June 22nd, 2020
Councillor Matlow and SEIU Healthcare call for public judicial-inquiry and transformational change in Ontario’s Long Term Care homes
Toronto – Councillor Josh Matlow, Toronto-St. Paul’s, is joined by SEIU Healthcare, the union that represents over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, in calling for a full public judicial-inquiry into the devastating COVID-19 outbreaks in Ontario’s Long Term Care homes. Unlike a commission, an inquiry has the legal authority to compel testimony and subpoena documents related to deaths in Ontario’s long term care homes. This transparency will restore the confidence lost by frontline staff and families, while uncovering systemic issues and gaps that led to the issues Ontario is currently facing.
“We owe it to our long term care homes staff and residents, along with their families and friends, to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are provided the highest standards of safety and care,” said Josh Matlow, City Councillor for Toronto-St. Paul’s (Ward 12) and Toronto’s Seniors Advocate. “Those who we’ve lost to COVID-19 deserve nothing less than transformational change. Let this be their legacy.”
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been particularly devastating in Long Term Care homes where, in too many cases, it has been running rampant. To better support and help ensure that an outbreak of this magnitude never happens again to seniors and those living with accessibility challenges in Ontario, Councillor Matlow and the SEIU are asking the Premier and Minister of Long Term Care to adopt three recommendations:
• Initiate an independent, objective and impartial inquiry into Ontario’s Long Term Care homes
• Immediate changes made to the level and quality of care in long term care homes with respect to pandemic relief
• Adopt emotion-centered approaches to care into Ontario’s Long Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) and Ontario Regulation 79/10.
“Nearly 1,800 deaths have occurred in Ontario’s long-term care facilities. Our provincial government owes all those families in mourning nothing short of an unrestricted judicial inquiry. And for all those elderly residents and workers still in those facilities, we’re demanding transformational change. Today, SEIU Healthcare is proud to stand with Councillor Matlow and the City of Toronto in calling for true justice and transformational change to our long-term care system.” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare
The City of Toronto’s Executive Committee will be considering the above recommendations at today’s meeting.