QUEEN’S PARK — Families, experts and health care workers have called for an independent judicial public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care system, not today’s previously-announced backroom commission.
“Doug Ford used a commission just like this to justify his callous cuts,” said NDP Attorney General critic Gurratan Singh. “The families who have tragically lost a loved one simply deserve better. They deserve nothing less than a full public inquiry.”
Family members, groups and experts that have echoed the NDP’s call for an independent public inquiry include:
“You will find that we are united in our need for this type of inquiry, that we do not want an independent commission where information is controlled and stones can be left unturned.”
Petition by the families of Orchard Villa, May 29 (signed by over 7,500 people to date)
“I think they’re avoiding accountability. I think they know if there is actually an independent judicial inquiry, it would actually have the power to compel to really find out what’s actually happened during COVID, before COVID. And I don’t think our current government actually wants to find out what’s actually happening. And without that independent lens, I don’t think we can get to the bottom of what’s exactly happening either.”Dr. Amina Jabbar, July 3, resident physician in Geriatric Medicine (McMaster University)
“The 1,400 families who lost loved ones in Ontario's nursing homes deserve better than a political process designed to hide the failures of Doug Ford's government and his friends like Mike Harris who run for-profit long-term care corporations. The families of frontline workers like Christine Mandegarian, Arlene Reid, and Sharon Roberts deserve the truth. They deserve to know what steps weren't taken—and why—when Minister Fullerton was repeating the "iron ring" lie for weeks and weeks. They deserve to know what companies like Chartwell, Extendicare, Sienna and Revera were actually doing while nurses and PSWs were crying out for PPE. They deserve the truth that only a public inquiry can reveal.”
Sharleen Stewart, May 19, President of SEIU Healthcare
“This province has known for quite some time that this sector suffers from chronic underfunding, chronic understaffing and that many of the for-profit corporations that operate these homes value profit over care. There has been a great deal of complacency around fixing the system. Not all Commissions are created equal… and we expect to see a full public inquiry that is truly independent.
Vicki McKenna, May 22, Ontario Nurses Association
“I want to add my voice demanding an independent public non-partisan inquiry into what went wrong in the LTC facilities in this province due to the Covid 19 pandemic. … So many of them gone now. It is devastating for their family members but also for the staff there. Who will care for them? Will there be PTSD due to these losses? Please, this system needs to be overhauled. You need to have the right mix at the table.“
Jean Kuehl, May 17, Retired R.N.
“PSWs and other staff , the heroic frontline workers are overworked and underpaid. It seems that this has been acknowledged during these ‘unprecedented times,’ but without a public inquiry, once the newscasters move on to new topics, our overworked heroes will go back to the status of overworked unsung heroes.”
Ramona Cole, May 16, whose mother passed away pre-COVID-19
“The current and former residents, staff and families of LTC deserve a broad, thorough, completely independent, public and transparent inquiry.”
Janice C. Duffy, May 16, whose father entered long-term care in 2014
“Members of The Royal Canadian Legion of Ontario are calling upon your Government to step up to the plate and order a complete review of staffing, working conditions, health care and compliance with Health Care Regulations. Veterans, Seniors and all families of residents in LTC facilities deserve the best.”
Gary Pond, May 11, Provincial President, Legion Ontario Command
”The people of Ontario deserve to know the facts about their long term care system independently from government as well as make recommendations based on their desires and values for the redesign of a long term care system that will be a part of their own ageing in the years to come. Only a Public Inquiry can accomplish this.”
Janice E. Lessard, May 13, Geriatrician