SUDBURY -- Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, Ontario NDP health critic, announced this week that her private member's bill that would reform long-term care home policies in the province has passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature.

Dubbed the Time to Care Act, the bill would legislate a minimum standard of four hours of hands-on care in homes across the province, Gélinas said in a news release.

“This is a great step forward for improving conditions in LTC but we can’t lose momentum,” Gélinas said in the release. “Last week, Ontario's Long-Term Care Commission joined a long list of experts, coroners, nurses and academics asking for a minimum daily average of four hours of direct care per resident per day.”

 The MPP initially introduced the Time to Care act in April 2016, and reintroduced in 2017 due to prorogation.

However, bills introduced by opposition parties rarely become law, particularly when the governing party has a majority, as is the case with Premier Doug Ford's Conservative government.

Gélinas said the changes the act would bring to Ontario's system are long overdue.

“Residents, family members, caregivers and staff in LTC have been calling for a minimum standard of care since the PC government eliminated it in 2003," she said. "Over 100,000 Ontarians have signed petitions in support of a daily minimum standard of care; petitions collected by family councils, church groups and PSWs, many of them from Nickel Belt. It is far past time residents received the care they need.”