QUEEN’S PARK - Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden asked the Ford government to call a public inquiry into the state of long-term care during question period Tuesday, following several tragedies in the Ottawa area.
On Tuesday, the Ford government voted down a motion put forward by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath calling for a full, independent public inquiry into Ontario's long-term care system.
Harden shared the story of Peter Collins, a 68-year-old dementia patient living at Carlingview Manor, where 46 people have died of COVID-19.
“Staff at Carlingview are overworked and almost impossible to reach by phone,” said Harden. “Residents were using common areas without social distancing. A non-verbal resident would constantly wander into Peter’s room looking to steal things. He has not been regularly receiving the puffer medication he needs.”
Peter’s sister Christine, a constituent of Harden’s, wrote to Premier Ford on Sunday urging him to call a public inquiry.
“Christine is terrified for her brother’s safety, and wants to make sure that what happened to her brother never happens again for anyone else, said Harden.” “Premier, why is Christine wrong to call for a public inquiry?”
The NDP proposed a public inquiry that is find-and-fix, meaning problems in long-term care would be urgently addressed as soon as they are identified. The NDP wants that to begin with a permanent, $4 raise for personal support workers, minimum care hours for each resident and regular mandatory and comprehensive inspections of long-term care homes.