On 12 December 2019, MPP Anand spoke about “Anti-Racism Activities” as part of a Private Members’ Public Business statement. 

I’d like to start by thanking our seniors, who have shaped our province in countless ways and paved a better path for millions of Ontarians. As they age, they deserve to receive dignified, compassionate, appropriate care, including in long-term-care homes if they need it, and they deserve to live alongside their spouses or partners.

The Minister of Long-Term Care has spoken extensively about her vision for a long-term-care system that feels like home, and is doing tremendous work to make this a reality.

The Till Death Do Us Part Act echoes our government’s commitment to keeping loved ones together. We are building the capacity to do just that, and I’m pleased to join my colleagues, on both sides, in supporting families in this province.

Our government has made a promise to build 15,000 new long-term-care beds over five years and to redevelop 15,000 older spaces to modern design standards. In October, the Minister of Long-Term Care announced that 7,889 new beds had been allocated, crossing the 50% commitment line. With each space brought online over the coming years, we will be able to serve much-needed care to seniors and their spouses in the communities in the province.

Madam Speaker, this September, I had the pleasure of joining the Minister of Long-Term Care, the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, and my fellow MPPs to tour Malton Village long-term care in the great riding of Mississauga–Malton. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the role of long-term-care homes, and the positive impacts that supportive care can have on our seniors. I enjoyed speaking with the seniors and seeing first-hand the high quality of care being delivered.

I’m very pleased that the development of 457 new long-term-care beds and the redevelopment of 275 long-term beds is under way in Mississauga, which is an important step in meeting our commitment of 15,000 new long-term beds.

Madam Speaker, I know and I understand the value of relationships, as somebody who has lost his father, Mr. S.L. Anand, who passed away on November 29. That is about two weeks back. Through the eyes of my mother, Santosh Anand, I know the value of togetherness and the pain of isolation.

I truly believe in the value of being together as a family at all stages of life. The social, health and emotional well-being of the spouses and the partners is at the heart of this bill, and I’m very happy to support this bill fully.