Yukon: Letter of agreement to amend bilateral agreements for home and community care and mental health and addiction services
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
August 5, 2021
Dear Minister Hajdu,
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, the Government of Yukon has been working to improve the safety of care for those living in long-term care settings, and those who care for them, through a broad range of measures for enhanced infection prevention and control and 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 the Government of Yukon agree, through this Letter of Agreement, to amend the Canada-Government of Yukon 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 Canadians who reside in these settings through increased infection prevention and control measures.
The amendments in Appendix A establish the terms and conditions that apply to the Safe Long-term Care funding and include the following:
- The Government of Canada will provide the Government of Yukon with total funding of up to $3,077,710 in fiscal year 2021-22 under the Safe Long-term Care Fund for eligible expenditures incurred from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.
- The federal funding through the Safe Long-term Care Fund will support the Government of Yukon to increase infection prevention and control in long-term care homes. Priorities for initiatives supported by this funding will include the hiring of additional human resources to assist with activities in all Yukon LTC homes designed to quickly detect, prevent or limit spread of infections, as well as additional inspectors and control specialists.
- The funding will also support other infection protection and control efforts, including adequate supply of personal protective equipment for staff and visitors and accreditation costs associated with meeting long-term care standards.
- The Government of Yukon has attached an amended action plan (Appendix B) which includes: the background on long-term care in Yukon; 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, including activities supported by the Safe Restart Agreement funding; details on the new or enhanced initiatives that will be supported by the Safe Long-term Care Fund in the three priority and other eligible areas, along with a breakdown of planned expenditures and the individual facilities benefiting from this funding; and performance measures to track progress.
- The Government of Yukon will amend its performance measurement section of the action plan by December 1, 2021 and will further update this section by March 31, 2022 to provide information on results, with a view to showcasing 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 the Government of Yukon'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 and, as per the Agreement, will remain in effect until March 31, 2022, unless otherwise terminated by the parties to the Agreement. It, along with the updated Agreement and annexes, will be made public online by Health Canada.
Tracy-Anne McPhee, Minister of Health of Health and Social Services
August 6, 2021
Patty Hajdu, Federal Minister of Health
August 10, 2021
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