Canada’s military exposes conditions in five Ontario long-term care homes; all in the GTA, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says shock and anger him, and which have left Premier Doug Ford visibly shaken.
”It’s so disturbing when I read this, it was hard to get through,” said Ford.
”It was the worst report, most heart wrenching report I have ever read in my entire life. Ever.”
”It is deeply disturbing. There are things in there that are extremely troubling,” the prime minister said.
The 23-page military report details cockroaches and flies at Pickering’s Orchard Villa, where residents were left in beds in soiled diapers.
At Etobicoke’s Eatonville Care Centre, the military witnessed COVID-19 positive patients wandering, and not enough personal protective equipment to keep staff safe.
At Scarborough’s Altamont Care Community, most residents were not getting three-meals-a-day due to ”significant staffing issues.”
There was no evidence of residents being repositioned in bed or washed properly.
At North York’s Hawthorne Place, residents were left in soiled diapers, ”numerous fans” were blowing in hallways increasing the spread of the virus.
Cockroaches and ants were also spotted.
At Brampton’s Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor, poor hygiene practices were witnessed by the military members, who saw staff move from a COVID-19 positive unit to other units without changing protective gear, wearing the same pair of gloves as they moved between patients and not washing their hands often enough.
The premier, who has so far refused to call a public inquiry into long-term care, has changed his tune, saying he’s ”not ruling out anything” after reading the report.
Ford also says police will be asked to look at coroner’s reports into nursing home deaths in case criminal charges are warranted.
Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath says the ”buck does stop with Mr. Ford,” adding for him to ”waste another second” before having public health or a hospital take over those homes and many more in Ontario would be ”unconscionable”.
The military was called in April to help with outbreaks and will remain for at least another 30-days.
Thirty-six members have now been infected while helping out in facilities in Ontario and Quebec.
14 of them in Ontario.
Over 1,500 residents and six staff have died in outbreaks in long-term care in this province alone.
The prime minister says the situation clearly has existed long before the pandemic and vows the federal government will be there to support the provinces in addressing the problem.