The provincial government has failed to keep its promise to add 1,200 new personal care homes beds across Manitoba since being elected in 2016.
The New Democrats released the results of an Aug. 25 freedom of information request Wednesday that show the Progressive Conservative government has only added 67 beds since being elected five years ago.
In 2020 and 2021, there were 9,765 licensed personal care home beds in the province. When the PCs took power in 2016, there were 9,698 beds, the document from Manitoba Health and Seniors Care shows.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon claimed her government has added more than 500 new long-term care beds since taking office, and she promised more would be added to the system.
"We're going to continue to support our seniors and individuals requiring care at those facilities," Gordon told reporters.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew accused "the minister is misleading the public," and said the number of beds available to Manitobans has barely budged since the PC party took office.
"There may be an announcement of new beds, but typically it coincides with them taking older beds off-line," he said.
Meanwhile, 810 people were on the waiting list for a personal care home bed in the province as of June, another NDP freedom of information request found.
That list is going to get longer once the notorious Parkview Place personal care home closes in August, Kinew said. The 261-bed building had a severe COVID-19 outbreak last year in which 30 residents died. It's 60 years old and is "no longer conducive to the care of elderly residents," its owner Revera has said.
"Manitoba will have 200 fewer personal care home beds than when the PCs took office," Kinew said.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.