“During the height of the pandemic, so many of our loved ones lost their lives in these private for-profit long-term care homes and those families are still seeking justice. Just weeks after these atrocities became known, Doug Ford passed special legislation to prevent lawsuits against the private operators that let this happen – we’ll repeal that and get these local Niagara families justice.” – Niagara Falls Riding MPP Wayne Gates.
News from Ontario’s New Democratic Party
Posted May 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
(A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Why on earth did Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative government use their majority to pass legislation protecting privately run long-term care (LTC) homes from ever being sued by citizens for alleged poor care of their loved ones unless Ford did it to protect his cronies in the LTC business?
Why would any Conservative government that is supposed to believe in governments not interfering in matters between businesses and their customers or clients pass such legislation anyway?
Yet the Ford government did pass such a measure, shielding privately-run LTCs from possible lawsuits, and we did not hear a peep of protest from the business community across Ontario. If, on the other hand, Ford passed a law shielding citizens from lawsuits filed against them for not paying businesses for a product or service, could you imagine how much screaming the business community would do?
For Ford and company, it has been anything to let private LTCs off the hook for any negligence on their part, and who cares if citizens and their elderly relatives in need of care get justice.
Now here is the NDP news release.)
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will restore the right of long-term care residents and their families to seek justice against negligent nursing home operators for the horrors they endured. Then she’ll overhaul long-term care so it doesn’t happen to others.
“Seniors — our parents and grandparents — deserve the best possible care. But for years they haven’t been getting it. This election is Ontario’s chance to finally fix seniors care. We can get the profits out. And we can put care back in by hiring thousands of nurses, PSWs and other frontline heroes. We can make sure seniors never again go without nutrition, protection, or a caring person at their side with time to listen, and time to care,” said Horwath.
“We can respond to the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic by making sure no senior is ever neglected in long-term care again. This election is our shot to protect seniors in long-term care now, and for generations.”
During the pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces reported that seniors were dying of dehydration, alone in filthy and infested rooms. Among the worst offenders was Orchard Villa, owned by for-profit corporation Southbridge Care Homes. At least 70 residents there died from COVID-19, and the CAF reported horrors inside the home included residents left in soiled diapers, on beds with no bedding. When they got food or water, staff didn’t even have time to help them sit up, causing choking.
In late October 2020, Southbridge hired three well-connected PC lobbyists: Alanna Clark, directly from PC Minister Caroline Mulroney’s office; Rob Leone, a former PC MPP and Stella Ambler, former Conservative MP. Within a month, the Ford government passed a law shielding for-profit long-term care corporations from lawsuits for negligence.
Then Ford started handing the worst offenders 30-year license extensions, and the right to open more beds in the worst homes. He’s making Southbridge eligible for almost $4 billion in government funding.
Long-term care in Ontario is broken. Horwath will finally start to fix it. The NDP will:
* Immediately restore the right of residents and their families to sue long-term care corporations for negligence, seeking justice for loved ones.
* Deny the license renewal applications of Orchard Villa and other Southbridge homes — and instead, license non-profit and public entities to take over.
* Review approvals that have already been granted.
* Work with local hospitals, municipal councils and non-profits to seamlessly transfer ownership to non-profit entities – similar to the transitions in management that happened during COVID-19 outbreaks.
* Create a new legal fund to help families access justice. The fund would be accessible to any resident or family who had their legal case against a long-term care home corporations derailed by Ford’s legislation.
“Our loved ones cannot withstand more years of Liberal and Conservative cuts to long-term care, and cuts to comprehensive inspections,” said Horwath. “It’s time to change the system, and invest in a better quality of life and quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities.”
Ontario has the highest share of for-profit nursing homes in Canada, and Ford is privatizing further by allocating new beds to for-profit homes.
Comprehensive inspections, a Seniors’ Advocate, and more will ensure care never goes downhill again.
Niagara Falls Riding NDP Candidate Wayne Gates Proud to Support Horwath’s Promise to Help Families Pursue Justice for Negligent LTC Operators
NIAGARA FALLS – NDP incumbent Wayne Gates, running for re-election in the Niagara Falls riding is proud to support NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s commitment to immediately repeal Bill 218. This bill holds particularly emotion for both Gates and Niagara residents.
“During the height of the pandemic, so many of our loved ones lost their lives in these private for-profit long-term care homes and those families are still seeking justice. Just weeks after these atrocities became known, Doug Ford passed special legislation to prevent lawsuits against the private operators that let this happen – we’ll repeal that and get these local Niagara families justice,” said Gates.
“Niagara still lives with the losses from these homes. Long-term care in Ontario is broken. Decades of cuts by the Liberals and neglect from Ford broke this system. Our seniors deserve better. We’re going to ensure that every dollar spent goes to more and better care for your loved ones, instead of profit for private care operators”.
Gates was prominent in publicizing the crisis at Oakwood Park Lodge, a private home where 40 residents died and nearly 100% of the staff tested positive for COVID-19. During the pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces reported that seniors were dying from dehydration alone in filthy and infested rooms across Ontario.
In December 2020, Gates personally appealed to Doug Ford to help the beleaguered care home and Ford refused. In 2021, Gates once again pursued justice for Oakwood Park when he demanded that Ford (https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/gates-demands-justice-niagara-long-term-care-families) implement the recommendations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care home commission. Once again, Ford refused.
“These care home operators have profited long-enough off our seniors. We’re going to fix this, so seniors can get the respect they’ve earned and the care they deserve,” said Gates.
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