June 25th, 2020

Ford owes explanation after troubling news surfaces he denied LTC help

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said damning allegations that Doug Ford’s government received two proposals by its own Long-Term Care Minister to increase funding for long-term care homes before the pandemic devastated nursing homes, and rejected both, deserves an explanation from the premier.

“Families have been repeatedly promised that everything was being done to protect their loved ones in long-term care homes. While Doug Ford talked in public about putting ‘iron ring’ around seniors, behind the scenes, insiders are saying he repeatedly rejected the funding and staffing measures that would have saved lives,” said Horwath.

The troubling news first surfaced in a Toronto Sun story Wednesday night.

“Doug Ford must explain to grieving families, who pleaded with him to take action, why he repeatedly said no to measures that would save lives,” said Horwath. “This is exactly why we need a fully-independent judicial public inquiry into long-term care, and how this pandemic has played out. We can’t trust a government commission in the backrooms to reveal what really happened.”

In early April, the NDP proposed steps to protect people living in long-term care, including aggressively recruiting more staff, preventing staff from working in multiple homes, providing personal protective equipment for all staff including N95 masks, mandating infection prevention and control measures, and taking over the management of homes that failed to deal with outbreaks.

While British Columbia took swift and decisive action to stop health care workers from having to work in multiple homes, and to take control of failing homes, Ford refused, and only ever took half measures. To date, 116 seniors have died in British Columbia’s long-term care homes; and Ontario has had 15 times more deaths, with over 1,800 lives lost in Ontario’s long-term care homes.


Doug Ford, April 14, 2020
“We will spare no expense. We must redeploy every available resource to our long-term care homes.”

Doug Ford, March 23, 2020
“I will spare no expense, no expense at all to make sure we take care of the people’s health and the economy of this province.”