Friday, May 22, 2020


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following Editorial by the Record titled "Ford stumbles over long-term care inquiry call". The Record starts off by mostly being supportive of Doug Ford and the Conservatives regarding their handling of the Covid 19 pandemic. However the Record are very blunt about Premier Ford's refusal to call for a "full, independent public inquiry into Ontario's long-term care system.". Bluntly put, they are appalled. Doug Ford instead has suggested that a government review of the long-term care system is the way to go. This is not remotely the same thing at all.

A government led review will mean that the provincial government of the day is totally in charge of the review including its scope and parameters. If there are areas of long-term care that the Conservative government does not want a light shone upon then those areas will remain in the dark. There is a much greater capacity via this route to keep certain things private. Likely things that might be either disconcerting or embarrassing to the government of the day. Do keep in mind that the opposition Liberals most certainly share blame if not the majority of it for the deterioration in elder care in this province. They were in power for the previous fifteen years after all.

Of greater concern may be the Mike Harris Conservative government back in the 1990s who opened the door to privatization. Currently the majority of long-term care homes are owned by private interests "...including one large company which has as its board chair none other than the same Mike Harris, who is paid $237,000 a year for the part-time job.". Is anyone getting a small whiff of patronage/corruption about that?

A full and independent public inquiry has a much greater chance of covering all the long-term care issues and bases and nobody currently feels that long-term care is even remotely satisfactory in the province of Ontario. Certainly Covid 19 has exposed the underbelly of the industry including less than stellar hours of care per resident despite government subsidization of all long-term care residents. Also the working conditions including wages, hours of work, and job security are sub-standard most especially considering the workload and health risks involved.

Quoting the Record's last paragraph: "SARS killed 44 in Ontario. Elizabeth Wettlaufer, eight. Walkerton, six. Ipperwash one. All these were followed by public inquiries. So far, Covid 19 has killed more than 2,000. Yet Ford doesn't think a public inquiry is needed. He needs to think again."

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