New expert testimony at LTC Commission reveals Ford didn’t want to spend the money
QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford’s government rejected proposals that could have saved lives in long-term care homes because of the cost, according to newly revealed expert testimony at Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission. Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s despicable that the Conservatives would make such a cold, cruel financial calculation when Ontarians’ parents and grandparents were getting sick and dying from COVID-19 in long-term care homes.
In testimony transcripts posted to the commission website, Dr. Allison McGeer, a professor and public health expert from the departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a member of Ontario’s Science Table, said that when it came to savings lives in long-term care, “a number of proposals went to the Ministry about what could be done; and all of them were deemed by the Ministry to be too expensive.”
McGeer said those proposals included proposals from hospitals to send help, getting seniors out of crowded ward rooms, and hiring staff like Quebec did.
“Imagine how families whose loved ones got sick or died in long-term care will feel when they learn that Doug Ford could have done more to protect their parents and grandparents, but he chose not to spend the money,” said Horwath. “The Conservatives made a callous decision to put money ahead of public health – and some precious people died a preventable, lonely and painful death as a result.”
The NDP has been calling for a plan to get seniors out of three- and four-bed ward rooms to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and has committed to eliminating these types of rooms as part of its plan to overhaul home care and long-term care in Ontario.