Federalism as a Strength: A Path Toward Ending the Crisis in Long-Term Care

Carolyn Hughes Tuohy
Description / Summary

In the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 80 percent of Canadian deaths occurred in long-term care facilities. There have been calls for the federal government to play a stronger role, but this is complicated by the fact that provinces have adopted a wide range of long-term care policies. Nevertheless, governments could bring new resources and regulatory tools to these challenges by drawing on the untapped possibilities of Canadian federalism. The most promising path lies in areas of concurrent jurisdiction in which both orders of government have an established presence, a history of joint decision-making and action, and the infrastructure that makes this possible. If we do not act now, the failings exposed by the pandemic will continue to take their toll on the lives of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens.