The largest group of long-term care operators in Ontario is calling for a dramatic increase in spending on nursing homes.

The province should create 10,000 new long-term care beds in the next five years and boost its subsidy for older nursing homes to rebuild, says the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) in its pre-budget submission to the government, released Wednesday.

The document, called More Care, Better Care indicates that 32,000 people are on the waiting list for spots in long-term care homes in Ontario, a number that is growing by 15 per cent annually.

“I’m optimistic that we’re going to see some movement,” said Candace Chartier, chief executive of the association, during a speech to reveal the budget proposal. “Hopefully we’ll see more beds, more staff, more investment into the care that we need to look after our seniors.”

Hazel McCallion, 96, the former mayor of Mississauga, was at the launch and endorsed the association’s push.

“The province has got to start making some decisions on long-term care,” said McCallion. “The need for long-term care is building every day in the province and if the beds are not provided, it’s going to become a crisis situation.”

Read more at CBC News Toronto.