So much for Doug Ford's brief stint as the caring, concerned premier of Ontario.
The province's Covid-19 response changed public opinion of the giant blonde lout. Then this.
Cockroaches, rotten food, patients with ulcers left bed-bound, staff moving from unit to unit wearing contaminated gear.
Those are just some of the disturbing conditions detailed in a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) report made public Tuesday and based on the observations of its members at five Ontario long-term care homes deemed by the province to have required the most support.
Over 1,675 troops have been brought in to backstop five long-term care homes in Ontario and a further 25 in Quebec over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The allegations at homes — in Pickering, Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York and Brampton — paint an unsettling picture of residents being bullied, drugged and left for hours and days in soiled bedding.
Ontario officials were notified of the report by the federal government Sunday in a memo to the solicitor general grouping the concerns into either non-adherence or non-existence of policies, inadequate resources including trained staff and medical supplies, deficiencies in care home infrastructure and concerns about standards of care.
"It's heartbreaking, horrific, it's shocking that this can happen here in Canada. It's gut-wrenching, and reading those reports is the hardest thing I've done as premier," Ford said at a news conference Tuesday.
"There's going to be justice. There's going to be accountability," a visibly emotional Ford told the families of loved ones in care homes.
Speaking to reporters, Ford said Ontario has launched an investigation into the report's findings, referring one death to the coroner's office. Once a coroner's investigation is complete, he said, it will be up to police to determine if charges are in order "for neglect."Ford's "somebody's gonna pay" approach is disgustingly disingenuous. His own government has jurisdiction over the province's nursing homes, just like the Liberal and Tory and even NDP governments that preceded Ford's.
It took Canadian soldiers to discover this? Ford's health minister didn't know? The Ford government had to be given a heads up by the feds?
As I wrote earlier today, this has been going on, to my direct knowledge, for half a century, probably a lot longer than that. How many inspectors did the Ontario government send into those dungeons? How often? How did they not find the abuse that was so obvious to our soldiers? How did those inspectors look the other way, or did they? Face it. nursing home operators only did what they were confident they would get away with. It took soldiers for gawd's sake to recoil in disgust at the rank abuse of their fellow citizens.
Yes, Ford's right. There must be justice. There must be accountability. And that has to begin where the rot starts - Queen's Park. Yes there should be criminal charges. But the real indictment has to be of Ontario's political system.