June 1st, 2020

Horwath responds to Ombudsman investigation into ministries’ handling of COVID-19

QUEEN’S PARK — Statement from Andrea Horwath in response to the announcement by Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé that his office will invoke their authority to investigate the oversight and actions of the Ministries of Health and Long Term Care in the long-term care sector:

“I welcome the unprecedented news that Ontario’s Ombudsman is taking the initiative, on his own authority, to investigate the work of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long Term Care in Ontario’s long-term care homes.

The heartbreaking, infuriating report from Canada’s Armed Forces revealed how thousands of seniors have been neglected and put in grave danger during this pandemic, even though the risks at the outset were obvious to many in Ontario’s threadbare and rarely-inspected homes. Any work to shine a light on how we got here and how we can ensure it never happens again is welcome.

While we’re hopeful this report can provide some answers and accountability, the Official Opposition believes a comprehensive, find-and-fix judicial public inquiry is necessary to evaluate the very foundations of the long-term care system in Ontario. We believe that’s the only way we’ll spark the overhaul that’s needed — which we believe should include getting for-profit corporations out of long-term care. Everyone in Ontario who needs long-term care deserves a high-quality, dignified home that delivers excellent care and a better quality of life.”