Sparks flew in Question Period in the Ontario Legislature today, when NDP leader Andrea Horwath suggested the government was risking another mass outbreak of COVD in the province’s Long-Term Care homes. Horwath referred to a letter from the operators of LTC homes saying there were not enough supports in place to counteract a second wave of the pandemic. Long Term Care minister Merrilee Fullarton shot back; “You simply show your ignorance when you think that you can just snap your fingers and create staff. We have been absolutely dedicated to making sure we’re addressing staffing and infection control, making sure that our homes have support.”
Ms. Andrea Horwath: My next question is also for the Premier, but it sounds like another invisible ring of iron—or whatever you used to call it—
Interjection: Iron ring.
Ms. Andrea Horwath: —iron ring around long-term care, another invisible one, Speaker.
Three months ago, infection control experts urged this government—urged them—to build up prevention and control measures inside of our long-term-care facilities. Speaker, the homes themselves, are pleading with the government for action.
In this letter they say, “We need immediate action to ensure the health and safety of our residents, hard-working staff and family members.” This was written yesterday, Speaker. Experts provided a blueprint for exactly that kind of action months ago. Why has the Premier failed to act?
Hon. Doug Ford: Through you, Mr. Speaker, I have to sit back. The Leader of the Opposition is talking about invisible. The only person who’s been invisible is the Leader of the Opposition. She’s been invisible like Casper the ghost for the last six months. For the Leader of the Opposition to stand up like an armchair quarterback, a Monday-morning quarterback and tell us how the game’s been going when my great minister, both ministers here have been working around the clock doing everything we possibly can with the infectious control procedures. They’re in place. We’re moving on it. Everything is moving all at once.
But I can tell you, I have a 100% confidence in the system. As the minister said, 99% of the homes are case-free. We’re going to work on making sure it’s 100%, as it was just a few weeks ago. But for the Leader of the Opposition to come in and start saying like she knows everything is just—the gall, the gall of her is staggering, absolutely staggering.