Ontario’s PSW plan woefully inadequate, critics charge


“Shocking,” “appalling,” “offensive” and “disappointing” are just some of the words critics are using to describe the Ontario government’s latest plan to train personal support workers (PSWs) in the province.

On Monday, the ministers of long-term care and labour, training and skills development announced details of the $4.1-million plan to recruit and train 373 new PSWs across Ontario.

But both the Ontario Health Coalition and the Canadian Union of Public Employees say more than 20,000 PSWs are actually needed right now, mainly in the long-term care sector. They’re dismissing the province’s investment as completely inadequate.

“Their lethargy is profound … delaying training and recruitment. In the meantime nearly 4,000 residents have died in long-term care in the last year,” said Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer at CUPE Ontario. “Ontario must roll out a robust training strategy at every public college across the province. Tuition should be waived and people should be offered some compensation to take the training.” 

Candace Rennick, centre, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario, says the government’s plan to recruit fewer than 400 PSWs is inadequate. (CBC)

Among the projects announced on Monday, Ottawa’s Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre’s program hopes to recruit 120 PSWs…

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