Ontario government plans to bypass public hearings stage for long-term care bill


Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government is planning to bypass public hearings in order to quickly pass controversial long-term care legislation.

The legislation would allow hospital patients to be moved to a temporary long-term care home without their consent while they await a bed in their preferred facility.

Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra has said it will free up badly needed acute care beds in hospitals.

The legislation doesn’t allow patients to be physically forced to move to a long-term care home, but it’s not clear what would happen if a patient refuses a transfer.

Calandra says people should “absolutely” be charged a fee in that situation, but his office refused to clarify when patients should be charged a $62-a-day co-pay and when they should be subject to a hospital’s uninsured rates, which can be thousands of dollars a day.

The government has now moved a motion that would advance the bill directly to third reading, which means it will not be considered by committee or be subject to public hearing at that stage.