Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 12: Foreign Credentials and Seniors Care

Conservatives: Provide loans to immigrants to cover cost of foreign credential recognition
Liberals: No Policy announced
NDP:  Add Services to the Canada Health Act and double loans program

The NDP announced another basket of policies, this time in regards to Health care for seniors.  The basket included adding Home Care and Nursing Homes to the jurisdiction of the Canada Health Act, and doubling the loans program for renovations to help seniors stay in their homes longer.  The NDP also pledged to establish a long term care transfer through the next round of Canada Health Act negotiations.  On the surface, these seem to be a relatively innocuous set of policies, but the biggest thing that scares me is to add long-term care - presumably nursing homes, some of whom are private now - to the jurisdiction of the Act.  Considering that the baby boomers are now moving into the stage of life where nursing homes will become a necessity over the next 30 years, this promises to be incredibly expensive for those of us who will still be working and paying tax 30 years from now.  With their second promise - doubling the home renovation loans program to allow seniors to stay in their houses longer, it's a fairly minor policy which won't have a big effect.
Cost: Unspecified

The Liberals again spent the day without making any policy announcements.

The Conservatives announced a loan program to assist immigrants to have their foreign credentials recognized in Canada.  The loan is intended to help with the tuition, books and other associated costs related to retraining or having foreign credentials recognized.  The idea there would be to get foreign trained professionals recognized faster so that they can work in their chosen fields faster while assuring the public of their competency.  Net result, more people more productive faster.
Cost: $6 Million

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