Letter of agreement to amend bilateral agreements for home and community care and mental health and addiction services

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

March 30, 2022

Dear Minister,

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for Canadians, and has disproportionately affected those residing in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and seniors' residences. Outbreaks in these facilities have taken the lives of some of Canada's most vulnerable citizens, and forever changed the lives of families and caregivers. To address this crisis, since spring 2020 New Brunswick has been working to improve the safety of care for those living in long-term care settings, and those who care for them. Some of these improvements have been supported by federal investments and resources, including most recently the $740M from the September 2020 Safe Restart Agreement funding.

Further to the Government of Canada's commitment on November 30, 2020 to further support provinces and territories through a new Safe Long-term Care Fund, providing jurisdictions an additional $1 billion, Canada and New Brunswick agree, through this Letter of Agreement, to amend the Canada-New Brunswick Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Agreement (the Bilateral Agreement), in accordance with appendices A and B to this Letter, with the aim of further protecting and improving the lives of New Brunswickers who reside in these settings.

The amendments in Appendix A establish the terms and conditions that apply to the Safe Long-term Care funding.

Federal funding of close to $22.1 million through the Safe Long-term Care Fund will support New Brunswick to increase infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and seniors' residences providing continuing care services. Priorities for initiatives supported by this funding includes retention measures for existing staff, including hiring of additional human resources, new infrastructure, renovations to existing infrastructure, rapid training programs and increasing personal protective equipment stock in facilities.
New Brunswick has attached an amended action plan (Appendix B) which includes: the background on long-term care in New Brunswick; efforts undertaken since spring 2020 to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in long-term care settings, and particularly efforts to enhance infection prevention and control; details on the initiatives supported by the Safe Long-term Care Fund, along with a breakdown of planned expenditures and the individual facilities benefiting from this funding; and performance measures to track progress (measures, targets and outcomes).

New Brunswick will ensure that federal investments are used to further enhance the protection of residents and staff and to ensure transparency in the use of funds. New Brunswick will amend its performance measurement section of the action plan to provide information on results, with a view to showcase to Canadians the progress achieved to protect vulnerable Canadians in long-term care settings through its initiatives for increased infection prevention and control.
Appendix B to this Letter of Agreement sets out New Brunswick's amendment to its action plan (Annex 2 to the Agreement) which provides information on the initiatives, expenditures, expected results and performance metrics on the initiatives supported by the Safe Long-term Care funding.

Except as set out in the appendices to this Letter of Agreement, the terms of the Bilateral Agreement will remain in effect.

This Letter of Agreement to amend the Bilateral Agreement will be effective upon both of our respective signatures. It, along with the updated Agreement and annexes, will be made public online by Health Canada.

The Honourable Dorothy Shephard,
New Brunswick Minister of Health
March 30, 2022

The Honourable Bruce Fitch
New Brunswick Minister of Social Development
March 30, 2022

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Federal
Minister of Health
March 31, 2022

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