Right in the centre - Some more questions– 2021 version


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

A year ago this week, I wrote a column that I hoped might preview some helpful change. The points I raised don’t seem to have generated a lot of questions or changes. You decide what you think.

Published Nov. 13, 2020:

“Revera care homes is wholly owned by The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) According to online searches, PSP is a Canadian Crown Corporation established by an act of Parliament in September 1999. PSP Investments is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, with $168 billion of net assets under management as of Mar. 31, 2019.[1] It invests funds for the pension plans of the Public Service, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force.

More than 800 professionals manage a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt. PSP Investments’ head office is located in Ottawa, Ontario, and its chief business office is located in Montreal, Quebec.

Therefore, Revera, which has had so many unfortunate deaths due to COVID-19, is actually owned by the Government of Canada. The PSP reportedly takes 7 to 12 per cent in returns on their investments from Revera. I ask the question cautiously, but could that 7 to 12 per cent be better spent in upgrading care and infrastructure at the care home? It’s a very delicate question, but it does need to be asked. Any investor is entitled to a return on investment, but it seems a bit lacking in either taste or wisdom for a Canadian Crown Corporation to be profiting from care homes at any time. It seems particularly bad that in the middle of a pandemic, the PSP Crown Corp. (and the government of Canada) is profiting from care homes.”

The question 12 months later is should, care homes be run by pension fund investment companies? Their main aim is quality care, I am sure, but their high priority second aim is cost cutting and the profits that result from those cuts. But the mystery goes deeper. It’s strange that the federal government is pressing for more investments in care homes and, at the same time, squeezing profits out of the care homes. The question goes even deeper, should a federal government be using tax dollars to extend funding to care homes, knowing full well that it may improve the Revera Care Homes bottom line, which in turn will also inflate profits for their own Crown Corporation?

It always pays to follow the money.

Last November, we weren’t heavily into vaccinations. Now we are into two and three vaccinations and vaccination rates as high as 90 per cent. Why is it that we are getting up to 40 per cent C-19 infection rates in fully vaccinated people? As of yesterday, there were 191 cases in Norway House and they have over 90 per cent of their residents with first vaccine. The much maligned RM of Stanley, with the lowest vaccination rate in Manitoba at 25 per cent, only had 19 cases. The government’s own figures don’t make sense, or at least they need some explanation.

Organizations like Manitoba Health and Doctors Manitoba have also not been forthcoming with suggested treatments and solutions. Beyond wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and social distancing, are there no other treatments. With C-19, one has to treat symptoms, so what are the treatments?

In August 2020, the HyLife hog plant announced it was using the Steriwave™ Nasal Photodisinfection for employees. The information on that treatment comes highly recommended as a method of controlling infections. What about Vitamin D, cold medications, rest and Grandma’s Vicks and steam treatments? Instead of media scoffing at treatments, maybe some intelligent discussion would be helpful.

I think we have all had enough of endless death and case numbers, we need to bear down on what works and look seriously into what might work.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.