Niagara Centre MPP Holds Doug Ford Minister Responsibe for Deadly Failures in Long-Term Care Homes

When Will Ontario Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton Stop Shifting Blame? She Should Resign.

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted May 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

QUEEN’S PARK – The minister of long-term care needs to take responsibility for failing seniors, said MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre).  The Ford government must take action now to protect them, Burch said during question period this Wednesday, May 5th.

Burch shared the stories of two local families whose mothers have suffered at Royal Rose Place, a for-profit long-term care home in Welland.

“Over the course of five months, a constituent from Welland saw her mother’s health deteriorate. She had two ulcers, constant urinary tract infections, and was left in soiled diapers for hours. Complaint after complaint to the ministry went unaddressed until her mother passed just a few weeks ago,” said Burch.

“When will this minister take responsibility for her government’s lack of action and for what is happening to seniors at long-term care under her watch?”

Burch said the Long-Term Care Commission revealed what anyone with a family member in a for-profit long-term care facility already knew: that decades of neglect left residents vulnerable; that this government was not prepared for a pandemic; and that the minister ignored the warnings of the risk that COVID posed to LTC residents.

 Ford Government Minister for Long-Term, Care Merrilee Fullerton. She is just “one person,”she says, and she is blaming everyone else but herself and her boss, Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“It’s irresponsible and unbelievable for the minister of long-term care to claim that she holds no responsibility for long-term care,” said Burch.  “Seniors, and their families, expect the minister to be responsible for their well-being and accountable for their care.

“Another constituent told me about her mother who was at Royal Rose Place. Her mother has dementia. She got COVID, along with 77 other residents in the 96-bed long-term care home. She had great difficulty recovering and has since suffered seven falls and, a few weeks ago, she broke her neck. They’ve filed a number of complaints with the ministry, to no avail. Just this week, five staff and six more residents tested positive for the virus.

“Will this minister stop shifting the blame and finally take action to protect seniors in long term care and resign?”

For a recent piece posted on Niagara At Large on the Ontario Long-Term Care Commission’s damning report on the way the province has addressed the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care homes, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/05/01/long-term-care-commission-report-is-damming-for-ford-government/ .

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2 responses to “Niagara Centre MPP Holds Doug Ford Minister Responsibe for Deadly Failures in Long-Term Care Homes

  1. Generally I would support Burch’s statement: “It’s irresponsible and unbelievable for the minister of long-term care to claim that she holds no responsibility for long-term care,” Premier Ford is diverting his decision making to Fullerton by ignoring her recommendations. As a result Fullerton is taking the flack for Ford’s decisions

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  2. Like with some American states, there was nursing home neglect in Canada long before Covid-19, although the actual extent was made horrifically clear when the pandemic really hit. A most morbid example was the CHSLD Résidence Herron long-term care home in Quebec about 11 months ago, where 47 residents perished. The neglect had become so extreme that the Canadian Armed Forces got involved. Western business mentality and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments — including that of Ontario’s Ford Tories — mostly dared not intervene, perhaps because they feared being labelled as anti-business in our avidly capitalist culture.

    A common yet questionable refrain prevails among capitalist nation governments and corporate circles: Best business practices, including what’s best for the consumers, are best decided by business decision makers. Clearly evidenced by the many needless care-home deaths, big business does not always practice what’s best for its consumers, including the most vulnerable.

    I’ve always admired some non-Western cultures for their general belief in and practice of not placing their aged family members in seniors care homes. As a result, family caregivers don’t have to worry over those loved-ones being left vulnerable by cost-cutting measures taken by some care-home business owners to maximize profits.

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