Council declines to offer support for Til Death Do Us Part Act

Diverse group of seniors
Posted on: January 9, 2024

During the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday night, Smiths Falls’ town council discussed a letter received from Catherine Fife, MPP in Waterloo. “This is another attempt to have the Long Term Care Act amended to support couples not being separated when they go into a long term care home,” described Councilor Peter McKenna. Bill 21 is also known as the Til Death Do Us Part Act. 

Fife wrote to Smiths Falls, seeking support for this Act in order “to keep attention on this important legislation so that it can finally be called to the Standing Committee on Social Policy – one step closer to Royal Assent.” Seniors who have been separated due to one spouse’s need for long-term care are asking for the opportunity to live with their spouse and provide companionship and small acts of care.

Councilor Chris McGuire declined to lend support for this. “I think we can take it as information. From my understanding, if someone is in a long-term care bed, where the spouse doesn’t need a long-term care bed, they could take a bed from a needy patient. From my understanding, there are two pieces of legislation that have been sent to the committee, and the process is working. I just don’t know that there’s much advantage for the municipality to get behind this letter tonight.”

Councilor Peter McKenna pointed out, “The intent is good. If two people are going to a nursing home and they both need a bed, we’d hate to see them separated. I know the system does everything it can to keep them together.”

Councilor Jay Brennan shared a local connection to the Act: “Our local MPP John Jordan is the parliamentary assistant to Long-Term Care, so it would be good to have a conversation with John and I know that he would be sympathetic to this. John would be a good information source for us.”

Council chose not to take any action or show support, but simply received the letter from Fife as information. MPP John Jordan can be reached at or 613-284-1630.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News