“Thousands of people died alone and in pain, without their loved ones to comfort them. … Let’s mourn together, and remember those precious loved ones lost. Then let’s send help and change to long-term care to give survivors a better life now, and ensure these atrocities never happen again.” – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party
Posted March 29th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford’s Conservatives rejected a motion from Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Monday calling for March 30 to be declared an annual, provincial day of mourning for the victims of COVID-19 in long-term care.
“It’s shameful that Doug Ford’s Conservatives said no to taking time as a province to mourn with families and remember the people we lost to COVID-19 in long-term care homes,” said Horwath.
“Thousands of people died alone and in pain, without their loved ones to comfort them. Families didn’t get to say goodbye. Let’s mourn together, and remember those precious loved ones lost. Then let’s send help and change to long-term care to give survivors a better life now, and ensure these atrocities never happen again.”
The motion also calls for a formal provincial apology for failing to put a long-promised “iron ring” of protection around long-term care homes. Ford first made his hollow promise of an iron ring for long-term care one year ago Tuesday, on March 30, 2020.
“Mr. Ford’s so-called ‘iron ring’ was just empty words. Long-term care homes descended into crisis without enough staff and personal protective equipment, or adequate infection prevention and control, and almost 4,000 seniors died in horrifying conditions,” said Horwath.
“People were left without water, crying out for care and attention, sometimes left in soiled clothes or diapers for hours and hours on end. This is a provincial tragedy on a massive scale, and we should never forget.”
The following motion, tabled by Andrea Horwath, was debated and voted on in the legislature on Monday, March 29:
- Whereas on March 30, 2020, Premier Ford announced an iron ring around Ontario’s long-term care homes to protect vulnerable seniors from COVID-19; and
- Whereas decades of underfunding and neglect by Liberal and Conservative governments left long-term care staff and residents susceptible to the virus, and more than half of all of Ontario’s COVID-19 deaths – 3,764 as of March 22, 2021 – have happened in the province’s long-term care homes; and
- Whereas statistics show that there were more COVID-19 related deaths in long-term care facilities in the second wave than in the first wave, long after Premier’s Ford’s promise of an iron-ring around long-term care;
- Therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario calls on the Ford government to issue a formal apology to long-term care residents, workers and their families for breaking its promise of an iron ring of protection around long-term care and for its failure to adequately protect residents and staff, and to declare March 30 of each year as a provincial day of mourning for the victims of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes.
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