Jan 11, 2023

By Christine Ross

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In his first news conference of the year, comes word the Ford government is appealing yet another court ruling and this time, it involves a lawsuit against the province over COVID-19 deaths in long term care.

An Ontario Superior Court judge has given the green light for a class action lawsuit against the province over COVID-19 deaths in long term care during the pandemic.

The plaintiffs says the government was ‘grossly negligent’ and failed to take swift action with the most vulnerable.

The lawsuit claims 3,836 residents, workers, volunteers and visitors ‘needlessly’ died while 23,000 became seriously ill.

But the Premier says “Team Ontario” was second only to Japan in how well it handled the pandemic in the early days of the pandemic.

“Did we have challenges, sure we did, like the whole world did, but did we perform extremely well all through the pandemic? we were phenomenal,” Doug Ford told reporters.

Another lawsuit has also been filed against the owners and operators of the long term care homes.

Meantime, Ford addressed his government’s appeal of Bill 124 – the wag cap legislation- that was struck down by an Ontario Superior Court.

“It’s going to lapse, and we’re just going to continue on making sure that we treat any government employee very fairly and that’s what we’ve always done,” said Ford. “But in saying that, I have to be prudent fiscal manager for the taxpayers,” added Ford.

Ford says the Bill has lapsed but if the government’s appeal is successful, about 30 % of the public sector will still be subject to it for three year terms.

On healthcare in general, Ford says the status quo is not working but was adamant Ontarians will continue to pay for healthcare with their OHIO card, not their credit card. But, the Premier suggests there could be more private sector involvement for minor surgery.

He says there are currently 13 facilities in Ontario that perform minor surgeries, taking the burden off the hospitals.

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