May 24th, 2022
May 24th, 2022
DURHAM and TORONTO – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will restore the right of long-term care residents and their families to seek justice against negligent nursing home operators for the horrors they endured. Then she’ll overhaul long-term care so it doesn’t happen to others.
“Seniors — our parents and grandparents — deserve the best possible care. But for years they haven’t been getting it. This election is Ontario’s chance to finally fix seniors care. We can get the profits out. And we can put care back in by hiring thousands of nurses, PSWs and other frontline heroes. We can make sure seniors never again go without nutrition, protection, or a caring person at their side with time to listen, and time to care,” said Horwath.
“We can respond to the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic by making sure no senior is ever neglected in long-term care again. This election is our shot to protect seniors in long-term care now, and for generations.”
During the pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces reported that seniors were dying of dehydration, alone in filthy and infested rooms. Among the worst offenders was Orchard Villa, owned by for-profit corporation Southbridge Care Homes. At least 70 residents there died from COVID-19, and the CAF reported horrors inside the home included residents left in soiled diapers, on beds with no bedding. When they got food or water, staff didn’t even have time to help them sit up, causing choking.
In late October 2020, Southbridge hired three well-connected PC lobbyists: Alanna Clark, directly from PC Minister Caroline Mulroney’s office; Rob Leone, a former PC MPP and Stella Ambler, former Conservative MP. Within a month, the Ford government passed a law shielding for-profit long-term care corporations from lawsuits for negligence.
Then Ford started handing the worst offenders 30-year license extensions, and the right to open more beds in the worst homes. He’s making Southbridge eligible for almost $4 billion in government funding.
Long-term care in Ontario is broken. Horwath will finally start to fix it. The NDP will:
“Our loved ones cannot withstand more years of Liberal and Conservative cuts to long-term care, and cuts to comprehensive inspections,” said Horwath. “It’s time to change the system, and invest in a better quality of life and quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities.”
Ontario has the highest share of for-profit nursing homes in Canada, and Ford is privatizing further by allocating new beds to for-profit homes.
Southbridge and the business of long-term care
Southbridge is a business venture launched with the explicit goal of scooping up older homes, saving money on operations and eventually getting a government contract to renovate or rebuild the properties.
Aging Ontarians Deserve the Best: Horwath’s seniors care platform