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The Québec Ombudsman recognizes the need for extensive reform in long-term home support services, to take demographic and budgetary realities into account.
Nevertheless, based on an analysis of the complaints and reports it has processed and the investigation report Is home support always the option of choice? it published in 2012, the Ombudsman is issuing certain reservations related to the government proposal. It has formulated 20 recommendations with the objective of promoting fair access to services, actual access to these services, quality service, solidarity in financing, transparency and the accountability of the proposed plan.
The Québec Ombudsperson, Raymonde Saint-Germain, supports the principles of the bill respecting end-of-life care. She considers that the bill provides for essential precautions to ensure the implementation of medical aid in dying according to strict guidelines, while always respecting the wishes of the end-of-life patient.
Her agreement is however subject to certain recommendations. The Ombudsperson also considers that the development of the service offering in palliative care is intrinsically linked to the opening created for medical aid in dying for individuals faced with exceptional suffering and whose death is imminent. That is why the Québec Ombudsman’s support for medical aid in dying is conditional on access to quality end-of-life palliative care.
The Québec Ombudsman has examined the draft regulation of the Ministère de la Famille which seeks, among other objectives, to strengthen the measures designed to protect the health and safety of children who attend the network of educational childcare services. We applaud the Department’s efforts in this regard.
Nevertheless, we find that certain issues remain unresolved and we have formulated some recommendations with regard to the staff who work in childcare services, the obligation to provide a certificate of compliance after renovation work, the offer and lack of assessment of the educational program, the retention period for drug administration information, the concept of toys "adapted to the age of the children" and the recognition process for home childcare resources.
While saluting the objectives of the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure, particularly the improvement of access to the justice system, the Québec Ombudsman recalls that recourse to the courts is not accessible to the majority of citizens, especially the most vulnerable.The Québec Ombudsman issues recommendations to ensure the establishment of real justice for all.
The Québec Ombudsman’s services are accessible not only to natural persons, but also to enterprises. Because the Banque de développement économique du Québec and its subsidiaries will offer direct services to enterprises, the Québec Ombudsman considers that they should be subject to its jurisdiction, which is not the case in the current version of the bill.
It therefore recommends that Section 15 of the Public Protector Act be amended to add the Banque de développement économique du Québec and its subsidiaries to the list of companies held to be public bodies.