February 22nd, 2021

Horwath forces vote on Ford’s shutdown of LTC Commission

QUEEN'S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will force a vote Monday on her proposal to extend the Long-Term Care Commission's deadline, so it can finish its work determining what’s gone so wrong in long-term care during this pandemic, and make recommendations to ensure it never happens again.

"Our parents and grandparents, families and long-term care staff deserve for us to do everything in our power to learn what is going wrong, and change the system so they’ll be safe in long-term care,” said Horwath.

“Although the problems started years ago, over 3,700 people have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19 in nursing homes during the pandemic, and residents, staff and their families are still living with outbreaks, fear, and isolation. It’s not time to cut off the investigation – not while the pandemic is still raging.”

In December, the commission requested an extension to the end of 2021. The Ford government denied the request, so the commission had to stop accepting submissions as of Jan. 31, 2021. Horwath and the NDP called for an independent judicial Public Inquiry into long-term care rather than a commission in part so that Doug Ford would not have the right to time-limit or shut down the investigation.

“Doug Ford is shutting down the Long-Term Care Commission despite the commissioners’ explicit request for an extension,” said Horwath. “It looks like his government's attempt to cover up a disaster. Ford prioritized saving a buck over saving the lives of thousands of seniors. He prioritized protecting for-profit long-term care companies from lawsuits over protecting seniors in care. Now he’s avoiding scrutiny for all of that, and our loved ones pay the price for that decision.”

Horwath and the NDP have released a comprehensive plan to overhaul long-term care and home care, including transitioning the entire system to not-for-profit and public hands and banning for-profit corporations, while adding 50,000 new beds in smaller, more home-like settings.