Posted on Jan 25, 2021
NDP Seniors and Housing Critic Lori Sigurdson issued the following statement in response to reaching the grim milestone 1,000 deaths in Alberta due to COVID-19 among residents and staff in long-term care and designated supported living:
“I am deeply saddened that 1,000 lives have been lost due to COVID-19 in continuing care. These are not only statistics, these are human lives. My heart and deepest condolences go to all the Albertans who have lost loved ones. At this tragic milestone, we must do better. These deaths are preventable and I am calling on Premier Kenney to take the actions we have proposed to protect Alberta seniors during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and amplified many preexisting problems in continuing care. There are not enough staff to adequately meet residents’ needs. Alberta continues to inadequately compensate staff and does not prioritise or invest enough in providing education to expand staffing. Additionally, the dangers of private healthcare are more apparent than ever. Seeing private facilities and corporations increase payouts in dividends to their shareholders, instead of supporting residents and staff is simply not acceptable.
“Today is a sad day. Many of these deaths were preventable. It is long overdue, that the UCP act to ensure seniors living in continuing care are safe and well cared for.”