October 22nd, 2020

Horwath calls on Ford to remove nursing home chains and government from legislation

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the premier to exclude the Ford Government and private long-term care chains from shocking legislation that shields them from accountability.

The Ford government’s bill, revealed earlier this week, aims to block the families who are looking for justice from for-profit long-term care corporations and the Ford government, following the deaths of more than 1,900 seniors during the pandemic.

Horwath and the NDP have heard from families, devastated that their rights are being taken away by Ford so he can protect himself, and his political allies’ profits.

“Whether it’s former Conservative premier Mike Harris, who chairs the board of Chartwell, or the army of former Ford government staff now lobbying for private long-term care chains, well-connected Conservatives know the Ford government will ensure that they can avoid accountability,” said Horwath. “If the premier wants to prove this bill is not designed to shield himself and his political allies, he can amend the bill today to exempt the Ford government and private long-term care chains.”

On Tuesday, The Ford government voted down an NDP proposal to replace for-profit long-term care corporations with a non-profit and public system. That change is a pillar of the comprehensive plan the NDP released, which includes a record investment and complete overhaul of home care and long-term care.

“Our parents and grandparents should be better off in Ontario,” said Horwath. “If I were premier today, I would be implementing a plan that makes them safer, and gives them more quality of life. I’d be putting care ahead of profits.”

Long-term care was privatized by former Conservative Premier Mike Harris in the 1990s, and Conservative and Liberal governments have expanded the dangerous for-profit approach since that time.