Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Till Death Do Us Part Champion Jim McLeod bills Minister of Long-Term Care Stan Cho for his mileage at the rate MPPs are paid

Published on February 2, 2024

WATERLOO – Till Death Do Us Part Champion Jim McLeod sent an invoice to Minister of Long-Term Care Stan Cho for the kilometres he's racked up driving to visit his wife Joan McLeod since they have been forcibly separated.  

The couple, married for 65 years, faces their sixth year of forced separation due to the absence of legislation ensuring couples remain together in long-term care. Jim lives in the independent living suites at Fairview Seniors Community in Cambridge. Fairview also has Long-Term Care as part of its senior community campus. Despite Fairview being Joan's first choice in August 2017, she was forced to take a Long-Term Care bed at Hilltop Manor.  

In a letter to Minister Cho, Jim wrote, "Minister Cho, please refer to the attached invoice covering approximately 2,000 trips I have made to Hilltop to visit my wife during the past 6+ years. I believe I should be reimbursed for my travel expenses and am using the rate paid to MPPs presently. In future, I will send a quarterly invoice until Joan is moved to Fairview."

Ontario NDP MPP Catherine Fife introduced legislation to address senior spousal separation in 2019. Today marks a whopping 443 days since the most recent version of her Bill passed its second reading in the Legislature. "The government has solutions in front of them and the power to end the separation of couples like Joan and Jim. I appreciate Jim and his relentless pursuit to get this government to listen to the many impacts of this separation – financial, emotional, and physical. The impacts are real, and Ontario legislators have the power to end this harm for senior couples in Ontario," said Fife.