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Long-Term Care Staffing Study Advisory Group



The members of the advisory group are as follows:

Arthur Sweetman, Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources

Arthur Sweetman is a Professor in the Department of Economics at McMaster University where he holds the Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources. He is also a member of McMaster’s Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis.

Previously, he was the Director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, where he held the Stauffer-Dunning Chair in Policy Studies. He is currently a co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Economics and undertakes quantitative research on health workforce issues in Ontario as well as related issues in health economics and social policy.

Zubin Austin, Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto


Zubin Austin BScPhm, MBA, MISc, PhD, FCAHS is a Professor and Koffler Chair in Management at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto. His research focuses on the professional and personal development of the health workforce. 

He has published over 180 peer reviewed manuscripts and authored four reference texts. In 2017, in recognition of the societal impact of his research, he was installed as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of the highest honours for health services researchers. He is also the only University of Toronto professor ever to have received both the President’s Teaching Award for sustained excellence in education, and the President’s Research Impact Award for the significance of his research. He has also been named undergraduate Professor of the Year by students on 20 occasions.

Melissa Donskov, Executive Director at the Saint-Louis Residence and Élisabeth Bruyère Residence long-term care homes

Melissa Donskov is the Executive Director at Bruyère’s two long-term care homes: Saint-Louis Residence and Élisabeth Bruyère Residence. Melissa previously worked in primary health care research management with the Bruyère Research Institute, as well as with Bruyère Continuing Care as Medical Affairs Manager and Administrator for the Bruyère Academic Medical Organization. More recently, she was the Director of Operations at the Bruyère Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care. In this position, she led the team to many successes with projects aimed at enhancing the quality of care provided to long-term care residents, increasing the workforce’s knowledge and skills, and helping shape the long-term care system of the future.

Melissa has a master’s degree in Health Administration and an undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Ottawa. She also holds Canadian College of Health Leaders and Certified Human Resources Leader designations, as well as a LEAN Green Belt certification.


Sharon Goodwin, Senior Vice President, Home & Community Care, Victorian Order of Nurses

Sharon Goodwin RN, MN, DHA is the Senior Vice President of Home & Community Care at Victorian Order of Nurses Canada. She currently leads a team of more than 5,000 employees in Ontario and Nova Scotia at the Victorian Order of Nurses.

Sharon is a lifelong learner with a Doctorate in Health Administration and holds a master’s degree in Nursing. As a health care leader, Sharon has contributed significantly through her research, published articles and provided leadership on several Boards of Directors. Sharon is a current member of the board of the Ontario Community Support Association. 

Sharon was a pioneering Nurse Practitioner in the province of Ontario and built not only the foundations of the Telehealth Ontario system, but also advocated for accreditation standards in telehealth and home care through her work as a surveyor for Accreditation Canada. Since joining the Victorian Order of Nurses in 2004, she contributed to transforming Victorian Order of Nurses Canada into a modern organization and achieved Exemplary Standing through Accreditation Canada for two cycles. Sharon also led the transformation of Victorian Order of Nurses’ home care service delivery in Ontario and Nova Scotia using lean quality improvement methods.

Akos Hoffer, CEO,The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre

Akos Hoffer joined Perley Rideau in 2008 as COO of The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. In July 2013, he was named the CEO of Perley Rideau. Prior to joining Perley Rideau, he worked at a professional association following several years in benefits consulting.

Akos holds a Master of Health Sciences in Health Administration from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts, Industrial Relations from McGill University.

In 2018, Akos received the Distinguished Service Award for the Canadian College of Health Leaders’ Eastern Ontario Chapter, presented at the National Health Leadership Conference.

Anita Plunkett, RPN, PSW instructor, Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

Anita Plunkett started her health care career as a personal support worker working in long-term care homes 15 years ago. After bridging to complete her R.P.N. credentials, she continued working in the long-term care and home care sectors. During that time, she obtained her adult education training through St. Francis Xavier University.

Anita currently teaches the personal support worker program through the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and has done so for nine years. She is also an advanced and diabetic foot care nurse.

For the past two years, Anita has been the personal support worker co-chair for Continuing Education School Board Administrators that supports the 22 school board personal support worker programs in Ontario.

Anita is the owner, operator and lead educator of LinkSmart Health Training Programs, which provide educational and training resources and services to long-term care homes, retirement homes, home care agencies and hospitals in eastern Ontario.

Kevin Queen, CEO and District Administrator, Kenora District Homes

Kevin has worked for the District of Kenora Home for the Aged for the last 41 years, serving as its CEO & District Administrator for 35 years. He has been a long-time member of AdvantAge Ontario. As a member, Kevin and his staff have won multiple awards for improving care for seniors. He is a past Board Chair and Northern Region Representative for AdvantAge Ontario. 

Dr. Paula Rochon, Vice-President Research and Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute

Dr. Paula Rochon is a geriatrician, health services researcher and the Vice-President of Research at Women’s College Hospital. She is a Senior Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, a Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). In 2015, she was appointed as the inaugural Retired Teachers of Ontario Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rochon received her medical degree from McMaster University and then completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Toronto. Her research training included the completion of a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, U.K and a master’s in Public Health degree and research fellowship from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Rochon’s research career focuses on understanding the unique needs of older adults, particularly women. She is one of the leading Canadian health-services researchers in geriatric medicine. Her research explores how to promote health and well-being in older adults by optimizing their drug prescribing.

Dr. Rochon published close to 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In 2013, she was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) as a fellow because of her history of outstanding performance in academic health sciences in Canada.

James Schlegel, President and CEO, Schlegel Health Care

James Schlegel is the President and CEO of Schlegel Health Care, which includes Schlegel Villages and Homewood Health.

James is also the CEO of RBJ Schlegel Holdings which, in addition to Schlegel Health Care, includes Schlegel Poultry and Schlegel Urban Developments.

James is a board member of the Research Institute for Aging (RIA). The RIA was set up by the Schlegel family in 2005 to formalize a long-standing relationship with the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College. Its mission is to enhance care and quality of life for older adults through partnerships in research, education and practice. Schlegel Villages serve as research and development sites for researchers, who use their research to enhance the villages, while also sharing it with the broader sector. The research also informs curriculum development to enhance the training of future health care workers in Ontario. 

James offers his personal time to many other community involvements, including serving as a board member for Grand River Hospital and University of Waterloo. 

He graduated from the Master of Accounting program at University of Waterloo and obtained his CA designation in 1992. 

Grace Welch, Chair of the Champlain Region Family Council Network Advocacy Committee

Grace Welch is a retired academic librarian. She has been involved in long-term care since 2008 when her mother entered a home in Ottawa. Grace has continued as a volunteer at the same home since her mother’s death in 2014. She was the Chair of the home’s first family council and continues to advocate for improvements in resident care through her involvement in the Champlain Region Family Council Network. The Champlain Region Family Council Network is a volunteer group that helps support family councils in the 60 long-term care homes in the Champlain Region through information sharing, education and advocacy efforts.

Grace is a member of the Ottawa Council on Aging Health Issues Committee which is making long-term care a strategic issue. She also participates in the Ottawa Council on Aging’s Housing Committee. Grace was previously Vice Chair of the Ontario Geographic Names Board for 10 years.

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Northwestern B.C. Indian day school to be demolished by Gitanyow First Nation




To Wanda Good and other members of Gitanyow, the demolition of the Kitwancool Indian Day School’s building this week represents a new chapter in their lives, healing the trauma they suffered during a racist education at the federally operated institution.

On Wednesday, Good conducted a small ceremony at the school she attended from 1972 to 1980, to call back what she believes are the spirits of students that may still linger inside the building after years of abuse.

“We believe that we are our ancestors reincarnated,” she said. “The part of the spirit of that child remains where there was a trauma.”

Located on the Gitanyow reserve, a remote Indigenous community about 260 kilometres northeast of Prince Rupert, B.C., Kitwancool is among the 700 Indian day schools operated across Canada from the 1860s to 1990s. The purpose of the schools was to assimilate Indigenous children by eradicating their native languages and cultures. These schools were publicly funded and often had religious affiliations.

Years of trauma in Kitwancool day school

Kitwancool day school was established by Prince Rupert’s Anglican Diocese of Caledonia in 1938, after a representative wrote to the federal Department of Indian Affairs that local First Nation people needed education in English. It was housed in a log cabin owned by Gitanyow chief Walter Derrick until its formal campus was built in 1949.

But the education that Good and hundreds of other Indigenous children received is more a torture than enlightenment.

“I did experience and witnessed lots of strapping, punching, pulling ears,” said Good. “We actually had music teachers that … would teach us these very racist songs that we would have to sing.”

“We were not allowed to speak our language in the classroom. The children were strapped every time someone said a Gitxsan word.”

In its letter to federal Department of Indian Affairs in 1937, Prince Rupert’s Anglican Diocese of Caledonia discussed the need to build Kitwancool Indian Day School to educate Indigenous children in English. (Library and Archives Canada)

The nightmare ended in 1986, when the school was closed and students were transferred to the Gitanyow Independent School that currently provides kindergarten to Grade 6 education to about 60 children.

The day school premises were repurposed into the Gitanyow Band’s administration office before turning into a gas station several years ago. In light of the building’s disrepair, the band council decided to demolish it and has plans to erect a new gas bar at the same location.

Good said many former students of Kitwancool day school have applied for the federal Indian Day School Settlement program, which offers compensation between $10,000 and $200,000 based on abuse suffered. 

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Students left out of a vision for a “Stronger and More Resilient Canada”




OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Students are disappointed by the Federal Government’s continued lack of support, following today’s Speech from the Throne. Today’s speech promised ambitious job creation strategies, which will include scaling up the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, and helping workers receive education and accreditation. The speech made no mention of investments into post-secondary education or increased support for students – both of which are crucial for this vision.

After a summer of precarious working conditions, a lack of financial support for international students and recent graduates, and the cancelled Canada Student Service Grant, students hoped that this new parliamentary session would include increased support for post-secondary education. “Throughout the pandemic, the Federal Government has failed to adequately support students. International students and recent graduates were excluded from support plans, and those that were eligible didn’t receive enough” said Nicole Brayiannis, Canadian Federation of Students Deputy Chairperson. Instead of bridging these gaps, today’s Throne Speech emphasized a focus on job training and creation. Brayiannis added, “Students want to remind the Trudeau Government that investing in post-secondary education and supporting students who are already receiving training is essential to the goals that were identified today.”

Since March, students have been calling on the Federal Government to provide adequate financial support to ensure they can afford to continue their education amidst the current crisis. “The Trudeau Government needs to stop and listen to what students are asking for,” said Sofia Descalzi, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Students want the same support as everyone else to help them through this pandemic. Instead, they’ve been met with patchwork programs.”

Following the cancellation of the failed Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), students have called for CSSG funds to be reallocated into a four-month extension of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), an increase of the CESB to $2000 per month, and the expansion of CESB eligibility to include international students and recent graduates. Most recently, students have endorsed Motion 46, to convert the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) into a guaranteed livable basic income.

Students assert that investments into post-secondary education are crucial for a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Current students and recent graduates need adequate financial support right now. At the same time, the Federal Government should begin to move towards investing in a post-secondary education system that is fully publicly funded. By ensuring that everyone can access the post-secondary education they need, we all stand a better chance at rebuilding the economy.

The Canadian Federation of Students unites over 500,000 college and university students and more than 60 students’ unions throughout the country.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: Melissa Palermo, Staff: [email protected] or 416-529-8205; Sofia Descalzi, Chairperson: [email protected] or 613-232-7394; Nicole Brayiannis, National Deputy Chairperson: [email protected] or 289-200-2375

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Husky Energy gives Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada to schools in Saskatchewan




“The Province of Saskatchewan is proud to accept this generous donation on behalf of thousands of high school students who will benefit from increasing their knowledge of the important role that First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples play in the history of this country,” Saskatchewan Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Gordon Wyant said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action cite mandatory Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Indigenous peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions as a top priority.

“The important role and long history of Indigenous People in our country has traditionally not been well told, well shared or properly included in the education system in Canada,” says Janet Annesley, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Human Resources. “Husky is honoured to be a contributing partner in this program by providing a copy of the atlas and online learning resources to students and educators to promote a better understanding of the lives and history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is a ground-breaking educational resource, unprecedented in scope. It includes a four-volume print atlas, an online interactive atlas with an accompanying app, Giant Floor Maps, and various other educational resources for classrooms. All educational resources related to the atlas will be made available online to educators in Saskatchewan at Canadian Geographic Education’s website ( as part of this gift.

“Indspire applauds Husky Energy’s generous donation of copies of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada to all high schools in Saskatchewan,” says Indspire CEO Roberta Jamieson. “Indspire is proud to have been a partner in the creation of the atlas and is delighted to see this resource become more readily available to teachers and students to promote learning about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, nations and territories as a vital part of Canada’s identity.”

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada was produced in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Indspire. The atlas was published by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2018 as a response to the Truth and Rec- onciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and as a Canada 150 legacy project supported by Canadian Heritage.

Please join us for our video announcement:

Social Media Links


Métis National Council

Twitter: @HuskyEnergy

Twitter: @MNC_Tweets

Instagram: @HuskyEnergy

Facebook: @HuskyEnergy

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Canadian Geographic


Twitter: @CanGeo

Instagram: @CanGeo

Assembly of First Nations

Facebook: @CanGeo

Twitter: @AFN_Updates

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Twitter: @NCTR_UM



Twitter: @RCGS_SGRC

Twitter: @Indspire


Canadian Geographic Education

Facebook: @Indspire

Twitter: @CanGeoEdu


SOURCE Royal Canadian Geographical Society

For further information: Media Information: Kim Guttormson, Manager, Communication Services, Husky Energy, Phone: (403) 298-7088, Email: [email protected]; Nick Foglia, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Indspire, Phone: (416) 987- 0240, Email: [email protected], Email: [email protected], Sarah Legault, National Director of Development Royal Canadian Geographical Society Mobile: (416) 277-4341, Email: [email protected]

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