- The creators of a petition calling for better elder care in Nunavut say they hope the territory’s new MLAs will prioritize the issue during their upcoming term.
- It now has 22,704 signatures, with 19,000 from across Canada, 3,085 from Nunavut, and 600 from other countries contributing.
“I hope the government considers it an urgent priority right now,” Manitok Thompson said at a news conference on Thursday.
Thompson, a former MLA and cabinet minister from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, says she wants a special committee on elders established in the legislature by Christmas.
Each MLA received a copy of the petition and a list of constituents who signed it. The petition’s organizers are requesting that the petition be tabled in the legislature. The petition requests a primary elder facility in each Nunavut community. It plans to return elders from southern long-term care facilities and more training and education to ensure elders’ medical needs are met in their home communities.
“When their elders are sent away, communities are robbed,” said Anne Crawford, an Iqaluit lawyer who also helped organize the petition. Crawford explained that they recruited volunteers in each community and scheduled times for people to collect signatures.
The petition was signed by 59 % of eligible voting adults in Kinngait, and the Nunavut Association of Municipalities just passed a resolution endorsing it. During the news conference, Nunavut MP Lori Idlout said, “It reaffirms that Nunavummiut care they want their elders back.”
If the federal government is serious about truth and reconciliation, Lori Idlout believes it should improve elder care. For example, at Embassy West, a long-term care facility in Ottawa, at least 43 Nunavut elders, with others at homes in Edmonton, Yellowknife, Winnipeg, and Fort Smith.
The Nunavut government aims to develop eldercare institutions in Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay, and Iqaluit in the coming years. Currently, there are three elder care homes open in Cambridge Bay, Igloolik, and Gjoa Haven.
According to the government, Baker Lake has been closed for three years, while Iqaluit’s has been closed since May, with all of the elders removed owing to COVID-19 difficulties.
Source: Nunatsiaq news
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