Ontario has announced an independent commission into Long-term Care. The statement comes from Long Term Care Minister Dr. Merrilee Fullerton.
“Our government has been clear that we will review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Fullerton said. As of today there were outbreaks in 190 LTC homes, 1408 deaths in over 2538 cases among residents.
“We have been clear the long-term care system in Ontario is broken. We must act quickly and decisively, and that is why and independent, non-partisan commission is the best way to conduct a thorough and expedited review,” Fullerton said. According to a recent CBC report, only nine of 626 homes received inspections in 2019. The province requires annual inspections.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath attacked today’s decision for the commission. She called it a “back-room process.” Only a public inquiry will give residents and love ones the voice, the answers, the respect, and the change they deserve. Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca echoed Horwath’s calls for a public inquiry. “This is progress, but I am concerned that a commission may not provide the transparency to the public that this crisis calls out for,” Del Duca said in a statement on the Liberal Party’s website.
The province has passed several emergency orders on staffing, and allowing hospitals to potentially take over management. The Canadian forces have also been helping with staffing at some long-term care homes in the Toronto area.