BILL NO. 30
3rd Session, 63rd General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Commission of Inquiry into Long-term Care Act
First Reading: March 23, 2021
WHEREAS the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of the infectious disease COVID-19 on March 11, 2020;
AND WHEREAS Nova Scotia suffered 65 deaths due to COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic;
AND WHEREAS in Canada the vast majority of COVID-19-related deaths in the first year of the pandemic were in long-term care facilities;
AND WHEREAS of the COVID-19-related deaths in Nova Scotia in 2020, 53 occurred in one long-term care facility;
AND WHEREAS an initial review of the long-term care sector carried out for the Department of Health and Wellness in the summer of 2020 determined that there are problems in long-term care facilities, such as critical staff shortages and lack of infection control;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Commission of Inquiry into Long-term Care Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Commission" means the commission established pursuant to Section 3;
(b) "facility" means a nursing home or residential care facility licensed by the Department of Health and Wellness under the Homes for Special Care Act and funded by the Department;
(c) "Minister" means the Minister of Health and Wellness;
(d) "resident" means a resident of a facility.
3 (1) Subject to Section 7, the Minister shall establish, by May 31, 2021, a commission of inquiry to investigate the state of long-term care in the Province.
(2) The Commission must include one or more members of the Minister’s Expert Advisory Panel on Long-term Care, if the member or members are available and willing to act on the Commission.
4 The Commission has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act.
5 The Commission shall investigate the state of long-term care in the Province and make recommendations respecting
(a) funding for facilities;
(b) staffing levels at facilities;
(c) minimum hours of care per resident per day;
(d) timelines for the phase-out of multi-resident living units;
(e) accounting of capital needs of existing facilities;
(f) potential need for additional facilities;
(g) changes that may be required regarding the conditions of work for staff at facilities;
(h) inspection routines and standards;
(i) data gathering and reporting; and
(j) maintaining safe operating conditions and residents’ quality of life during a health-based state of emergency.
6 The Commission shall, not later than November 15, 2021,
(a) prepare and submit to the Minister a report containing the Commission’s findings and recommendations; and
(b) make the report public.
7 The money required for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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