In the legislature on Tuesday, health minister Julie Green confirmed the paid family caregiver pilot will be extended – but said there is no money to expand the program.
“There is money for this fiscal year. There is money for next fiscal year. And we’re looking to continue the program indefinitely,” Green told MLA Lesa Semmler, who had been asking questions about aging in place and long-term care. Green said following an evaluation, the program was deemed to be worthwhile in the communities where it’s operating.
The caregiving pilot was announced in early 2020. It provided funding to pay family or friends to care for seniors and people with disabilities.
At the start of the program, there were eight participants in Behchokǫ̀, five in the Yellowknives Dene communities of Dettah and Ndilo, eight in Yellowknife, eight in Hay River, and five in Tuktoyaktuk.
“We have enough money to continue running the program at the scale it’s at now,” Green said, noting the program is funded by federal dollars.
“In order to have a larger program, we would need a greater investment from the federal government.”