July 8th, 2020

Horwath calls on Ford to address sweltering conditions in long-term care

NDP commits to passing legislation requiring air conditioning in nursing homes today

QUEEN’S PARK — A day after Doug Ford made the dubious claim that he didn’t know about the sweltering conditions in long-term care, Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on his government to introduce a bill requiring air conditioning in all residents’ rooms. Horwath added that the NDP would provide unanimous consent to pass such legislation today.

But in question period, the Ford Conservatives declined.

Yesterday, a report by CBC shined a light on how seniors in long-term care homes lacking air conditioning are suffering amid a summer heat wave. There are few ways to get relief, and basic fans add to the risk of spreading COVID-19. Andrea Horwath and the NDP have been calling for minimum air conditioning requirements in long-term care since at least 2006.

“It’s awful to leave seniors sweltering in long-term care homes without air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave,” said Horwath. “It’s not only misery and discomfort – it’s dangerous.

“It’s shameful that the Liberals government had 15 years, and time and time again refused to set minimum cooling and other standards in long-term care when the NDP raised this issue,” said Horwath. “And it’s shameful for Doug Ford to now claim he didn’t know that seniors living in these homes are suffering without air conditioning after the NDP brought it to his attention in the legislature two years ago.”

Rosa Mary Abrahams, who lives at Midland Gardens Long Term Care, is just one of the seniors who is suffering without air conditioning right now. Her daughter, Jeanette Abrahams, writes:

“There is no air conditioning at this place and my Mom and I dare say other residents are left to swelter,” Abrahams wrote. “I cry everyday. I just bought a fan and a mini A/C that uses ice cubes, I can only hope and pray that those will be allowed in for her.”