Quebec Minister Blais introduces historic caregiver bill. The province has seen high numbers of seniors death
Quebec’s Minister for Seniors and Caregivers, Marguerite Blais, tabled today in the National Assembly a bill to recognize and support caregivers. This historic legislative change for Quebec aims to bring to the fore the issue of caregivers in government actions, regardless of the government in place.
This bill is structured around ten chapters, providing in particular for the definition of a caregiver and the responsibility of government actors. For example, when departments make legislative or regulatory proposals, the bill will impose an impact assessment on caregivers for each of them. The bill also provides for the establishment of a Quebec observatory for caregivers to better understand the habits of caregivers and to study the impacts of measures implemented by the government over time.
On the eve of the tabling of the first national policy for caregivers, this bill will help to set the obligations to be respected, in particular, that of adopting this policy as well as an action plan which will present concrete measures to respond the needs of caregivers in Quebec.
“We have seen how caregivers are the quiet strength of our health network during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their contribution must be recognized in our institutions. With this bill, we are going much further than our electoral commitments: we are ensuring the sustainability of the benefits for caregivers beyond the governments in place. ” Marguerite Blais , Minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers
This bill was long overdue for caregivers. The initial filing, scheduled for March 2020, had, in particular, to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caregivers represent almost a quarter of the Quebec population, and this proportion has been increasing over the years.
As a reminder, in Quebec, four in ten caregivers consider that they have no choice but to assume this responsibility. In addition, seven in ten caregivers say they experience some distress in the performance of their role, among other things regarding the deterioration of the caregiver’s health.
Studies also show that this responsibility can have consequences on the physical and psychological health of caregivers, as well as on their personal finances, their professional life and their relationship with those around them.
An amount of $ 10 million was announced on February 7 to improve local services for caregivers from across Quebec.