Jan 16, 2024
By Jeremy Logan
The provincial government says a new team of long-term care investigators in Ontario will begin looking into allegations of homes failing to protect their residents from abuse or neglect.
Stan Cho, the province’s long-term care minister, made the announcement Monday, saying the new unit is being supported with $72.3 million in funding.
Minister Cho says Ontario already has “the toughest inspection and enforcement program in Canada,” and the new investigations team will help ensure residents receive the best quality of care.
The team of 10 investigators will be able to look into allegations of failing to protect a resident from abuse or neglect, failing to comply with ministry inspector’s orders, repeated and ongoing non-compliance, suppressing and/or falsifying mandatory reports and negligence of corporate directors.
The new investigative team will determine if a provincial offence has been committed under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, which may result in fines and/or imprisonment.
According to the New Democratic Party’s long-term care critic, Wayne Gates, bolder moves are needed such as working conditions for staff and better pay, since thousands of seniors lost their lives since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inspection system collapsed during the first wave.