Thompson announces long-term care funding for Wingham, Goderich
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson was in Huron County last week to make a pair of announcements regarding funding from the provincial government for area long-term care homes.
Thompson began the morning of March 25 in Wingham at Braemar Centre with an announcement and then made her way to Maitland Manor in Goderich for another.
At Braemar, Thompson announced that the provincial government would be funding an additional 27 new and 69 upgraded spaces. This will be part of the home’s renovation and expansion, which will roll out in the coming years.
There, Thompson talked about just how challenging the past 12 months have been, especially for those in long-term care. That was why she was happy to call Archie MacGowan, the owner of Braemar, with the news of funding from the province.
When asked, members of Thompson’s staff said it would be difficult to attribute a dollar amount to the grant being given, with each project, timeline and region being different, but that the government was committing to a specific number of spaces for each of the homes.
In Goderich at Maitland Manor, Thompson announced government support for 69 new spaces and 91 upgraded spaces, resulting in a 160-bed facility.
These two announcements come after the Southampton Care Centre announcement, that will provide 84 new long-term care beds to the facility.
At the Wingham announcement, Thompson lauded MacGowan and his family for decades of care at the centre, adding that she has a personal connection to it, with numerous family members either volunteering there or being residents in the past.
MacGowan said he was moved emotionally by the grant information, choking up when talking about his staff and the year they’ve had working to keep themselves and residents safe from the COVID-19 virus. He also said he was proud to continue the legacy started by his parents decades ago.
He also spoke of the size of the new facility, saying it will create a home unlike any other in the area. It will be big enough to accommodate more residents than before, but it won’t swell to the size that the staff loses a personal touch with residents, which is something he very much wants to retain.
He also thanked Thompson directly, saying she has long been a supporter of the home.
“We can’t wait to get started,” MacGowan said.
He also said the investment and the work being done to expand and renovate the location will “pay dividends” for years to come.
Thompson said the announcements of the day showed that the government is listening and responding to the need for improved long-term care facilities in the province.
She also that, through the government’s budget announcement, it was clear that many ministers have been working together to continue the fight against COVID-19.
The announcements were part of the provincial government’s $933 million investment in long-term care across the province. According to a press release from Thompson, that investment is in addition to the $1.75 billion already earmarked for the creation of 30,000 new long-term care spaces over the next 10 years.
This is in addition to $530,000 being granted locally to retirement homes – part of a province-wide announcement of $30 million being invested into the sector.