Propping Up Private Seniors’ Home Owner Revera
– Diane Johnston –
For Us, Accountability Begins at Home. That is the motto of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada. When opposition is expressed to putting profits before people or to privatization of social programs, concrete measures should accompany these pronouncements. That is what accountability is all about.
In this regard, the fact is that one of the biggest long-term care providers, Revera Inc., operated for private profit, has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB) since 2006.
PSP Investments is the Crown corporation established by Parliament through the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act in 1999 to manage the funds. It reports to Parliament through Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos. It administers the pensions of public servants, Crown corporation employees, Canadian Forces members, the RCMP and Reserve Forces.
On December 9, 2020, Bloomberg News reported that Revera “has 74 long-term care homes with about 9,400 residents across four provinces. Between March and September, COVID-19 infected 874 Revera residents and killed 266, and the company has reported several additional outbreaks this fall.” It reported that as of September 2020, “more than 40 Revera homes have reported outbreaks, according to its website.”
It also noted that “[t]he company is privately held and does not disclose any financial information.”
Since May 2020, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents 140,000 public sector pension plan members, has been calling for a change in ownership of Revera Inc. In a statement issued January 28, 2021 PSAC reiterated its call for the PSPIB to transfer its ownership of Revera to public hands and reported that between the start of the second wave in September and the end of January, well over 400 residents in Revera long-term care facilities had died.
Revera is facing lawsuits, including class actions, over its treatment of seniors prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic in all four provinces it operates in: Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
In consideration of all of our lost elders, we should do our utmost in this election to deprive any cartel party of a majority they will use to carry on paying the rich with even greater impunity.
Health care is a right, from cradle to grave, and no one is going to convince us otherwise. It is up to us to make sure this right is affirmed in practice. Only we can provide it with a guarantee.
Support all long-term care and health care workers. Our lives are in their hands!
(With files from PSP Investments, Government of Canada, Bloomberg News, Class Action Clinic, CBC, Vancouver Sun)