Apr 29, 2021
By Jane Brown
The province’s COVID-19 ravaged nursing homes are receiving some renewed attention this week, as Ontario’s auditor general says they were woefully unprepared for the pandemic due to years of neglect.
Bonnie Lysyk’s latest report cites overcrowding, poor ministry oversight and a severe staffing shortage that existed before the COVID-19 crisis.
Lysyk blames both the provincial government and the nursing-home sector for failing to learn from SARS, when concerns raised repeatedly for years, went unaddressed.
Long Term Care Minister Merilee Fullerton used that as an opportunity to suggest the Progressive Conservatives have improved long term care, while the New Democrats under Andrea Horwath failed to act when the Liberals were in power.
“The leader of the opposition sat in this chamber,” Fullerton explained during Question Period, “and had the opportunity for many years to address what she knew and she didn’t, and neither did the government of the day. It is our government that has taken responsibility for this sector so badly neglected for many years under the people sitting right there.”
In fact, more than half of the more than 37-hundred residents who died in long term care after contracting COVID-19, passed away during the second wave of the pandemic.
This is why the Zoomers Group CARP has been calling for months for Premier Doug Ford to fire his long term care minister for failing to protect residents during the second wave after being alerted by the military to horrific conditions in some nursing homes.
The AG will have more to say about her observations on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer Thursday after the noon news.