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Wardens’ Caucus to focus on housing, long-term care, paramedic services

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More than 12,000 affordable housing units need to be built across Eastern Ontario to satisfy demand on current wait lists. And the wait time for applicants can take five to 10 years. 

That from the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, which hopes to bring change.

The Caucus, made up of county wardens – including Renfrew County’s Peter Emon – met earlier this month. On Tuesday, March 21 they unveiled a list of priorities they’ll work on for this municipal term. 

Housing was at the top of the list. 

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The EOWC’s “7 in 7” regional housing plan proposes building at least 7,000 community rental units over seven years to address the wait lists. 

The plan would require partnering with senior governments, private and non-profit sectors and Indigenous partners. 

It’s now working with a consulting firm to create a business case for the plan. The caucus is also calling on senior governments to help municipalities pay for housing. 

EOWC focuses on long-term care, paramedic services

And more work must be done to improve long-term care and paramedic services in Eastern Ontario.

That message also comes from the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus, after it met earlier this month.

It listed these two issues as its next priorities.

On long-term care, the Caucus says it will advocate for a human resources strategy to address staffing shortages, particularly in rural areas. The Caucus is also calling on the province to eliminate staffing agencies that, it says, “pose an unnecessary and unsustainable resource and cost burden on municipalities.”

On paramedic services, it’s urging the province to modernize the dispatch system to improve the prioritization of calls and overall level of service. 

It wants the province to find ways to reduce offload delays at hospitals, which would allow paramedics to spend more hours serving their communities. 

The Caucus is already working with another consulting firm to gather data on this topic, which it says can inform future recommendations. 

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