THUNDER BAY- Families in Thunder Bay have suffered loss and tragedy with the deaths of their loved ones at Southbridge Roseview and they deserve answers, said Judith Monteith-Farrell, NDP MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, after families launched a lawsuit against the home, and the NDP forces a vote on Monday to allow the Long-Term Care Commission to finish its work.
“Families who have lost their loved ones, at the very least, deserve to know what happened. Their pain and suffering has been met with silence. Instead of accountability for families, the Ford government is protecting the same long-term care homes where so many have suffered and died by passing a law protecting them from being held accountable in court,” said Monteith-Farrell. “That’s incredibly wrong and hurtful to families in Thunder Bay and across the province.”
The Ontario NDP Opposition Day Motion on Monday calls for an extension of the Long-Term Care Commission, so it can finish its investigation into what’s gone so wrong in long-term care during this pandemic, and make recommendations to ensure it never happens again. Doug Ford is cutting their work short, seemingly in another attempt to prevent answers and accountability.
“The Ford government needs stop covering up for the industry and be transparent with families and staff who deserve answers about what happened to their loved ones and their colleagues during this pandemic,” said Monteith-Farrell. “The very least you would expect from Doug Ford was that he would allow the commission to finish their probe into what happened, instead of refusing their request for more time to get more answers.”
The Ford government denied the commission’s request for an extension to the end of 2021, so the commission had to stop accepting submissions as of Jan. 31, 2021. Andrea Horwath and the NDP called for an independent judicial public inquiry into long-term care rather than a commission in part so that Doug Ford could not shut down the investigation.
“Together with Andrea Horwath and the NDP, we will continue fighting for families in Thunder Bay and across the province who want answers about what happened to their families in long-term care. We will not stop holding the Ford government to account, because it’s the very least that families who have been through so much anguish, deserve,” said Monteith-Farrell.
The COVID-19 outbreak at Southbridge Roseview long-term care home is the deadliest in northwestern Ontario, claiming the lives of 23 residents, and infecting 150 residents and staff.