IMMUNITY TALK FOR ONTARIO LTC PROVIDERS LEAVES CARP QUESTIONING IF FAMILIES WILL STILL BE ABLE TO ACCESS JUSTICE

Jun 18, 2020

By Jane Brown

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Even as a provincial bill proposes to protect some long term care operators from civil liability linked to COVID-19, Ontario’s premier is promising he will hold care home providers to account over the devastating effects of the new coronavirus.

“They’ll be held accountable and I’m not protecting any of those bad actors,” Doug Ford said at his daily news conference on Wednesday.

Ford also says there are several investigations into long term care, that could lead to criminal charges.

“When we get through this whole process and find out exactly what happened in these homes, there’s going to be accountability. There’s going to be accountability for the people we’ve lost. There’s going to be accountability for the companies that let this happen,” Ford went on to say.

Marissa Lennox is the chief policy officer at CARP – A New Vision of Aging.

She tells Zoomer Radio News, there are questions whether this civil liability protection could thwart the ability of families who lost loved ones in long term care during COVID-19 to seek justice.

“What about homes who’s very condition, four bedroom wards and narrow hallways, contributed to the spread of the virus?” Lennox asks, “Would they be granted immunity protection. It’s unclear. We’ve already seen a number of class action claims, initiated on behalf of residents in homes across the country. It’s likely we will see more, and I think it’s critical whatever decision the province makes here, that it not unfairly compromise access to justice for families.”

To date, the death toll related to COVID-19 among residents of Ontario’s long term care homes is 1,798.

Listen for more reaction to this proposed law and have your say on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer after the noon news.

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