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Feds, Quebec launch talks on keeping military in long-term care facilities

Ottawa and Quebec have started talking about the future of military in long-term care homes after the province called for the Canadian Armed Forces to stay in nearly two dozen facilities until September.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has asked the military to remain an additional four months so the province can hire and train thousands more workers to take over when the troops leave.

Yet the request has raised questions about the sustainability of keeping hundreds of trained military medical personnel in the homes for another four months — and what other options might be available.

Senior federal government officials who spoke the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing talks say Ottawa is looking at whether the Canadian Red Cross can shoulder some of the burden and whether there are ways to speed up the hiring of workers in Quebec.

The Canadian Armed Forces have almost 1,800 members deployed to support long-term care homes in Quebec and Ontario hit hard by COVID-19, with the majority in 23 Quebec facilities.

The military this week released explosive reports on what troops found in some of the homes after arriving last month, with troops alleging a notable lack of trained medical personnel in Quebec facilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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