Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding the Ford government stop for-profit providers from regaining control of long-term care homes while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and until all investigations have been completed.
“We were all horrified to see what was happening in private, for-profit LTC homes who utterly failed the seniors in their care and had to be taken over by the Canadian Armed Forces or hospitals. As the pandemic continues, and we face a potential second wave of the virus, now is not the time to be handing back control of these homes to operators that have failed to protect their residents, leading to immeasurable heartbreak for so many families” said Horwath.
“The treatment of seniors they allowed was so shameful, so negligent, and in some cases, so potentially criminal that it resulted in dozens of deaths per home”.
Horwath says no decision can be made on the future management of these homes at least until all investigations have been completed, and a detailed, public review has been conducted. Ford must be prepared to permanently take over homes where evidence shows clear neglect of seniors.
Horwath was joined today by Maureen McDermott whose mother is a resident of River Glen Haven long-term care home in Sutton, ON, that was taken over by Southlake Regional Health Centre in May.
“I’m here today with family members of seniors in long-term care and those who have lost loved ones, people who have already endured so much to demand from Mr. Ford what should be obvious to anyone with a conscience. We’re asking for the very least Doug Ford can do for those who have lost loved ones, and for those whose loved ones are still living in these homes,” said Horwath.
The NDP believes Ontarians deserve a public, community-based, non-profit long-term care system, one that doesn’t siphon away frontline funding to pad the pockets of former premiers and multi-national corporations.
Horwath says the Ford government has failed to prepare the province’s long-term care homes for a potential second wave of this deadly virus that has already led to deaths of over 1,800 seniors in Ontario.
“Despite what Ford and his minister of long-term care might claim, we are far from ‘mission accomplished’ here. It has been over three months since Canadian Armed Forces began assuming control of some homes, and yet we still have no clear plan from the Ford government for the second wave,” added Horwath.
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