four hours by 2025. 

“It’s a very welcome announcement,” Prince Edward County mayor Steve Ferguson told QNet News. “The province has been pressed by all of our communities to devote this money. It means we can provide better service to the people that reside here.”

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“(We have a) very high seniors population that deserves the best facilities that we can provide for them. This is going to go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.” 

Bay of Quinte M.P.P. Todd Smith was the main speaker at the event, lauding his government’s efforts to “finally” start fixing the “broken” long-term care system in Ontario.

Bay of Quinte M.P.P. Todd Smith speaks in front of an audience of Hastings Manor long-term care residents. Photo courtesy of Adam Bramburger

“These investments will ensure that residents will receive additional time and attention to their individual care needs,” Smith said. “They also provide stable funding for long-term care operators to hire trained staff to provide high-quality care and provide additional good-paying jobs within our community.”

This announcement was welcome news to Hastings Manor administrator Debbie Rowlands.

“I’m speechless,” Rowlands said. “Trust me, this money will be well spent.”