June 17th, 2020

‘Shocking’: Horwath on Ford’s plan to protect long-term care companies from liability

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s just wrong for Doug Ford to even think about protecting long-term care companies from civil liability when many companies failed to protect seniors in their care during the pandemic, and in the most egregious cases exposed them to abuse and neglect.

There are already several lawsuits under way in Ontario, including against Sienna, which called these claims “blood-sucking lawsuits.” But now, according to a CBC report, the Ford government is looking at protecting companies from COVID-19-related liability.

“It’s shocking that Doug Ford would be willing to stand in the way of families fighting for justice for their loved ones who went through such horrors in long-term care,” said Horwath. “Why would he take the side of protecting long-term care homes that failed to protect their residents? Mr. Ford should be standing shoulder to shoulder with families, not shielding the for-profit companies from liability.

“The Ford government should have done more, more quickly, to protect seniors in long-term care during the pandemic. We can’t turn back the clock now, but we can hold the companies that hurt seniors accountable.”

In question period Wednesday, Ford refused to address why his government is looking at protecting long-term care companies from civil liability and instead claimed to have saved lives, ignoring the nearly 1,800 seniors who lost theirs.

“Families that lost their parents and grandparents deserve so much better,” said Horwath. “Instead of helping for-profit companies protect their bottom lines, Mr. Ford should be committing to a full, independent, public judicial inquiry so we can fix Ontario’s long broken long-term care system.”