Mar 09, 2021
By Christine Ross
The NDP grilled the Ford government over comments given by a member of the province’s science advisory group to the long-term care commission. infectious disease specialist Dr. Allison McGeer testified on March 4th that the government rejected proposals that could have helped vulnerable residents during the second wave because they were too expensive.
That comment prompted a heated exchange in the legislature between Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and Long-Term Care Minister Merillee Fullerton.
“Why did this Premier choose saving money over saving lives,” demanded Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.
“I refute the premise of that question,” responded Long Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton. “Our government has taken every action possible even up to making sure to addressing the long-standing issues in long term care left behind by the previous government.”
The rejected proposals included options for hospitals to support long term care to ensure seniors wouldn’t be housed three or four to a room during the second wave which was deadlier than the first.
According to the transcript, the advising doctors say the province chose not to hire thousands of additional long-term care staff, or place infection-control practitioners in homes, as they did in Quebec.
They say while Ontario was better prepared for the second wave, the province didn’t do enough because it mistakenly believed the problems present in the first wave had been resolved.