Seniors Care Not A Real Priority For Our Government

Commentary by Rosaire L’Italien for The Daily Gleaner


Our care system for seniors is in crisis and will continue to get worse without action.

According to the New Brunswick Medical Society, some 25 per cent of hospital beds in this province are taken up by seniors awaiting placement in long-term care homes. Not only does living in a hospital cost an exorbitant sum of money, it is a dysfunctional and stressful way to live one’s life. Nobody wants to live in a hospital, yet hundreds of New Brunswick seniors are doing exactly that, in some cases for over a year.

It is not a grandmother’s or grandfather’s fault that they are stuck in hospital. It is our government’s fault. The processes, the system and the lack of resources are leading to this crisis. This is an undignified and disrespectful way to treat the seniors who built our province.

Placing seniors in hospital beds is the most expensive way this problem could possibly be dealt with. Government reports say we could save $37 million to $51 million annually by reducing our “alternate level of care” patients’ length-of-stay. This is a massive sum of money, far more than the $7 million a year the government is trying to save by outsourcing 280 hospital cooking and cleaning jobs to a private company which will cut wages and cut corners, endangering our most sick and vulnerable. This is yet another example of the lack of vision of the Gallant government – not only is it short sighted, it makes life harder for the people of this province.

Last week I demanded answers from the minister responsible, Lisa Harris, on CBC’s political panel as to why scarce beds in nursing homes are being taken up by youth with disabilities. Young people need to be placed in appropriate facilities, not parked in facilities which are not equipped to their needs. This would free up much needed beds in nursing homes for seniors living in hospitals. This, in turn, would free up resources in hospitals and reduce costs. It has been a longstanding NDP policy to end the practice of placing young people with disabilities in nursing homes, which would free up spaces for seniors stuck in hospital beds awaiting long term care. I hope the government will take our policy idea and put it into practice, as it will improve the lives of many New Brunswickers.

There are also some good things happening that require more support and funding from our politicians. The senior citizens assistance program, which provides funds to seniors who wish to stay in their own homes yet lack the means to make necessary repairs, and the home first strategy to increase supports for seniors who require additional supports to stay in their home are good, proactive ideas that need less rhetoric and more funding from the government.

As a province we have a responsibility to care for our seniors. They built this province for us and now we are letting them down. New Brunswick’s seniors deserve better.

Rosaire L’Italien is interim leader of the New Brunswick NDP.



“The fact is that the Gallant government is not working for New Brunswickers, and New Brunswickers are not working under the Gallant government,” said NDP Interim Leader Rosaire L’Italien in reaction to the government’s job numbers.


In the budget the government claimed to have “supported the creation of almost 10,000 jobs; employment has increased by 5,300 since June 2016.”

“This is yet another example of the Gallant government’s smoke and mirrors,” claimed Mr. L’Italien.


“These figures are only talking about overall numbers, and not accounting for jobs that were lost during the same period. They are also heavily relying on part time jobs, jobs that cannot support families,” said Mr. L’Italien.


“The government is spinning its numbers to make themselves look good,” said Mr. L’Italien “If Brian Gallant grew the New Brunswick economy the way he grew his communications team, we would all be better off today.”


-          In the past year, New Brunswick has lost 2,300 full time jobs.

-        In the last three months, 1700 youth jobs have disappeared

-          The unemployment rate has increased from 8.9% to 9.4% over the past year, well above the Canadian average of 6.9%

-          Youth unemployment has risen in the past three months by 2.6%, from 11.8% to 14.4%) (which is well above the Canadian average of 12.6%

-          In the last year, New Brunswick has lost 2,400 jobs in the natural resources sector.

-          Since the Liberals took power, New Brunswick has lost 3,200 jobs in the natural resources sector (forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil, and gas).





NOTE: all figures are from the latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey results which are for December 2016. The next figures come out on Friday Feb 10th. When it says “in the last three months” it means from September to December 2016 (the last three months available)

NDP Calls Gallant Government Budget Smoke And Mirrors


Fredericton – NDP Interim Leader Rosaire L’Italien today panned the Liberal budget as “smoke and mirrors.” Said Mr L’Italien: “Gallant talks about how many jobs they’ve created but the fact is that in the last year New Brunswick has lost 2300 full time jobs. Good jobs, family supporting jobs, are being lost under Gallant.”


“The Gallant government has announced new money for universities, but nothing about lowering tuition. How can they possibly claim to support education when they refuse to lower students tuition and debts?” said Mr. L’Italian


“The budget notes that growth in household income is projected to fall this year and keep falling in the future. The costs of the basics like food and keeping the lights on are going up and the economy is not matching it. People are struggling and Premier Gallant is not listening.”


“On top of everything else we are losing 280 full time good paying jobs in healthcare because of the Gallant government,” said Mr L’Italien “The Gallant government is going in the wrong direction.”




For More Information Please Contact:

Rosaire L’Italien

Interim Leader of the NB NDP

(506) 458-5828

NB NDP Calls For More Timely Federal Assistance In Ice Storm Disaster

For Immediate Release
February 2nd, 2017

NB NDP Calls For More Timely Federal Assistance In Ice Storm Disaster

New Brunswick NDP Interim Leader Rosaire L’Italien praised his federal NDP MP Guy Caron who has demanded answers on the slow response from the federal government to the request for assistance to New Brunswick in the wake of the ice storm.

“It’s clear that the response has not gone as smoothly as the public expected – we’re hearing from too many people on the ground that are still without power as this disaster drags on,” said Mr. L’Italien. “We have to get better at responding to these types of emergencies.”

Mr. L’Italien praised New Brunswickers for coming together in this time of crisis. As a resident who lost his power himself, Mr. L’Italien has been heartened by the many acts of neighbours helping neighbours in these trying times. “New Brunswickers are resilient people, and it shows when we see communities come together and help each other out.”

Mr L’Italien echoed Mr Caron’s call for more federal assistance, “the federal response has been slow and when communities don’t feel they are being supported by Ottawa, it can make a bad situation worse.”

Mr L’Italien praised the efforts on the ground working hard to restore power for the remaining 5000 customers still without power more than six days later. “The NDP is very appreciative of the work of the volunteers and staff who have been working around the clock to get power restored and our communities back in shape.”
For More Information Please Contact:
Rosaire L’Italien, Interim Leader of the NB NDP
(506) 458-5828

NB NDP Newsletter

rosaire leader

Leader’s Message
Hello friends and members new and old, it is with great enthusiasm to announce that I have accepted the position of Interim Leader that our party Executive unanimously offered to me. I’ve accepted this role until the Leadership Convention results are announced.I’ve been a journalist with CBC/Radio-Canada for 42 years in our province, during which time I have seen how the revolving door of Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently disappointed New Brunswickers.

Traditionally, the NDP has been different from the other parties in New Brunswick. The NDP offers a vision where every family has a path to the middle class, with good jobs, fair wages and a social safety net that protects every citizen, so people can fulfil their dreams.

The NDP is an inclusive party; we are motivated by our values, and we offer a vision for change that the Liberals and Conservatives simply do not share.

The NDP has a vision that a more just and more equal world is possible. We believe that everyone matters and that no one should be left behind. We believe in the power of government to address the limitations of the free market and act in the public interest for social, economic and ecological justice. I will be working hard to bring that message to all New Brunswickers, and your support will allow our movement to build.

We are going to have some heart-to-heart talks about where this party is going, about what our vision for New Brunswick could and should be, and how to make this vision a reality. The time has come for us to listen. In this process of renewal, I will be touring around the province, listening to you, the members, and asking for your input on how we can build a brighter future for New Brunswick, together.

I am not asking NDP members to work for me personally, I am asking all of us to work together for this beautiful vision we share.

Dream with me,

Rosaire L’Italien

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