The Ontario government launched a commission into COVID-19 and long-term care. Three commissioners will investigate how COVID-19 spread within long-term care homes, how residents, staff, and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus. The commission will also provide the government with guidance on how to better protect long-term care home residents and staff from any future outbreaks.
Three commissioners have been appointed for the expertise and experience they bring to addressing the commission’s mandate:
- Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco (Chair) ― appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 2005 and holds a distinguished career practising criminal law and civil litigation law spanning 33 years.
- Angela Coke ― served as a former senior executive of the Ontario Public Service where she spent more than 27 years committed to the transformation of government operations, consumer protection reform, and the development of a strong professional public service.
- Dr. Jack Kitts ― served as President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital from February 2002 until his retirement in June 2020. He is known nationally for his focus and expertise in patient experience, performance measurement and physician engagement.
A full month has passed since Doug Ford committed to his Commission on the crisis in long-term care, letting 30 days pass without action or work being done.
Ontario families with parents and grandparents in our nursing homes need to see progress today to keep their loved ones safe. The government must stop dithering and take decisive action today, including:
- A basic care guarantee with staffing levels that will meet each resident’s daily needs
- Raise the wages of the Personal Support Workers to stabilize the workforce.
- Adequate supply of personal protective equipment and proper infection control training and management.
- Address the risks in aging facilities with four bed ward rooms by creating extra spaces.
- Inspect all long term care homes and provide support for those homes struggling to meet standards
- Stop preventing access for essential family caregivers and support them with infection control training, personal protective equipment and a clear provincial policy for access.
There is a real concern amongst families and staff that homes are not receiving the support they need to protect them in the coming months.
I’ve had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Long-Term Care four questions in the Legislature about the crisis in Long-Term Care, in particular at the Madonna Care Community here in Orléans.
I will continue to press the government to take action.