Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ombudsman Offers Opposition Tool to Hammer Quebec Liberals Ahead of Election

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ombudsman Offers Opposition Tool to Hammer Quebec Liberals Ahead of Election

Article excerpt

Ombudsman hits Quebec Liberals on health care

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MONTREAL - Quebec's ombudsman gave the opposition the perfect tool to hammer the government ahead of the 2018 provincial election: she said on Thursday that Liberal efforts to balance the budget are hurting the elderly.

While the Liberals have posted a series of balanced budgets since taking office and are expected to be flush with cash before next fall's election, the government hasn't been able to dispel the impression their economic successes have come off the backs of society's most vulnerable.

Marie Rinfret's first report since becoming ombudsman noted that despite the well-documented fact Quebec's population is aging, home care for the elderly is "levelling down" and "unacceptable."

The number of people receiving home care fell about one per cent between 2015-16, she said. Additionally, the average length of time dedicated per patient, at home, fell seven per cent between 2010-16.

Rinfret noted long delays and rising frustration throughout the health care sector. She also said the number of complaints her office received increased 38 per cent since around the time the Liberal party won office in 2014.

"The number of complaints judged well-founded increased by 58 per cent over the same period, since 2013-14," she told reporters.

Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee was quick to pounce on the news, saying the Liberal party has a "compassion deficit."

Lisee has made it clear through public comments and speeches his party's main line of attack against the Liberals will be on health care and education. …

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