OPSEU Local 245 VP Presented with Barney Banovac United Way Social Activist Award
At the 2010 Labour and Community Activists Awards Night hosted by the Oakville District and Labour Council, our own Local 245 Vice Presidant Mary Cator was presented with the Barney Banovac United Way Social Activist Award.
Ontario Health Coalition
- The Pulse Update
Coalition Calls for Significant Changes to New Retirement Homes Act
Retirement Homes Self-Regulation and Too Broad Allowances for Restraining Elderly Dangerous and Not in the Public Interest.
The provincial government has introduced a new Retirement Homes Act. The Ontario Health Coalition presented our submission regarding this new Act to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Monday this week. This is a committee of the legislature that will be considering proposed amendments to the legislation before it goes back to the legislature for third and final reading and passage. Interested groups and individuals have until Friday to send in written feedback. You can send your written submission to the committee at:
Katch Koch, Committee Clerk
Room 1405 Whitney Block1405
Toronto ON M7A 1A2
The Health Coalition, while applauding the provincial government for bringing in new legislation to govern retirement homes, is deeply concerned about significant portions of the legislation. We support the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly's (ACE's) recommendation that the government take this legislation back and think about the approach. The retirement homes industry is dominated by multinational for-profit chains and its behaviour impacts on thousands of seniors who live in the homes. In Ontario, there have been a number of retirement home fires in which residents have died. Other residents have died from inadequate care. There have been high-profile stories, court cases and coroner's inquests detailing the problems that have contributed to these tragedies. It is completely inappropriate that these facilities be self-regulating. It is important, that when establishing this new Act, the government takes the opportunity to take into account the input it has received from public interest groups and seniors' advocates and heed the warnings.
The Ontario Health Coalition submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, presented on Monday May 10 is attached here and will also be available on our website today.
Among the major concerns:
- The legislation does not limit the care functions that retirement homes can do. In fact, the legislation does not clearly define what a retirement home is. The size and the care functions of the homes are left to regulation. The clear definition is a core element that must be in the legislation. Otherwise, retirement homes can easily become (and are becoming) de facto long term care homes with less legislative and regulatory requirements. In the worst case, they could become a second tier of private for-profit lesser-regulated long term care homes or chronic care hospitals.
- We are hearing that hospitals in Southwestern Ontario, Niagara, Hamilton, Peterborough and the Ottawa area are moving patients with heavy care needs into retirement homes, sometimes with funding agreements from the LHINs/CCACs to publicly fund the homes. It is very doubtful that the patients and their families are fully informed of the nature of these homes (private, for-profit and unregulated) and the fact that they have no care standards. One 92-year old woman was moved from an Ottawa hospital into a retirement home while waiting for a long term care bed. The home could not provide for her heavy care needs. She ended up back in the emergency department of the hospital critically dehydrated and she died a short time later. This tragic experience should serve to underline the fact that retirement homes are not an alternative long term care home for patients that require 24/7 nursing and personal support. They have none of the requirements of long term care homes or hospitals in terms of the built environment, staffing levels, presence of medical staff, roles for directors of care, programs, training, care requirements and regulatory regimes. This legislation does not limit their role to clarify that they should not be used as de facto long term care homes or even private for-profit chronic care hospitals.
- The legislation creates an "Authority" with a Registrar to oversee licensing and inspections. The Authority has no membership, just a board of directors without any limits on their terms. Cabinet would appoint a minority of the board and the rest would be self-appointing after the initial board. This Authority would be dominated by the industry and would comprise industry self-regulation; something the industry has already demonstrated it is not capable of doing. It is not clear what Ministry would have carriage of this legislation. We recommend that the carriage of the legislation should be with a ministry (not Health and Long Term Care, to underline the fact that these ought not to be a second tier of lesser regulated long term care homes) with the capacity to oversee supportive housing appropriately, such as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. This would also provide for better integration between this legislation and the Residential Tenancies Act that also applies to Retirement Homes.
- The legislation allows for secure units and long-term use of restraints on residents without adequate rights advice and without a high enough bar to prohibit inappropriate detention of residents. We adamantly oppose such an approach as a violation of the most basic rights of a person not to be detained or incarcerated without just cause and due process. Retirement homes should not be seen as the type of facilities that have any ability to lock up and restrain residents. The common law duty to protect from immediate harm through short term restraining is the only allowance of restraints that should be allowed in this sector. Retirement homes do not have the oversight, regulatory regime, inspections, built environment, staffing, training, nor the confidence of public interest advocates to take on such a serious role. In any case, any person who is restrained they should be given a rights advisor right away without exception, there must be a higher authority involved (such as the Consent Capacity Board), and the Health Care Consent Act must apply.
There are a number of other serious issues. Please see the full submission attached.
This item posted on behalf of:
Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 305
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
Bill 21, An Act to regulate retirement homes
The Standing Committee on Social Policy will meet to consider Bill 21, An Act to regulate retirement homes.
The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto on Monday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 11, 2010.
Interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation on Bill 21 should contact the Committee Clerk by 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 6, 2010.
Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the Bill may send written submissions to the Committee Clerk at the address below by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 14, 2010.
An electronic version of the Bill is available on the Legislative Assembly website at: www.ontla.on.ca
Shafiq Qaadri, MPP,
Katch Koch, Clerk/Greffier
Room 1405, Whitney Block/Bureau 1405, édifice Whitney
Queen’s Park, Toronto ON M7A 1A2
Telephone/Téléphone: (416) 325-3526
Facsimile/Télécopieur: (416) 325-3505
TTY/ATS : (416) 325-3538
This item posted on behalf of:
Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 305
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
The Ontario Government - 13% sales tax this summer
A notice from Ian Fleming of the Oakville and Districy Labour Council
Please read below - it will effect all of us! ... and then let your MPP and the Premier know how you feel about more tax in Ontario!
This summer (2010) the Ontario Government is set to put into force its new harmonized GST/PST sales tax which will apply a 13% sales tax to everything we purchase.
Things That Were Not Subject To The Current 8% PST Will Be Now Taxed
As a result, things that were not previously taxed under the current Ontario Provincial Sales Tax (PST) will be taxed at 8%.
The new 13% tax will therefore apply to things like your internet bill, electric bill, your gas bill, your water bill, condominium fees, insurance premiums, and every other good and service you purchase. There are almost no exemptions.
The current Ontario PST tax does not apply to services, nor does it apply to the purchase of certain goods. The new 13% tax will therefore extend the old 8% PST tax rate to the purchase of all goods and all services.
The New 13% Tax Will Apply To The Purchase of All New Homes
The new harmonized GST/PST will also apply to all purchases of all new homes. If a person were to purchase a new $1 million dollar home in Toronto , they would have to pay roughly $200,000 in taxes as a result of the Ontario land transfer tax, the new city of Toronto land transfer tax, and the new harmonized 13% GST/PST.
Think about that and what that would do to real estate values in Toronto.
It will cause property values to fall and kill the new home construction industry and the jobs it creates.
And it won't be long before you'll hear our elected representatives telling us that, because of the harm that has been inflicted to the new home construction industry by the new 13% tax, it would be "fair" to extend the new 13% tax to sales of existing homes.
The New 13% Tax Is An Assault On Your Primary Residence
Canadians have had two things that they have always been able to count on as being tax free - things that they could use to save money and accumulate wealth. They are your: (a) primary home; and (b) RRSP. That's it.
The extension of the new 13% GST/PST to homes is simply a tax assault by the government on your primary home. They want to tax your primary home and you will suffer because of it.
Why? Because if a purchaser has to pay almost $200,000 in taxes to buy your $1 million dollar home, the purchaser is going to pay less to you for your home. The purchaser will reduce the amount he or she is willing to pay to you in order to pay all the taxes.
The New 13% Tax Will Effectively Raise Your Income Taxes
Currently, the combined Federal/Ontario income tax rates are roughly 25% on the first $20,000 of taxable income, 42% on the next $40,000 of taxable income, and 46.5% on each dollar of taxable income over $60,000. On top of that you have to add the "Fair Share Health Tax" of up to $1,000 each of us has to pay.
If the Ontario Government gets away with implementing their new harmonized GST/PST sales tax of 13%, the top effective income tax rates in Ontario will be as follows (since you can't spend any of your tax paid dollars without paying the new harmonized 13% GST/PST tax):
38% on the first $20,000
53% on the next $40,000
59.5% on every dollar over $60,000
On top of that, you have to pay your Ontario Fair Share Health Tax, your city realty taxes, your city garbage fees, your city water fees, your city street parking permit fees, your annual Ontario and new city of Toronto vehicle license plate fees, your Ontario land transfer tax, your new city of Toronto land transfer tax, your gasoline taxes, your liquor taxes, your air departure taxes, your entertainment taxes, and so on.
OF ALL THE MONEY YOU WORKED HARD TO EARN, WHAT PERCENTAGE ARE YOU REALLY KEEPING FOR YOUR OWN USE? 25%? 20%? 10%?
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - FIGHT BACK
THIS HAS GOT TO STOP HERE OR WE WILL ALL SOON BE WORKING FULL TIME FOR THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT IN ONTARIO .
YOU CAN ALREADY SEE HOW ARE LIFESTYLES ARE DECLINING BECAUSE OF THE ENORMOUS TAX LOAD WE BEAR.
AS A RESULT, I URGE YOU TO TAKE THIS ISSUE SERIOUSLY AND TO FILL AND AND SIGN THE PETITION AT www.unfairtaxgrab.com AGAINST THE NEW HARMONIZED GST/PST TAX SET OUT BELOW.
I WOULD ALSO ASK YOU TO SEND THIS E-MAIL ON TO OTHERS THAT YOU KNOW AND ASK THEM TO DO THE SAME.
IF WE DON'T WORK TOGETHER ON THIS ISSUE THE NEW HARMONIZED 13% SALES TAX WILL BECOME A REALITY NEXT SUMMER..
To sign a petition go to www.unfairtaxgrab.com
Thousands say "no" to the HST
Dalton McGuinty claims "no one is complaining" about his unfair tax grab. You proved him wrong this week.. On Wednesday we sent out a request asking you to send a message to the McGuinty Government about the HST. Almost instantly our email box began to fill. By the end of the day we'd received nearly 2,000 messages.
New Democrat Members of Provincial Parliament did their best to read them into the record in the Legislature, but they simply ran out of time. The good news is: there are more debates to come and we'll be sending you details about how to keep up the fight against this unfair tax grab. In the meantime, you can read a transcript of the debate here.
Together we can stop the HST. PS - Urge your friends, family and other concerned citizens to sign the petition at www.unfairtaxgrab.com.
Important Message to OPSEU 245 Members:
Staff and students are being requested to indicate if they have 'flu like symptoms' when they call in sick or caring for a family member. This is the only type of illness that is being tracked in PeopleSoft for reporting purposes. Absentee reporters (and their designated backups) are the only staff members that have access to this information and they are restricted to seeing THEIR transactions. HR is the other group that has access to identify individuals reporting flu like symptoms. Other members within Sheridan (ie executive ) have access to summarized reports which do not identify individuals. Any reporting outside Sheridan would be from information in the summarized reports. HR and the pandemic committee have confirmed that this conforms with federal and provincial privacy regulations. Sheridan is also taking the stand 'do not ask me if __________ (specific teacher / staff / student / co-worker) is absent due to flu like symptoms or for other reasons because I can not and will not tell you that information' thus further ensuring their privacy.
For the latest Sheridan Pandemic Planning information please go to Sheridan's Pandemic Planning Web Site.
For information on H1N1 and Government resources use the links below:
I hope this helps to alleviate your concerns around privacy of individuals as we try to provide enough information to executive so they can make determinations of the impact of H1N1 on Sheridan operations.
VP Health and Safety