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Categories : Media Releases and Statements

January 18, 2021

The Toronto Star – January 13, 2021

It is disappointing to see the Toronto Star publish, once again, an inaccurate and uninformed opinion piece. This is a new level of hypothetical journalism on a topic that the public need facts on, not speculation.

Numerous studies have concluded that the number and severity of COVID-19 cases in Long Term Care (LTC) is related to three key factors including community spread, age and design of the building and timing of outbreaks. With 23 LTC homes in Ontario, 70% of which are in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Chartwell’s own experience is consistent with these studies.

Suggestions that we run our homes with a “bare-knuckle type of capitalism” is completely unsubstantiated and without merit. Chartwell is a Canadian company, established in 2003, with 90% of our portfolio comprised of retirement residences for which we do not receive government funding. The remaining 10% of the portfolio is comprised of LTC properties for which 100% of the revenue received from the government for resident care is spent on direct care and programs.

Chartwell consistently outperforms the provincial averages in all six quality indicators. In addition, numerous studies have confirmed there is little difference in quality of care, hours of care or compensation of care staff across ownership issues.

The average length of full-time employment service in Chartwell’s LTC homes is 13.2 years who receive pension, paid vacation, benefits, and sick leave. Our part-time staff in LTC receive the same wage rate, and proportional benefits or cash payment in lieu. Throughout the pandemic we have hired almost 2,000 new employees and staffing in our LTC homes has increased by at least 25% to address the exceptional demands of COVID-19.

Further, it is worth repeating that the Mike Harris government undertook the largest reform and investment in Ontario’s history to expand long term care for the province’s seniors. This included the creation of 20,000 new long-term care beds and the redevelopment of 16,000 existing beds. Mr. Harris’ drive and passion to provide great services and quality care to our aging population was one of the reasons he was asked to join Chartwell as Chair in 2003 and continues to serve in this capacity to this day.

Throughout the pandemic, and with the contributions of 16,000 dedicated employees, our first priority has been to keep residents, their families, and our employees safe. In a poll conducted by a third party in the summer of 2020, 96% of our residents agreed that Chartwell took the necessary steps to keep them safe and 94% of our residents’ families agreed that their loved ones were safe living at Chartwell. Despite tremendous efforts, sadly, we have not been able to protect all our residents from the impact of this pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen for over 100 years. We offer our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones to this disease and share in their grief.

Sharon Ranalli
VP Marketing and Communications
Chartwell Retirement Residences