Massive death toll in Ontario long term the fault of society, says minister responsible

Ford long-term care minister rejects responsibility for death toll, says “society has failed the elderly.”

CNC News

Ontario Minister of Long Term Care Merrillee Fullerton has rejected concerns that she or her ministry has failed to protect seniors, saying society is responsible for the deaths of 2,688 protect residents in the long term care facilities regulated by the ministry she oversees.

In an interview with Toronto’s CP24 on Tuesday, Fullerton was asked if she believed “you and your government have failed the elderly in Ontario.”

“I think society has failed the elderly,” said the Minister before pointing to role of the previous Liberal government in setting standards in long term care.

Fullerton’s comments come same day opposition NDP leader Andrea Horwath repeated her call for Premier Doug Ford to replace Fullerton as Minister of Long-Term Care and as families protested outside Tendercare Nursing Home in Scaraborough, where 48 residents have died, including five who died Monday.

Fullerton had previously said the Tendercare Nursing home “is stable” and rejected opposition NDP calls to bring in the Canadian Armed Forces and Red Cross to ensure resident care.

NDP MPPs Doly Begum and Marit Stiles attended the protest outside the scarborough seniors’ home. On social media, Stiles later said that anyone with a family member in Tendercare “would tell you things are not under control.”

Fullerton’s remarks come the same day Newstalk 1010, a Toronto radio station, broke news that Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips has been on a foreign vacation in St. Barts since December 13 despite Health Canada advisories to limit non-essential travel and the Ontario Premier’s call for people to stay home during the pandemic surge. Other news outlets reported that Phillips had taken a previous out of country vacation in August.

In a statement, the Ontario Premier said Phillips’ decision to leave the country “will not be tolerated again.”

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