The “dignity of seniors” debated in Quebec elections | Elections Quebec 2022

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The “Dignity of Seniors” Debated in Quebec Elections | ÉQuebec Elections 2022

A new “Protector of Elders”? Another independent investigation into deaths in CHSLDs? The Parti Québécois and the Conservatives present their commitments.

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The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec Éric Duhaime and his team did not wear a mask during a press briefing organized in a residence for the elderly.

After the indignation and anger at the dehumanization of seniors during the pandemic, political parties are stepping up with their respective commitments in the hope of redressing a situation that is set to worsen with the aging of the population. The Parti Québécois defends the idea of ​​a new Protector of the Elderly when the Conservatives undertake to relaunch an independent investigation into deaths in CHSLDs.

More than 5,000 seniors have died in completely unacceptable situations in CHSLDs, denounced the leader of the Parti québécois (PQ) Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, during the election campaign in Jonquière where nurses have publicly demonstrated their exhaustion in recent months.

A Protector of Seniors, created on the model of the Public Protector, would be mandated to receive and investigate complaints relating to the treatment of seniors, proposed the PQ leader on Sunday morning. This independent ombudsman would do much more by also working preventively to inform the most vulnerable populations of their rights.

This proposal of the PQ was born from the observations and demands of groups involved with these communities, made a point of specifying Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, while inviting the other parties to be inspired by it.

At the heart of the battle: preventing abuses that too often go unmentioned and ensuring dignified living conditions for a marginalized population.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon maintains that his party, the PQ, is the only one to recognize the importance of working for the dignity of seniors.

Following the announcement, Conservative leader Éric Duhaime recognized the relevance of such a body intended to receive complaints of mistreatment, while marking his disagreement with the creation of more government bureaucracy, an impassable line of separation with conservative convictions, according to him.< /p>

He instead advocated the launch of a new investigation into deaths in CHSLDs, which would aim to elucidate certain blind spots left by coroner Géhane Kamel, in particular with regard to the transfer of patients from hospitals to CHSLDs during the pandemic.

We need to know why and how it happened to ensure that safeguards are installed between the institutions so that it does not happen again, justified the Conservative leader during a speech at a seniors' residence in Nicolet-Bécancour, in the Centre-du-Québec region.

“The goal is not to pinpoint a culprit at all costs, but not to repeat the mistakes made. »

— Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec

The pandemic has kept the grandchildren of the most vulnerable grandparents away, according to provincial health criteria.

Although opposed, the two parties also agree on the need to break the isolation of seniors.

At the PCQ, the approach targets retirement as late as possible by putting forward financial, socialization and mental health arguments. He promises to work to delay as much as possible the institutionalization of people linked to the loss of autonomy.

We want to give seniors the opportunity to be active, to move and work cognitively, to socialize, so often to have better mental health, to feel important and useful, argued Dr. Karim Elayoubi, candidate in Argenteuil. . It's good for both society and the seniors who want it [with] the energy to do it.

The PCQ also promises a 50% increase in funds intended for NPOs and other organizations supporting seniors, but a more in-depth study would be necessary to precisely identify the amounts granted, he acknowledged to journalists on Sunday.

In the line of sight, the sinews of war as always and even more with regard to health: money.

“Let's talk about seniors as a wealth for society, let's unite generations together, everyone will come out a winner. »

— Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the PQ

The question of the mask was again put to Éric Duhaime, who did not wear one at the residence for seniors where he hosted his Sunday press conference.

First, I believe in freedom of choice, retorted the conservative leader without failing to denounce the mismanagement of the CAQ government in the midst of the pandemic when the latter was forced to close businesses. This is what we blame [him] and many elders agree with us, he continued.

In his defense, Éric Duhaime pointed out that the other parties did not wear masks either during their respective electoral meetings. We suffered a lot, people take advantage of their freedom, he added, but if I had been asked to put one on, I would have put it on.

What if another pandemic occurs under a possible Conservative government? I would ask for a public health study [on the port of the mask], said Éric Duhaime, still very critical of the contradictory messages broadcast by Quebec over the pandemic on the wearing of the mask.

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