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Justin Trudeau: A day in the shoes of a Personal Support Worker

September 29, 2015
Member of Parliament, Justin Trudeau, spotlights PSWs for a day

Source: SEIU Healthcare Canada’s YouTube channel

A new video released by SEIU Healthcare, the healthcare union, shows MP and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau joining Emily, a Toronto personal support worker (PSW), on a regular homecare visit with her elderly client, Antonietta.

In June, the union extended an invitation to Ottawa’s three main political leaders to “walk-a-day” in the shoes of a healthcare worker. Mr. Trudeau accepted the invitation, and the original offer remains open to the other leaders.

“It was a great experience to show a politician how to do the hands-on work of a PSW,” said Emily, who has worked in homecare for about 9 years. “I really think it opened his eyes to the reality of the work when he saw how much Antonietta needed our help and how grateful she was for the quality care she receives.”

“Canada needs a national homecare strategy. So we’re asking politicians to walk a day in these workers’ shoes, to shine a light on the immeasurable value that homecare services offer an aging population,” said Sharleen Stewart, SEIU Healthcare’s president. “If we want to attract and retain homecare workers, the recognition, the wages, and the retirement security need to reflect the importance of the job and we need to work on this together with all levels of government.”