Getting to “Yes” on Long Term Care

April 14, 2021

After a hectic three days Zooming in on the 2021 Liberal National Convention, I have had time to breathe and reflect.

The first virtual convention – with over 4,000 attendees – was very smooth. After getting used to the platform and the flipping between events, I felt quite comfortable with it all. As with all conventions, it was hard to choose which session to attend when some of them are running at the same time.

All in all the Convention was a huge success for the Senior Liberals Commission. Of the 26 resolutions that were passed and prioritized, five were sponsored by SLC. 

So many Senior Registered Liberals were active in bringing resolutions to the Policy Hub last year and supporting them through to the Convention.

This result was due to the hard work and collaboration of many people. And the leadership of the Senior Liberals’ Commission was key to  the number of issues of concern to older Canadians being prioritized.

The Long Term Care resolution that I presented, started with the Senior Liberals’ Commission of Ontario and two National Working Groups presenting proposals and then working together to blend three into one. The SLC also took into consideration concerns expressed from the National Women’s Liberal Commission on how Long Term Care disproportionately impacts women in its final wording.

Timeline: Long Term Care Resolution

February 2019 SLC starts review of Policy Process
February 2020 SLCO surveys its Senior Registered Liberals on issues
March 2020 SLCO prioritizes issues, drafting begins
May 2020 SLCO approves resolutions
SLCO submits to SLC with endorsements from EDAs and other Commissions
July 2020 SLC blends duplicate resolutions and submits one to LPC
LPC posts resolutions on Policy Hub for Commission voting
September 2020 Registered Liberals vote on Policy Hub
NWLC withdraws resolution, supports SLC
Four similar emerge from voting
SLC, LPCNS LPCBC Caucus engage in another blending process
January 2021 SLC, LPCNS LPCBC and Caucus agree on final wording on LTC resolution
April 2021 LPC National Policy Convention prioritizes LTC resolution as #3

While the development process was unfolding, parallel work took place to win support for adoption of the Long Term Care resolution. Members of the board of the SLCO reached out through to its EDA Senior Representative and to Ontario EDA Chairs on all of the resolutions from SLC, offering context for them and asking for support. EDA Senior Representatives were also asked to share information about the resolutions in their district.

Following the Policy Hub presentation and voting, in addition to the SLC resolution there were similar proposals from Nova Scotia, British Columbia and from Party Caucus. These groups worked together and found consensus in one final draft, which was presented to the National Convention.

The voting results on the weekend proved that such work pays off. While the resolutions are non-binding on the Liberal Party, they are considered for Platform, and we will continue to advocate for Federal Leadership for better and stronger standards and protections for those who live and work in our Long Term Care system.

On reflection, while policy development is hard work and at times frustrating, taking patience and persistence, it is ultimately well worth the effort.

Kathleen Devlin, Communications Chair, Senior Liberals’ Commission – Ontario