Premier Doug Ford announced an independent commission into long-term care homes after a scathing military report revealed residents were living in “disgusting” and “life-threatening” conditions.
“I will not shy away from the horrors we found,” says Ford. “There will be an independent commission, similar to SARS, independent of the government.”
He says it doesn’t stop there. “We will get reports from the Auditor General, a coroner’s report and possibly a police report….we’re going to fix the problem after decades of neglect.”
Ford says he will not hesitate to remove licenses from operators and residents could be moved to other homes or hospitals if necessary.
The Province has now taken over management of 5 homes named in the CAF report, they are most concerned with. Six teams of two inspectors have been deployed to those homes.
Those homes include Eatonville care centre in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York, Altamont Care Community in Scarborough , Orchard Villa in Pickering and Camilla Care in Mississauga.
Minister of long-term care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton was asked when those LTC homes were last inspected and if it was done over the phone or in-person?
Minister Fullerton spoke about the complications from COVID-19 and conducting in-person visits, but ultimately did not answer the question.
Asked if members of cabinet should resign over disturbing long term care report, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says no. Ford then praised Minister Fullerton and Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“Heads should have been rolling for decades,” says Ford. “We’re going to fix these problems.”
The Premier was asked why proper inspections weren’t being done in long term care homes. Ford passed the question to Minister Fullerton, who insisted proper inspections were being done.
Ford says he will testify before the independent commission looking into long-term care if called to do so.
The Province already put two other homes under hospital care on Monday. Downsview Long Term Care in Toronto is now managed by Humber River Hospital, and River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton is managed by Southlake Regional Health Centre.
The premier says the military will stay at long-term care homes until at least June 12.
Ford’s announcement comes a day after a scathing CAF report on what’s happening inside some of Ontario’s long-term care homes.
Military members saw cockroaches, and expired meds, staff reusing supplies and leaving residents in dirty briefs and unbathed for weeks.
Lifting restrictions up to each region in Ontario
Ford was also asked about lifting restrictions regionally. Ford says it’s up to the 34 medical officers of health in Ontario to make those decisions.
Ontario has extended its COVID-19 emergency orders until June 9. That means playgrounds, public swimming pools remain closed. Restaurants (except takeout & delivery) and bars will remain closed as well and social gatherings are limited to five people.