Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Ford government must stop cut to Elder Abuse Ontario: NDP Seniors’ Affairs critic

Published on April 2, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Joel Harden, critic for Accessibility, Persons with Disabilities and Seniors’ Affairs, today asked the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, Raymond Cho, to fight Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Doug Ford on their plan for Elder Abuse Ontario — which a new document shows could see a funding cut of up to 15 per cent.

Harden’s office obtained the document via a freedom of information request. Elder Abuse Ontario protects seniors across the province by training thousands of frontline workers in identifying and preventing elder abuse. It also runs a free safety hotline as a resource for older adults who are victims, or at risk of, abuse.

“Seniors across Ontario all too commonly face abuse at the hands of caregivers and even family members. Abuse can be of a physical, sexual, emotional or financial nature, and can cause immense distress, as well as serious health issues, to already vulnerable older adults,” Harden said. “So many families worry about the safety of a parent or grandparent living in long-term care homes — where, recent data has shown, violence can be rampant.

“Doug Ford’s planned cut to Elder Abuse Ontario would have a devastating impact on the organization, its staff and Ontario seniors.”

In response to Harden’s question, Cho troublingly responded that he “had never heard” about the cut, leaving the NDP and transfer payment agencies throughout the province worried that cuts or budget freezes are in store for them, too.