Ford wasn't prepared to keep long-term care residents safe in second wave: NDP Leader says
BARRIE, ONT. -- Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath held a virtual town hall Wednesday evening focusing on a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at a Barrie, Ont. long-term care home.
Horwath didn't hold back, saying the government has failed to keep long-term care home residents safe from the virus.
"We saw what happened in the first wave, and Roberta Place, like every other long-term care home in Ontario, should have been ready in advance.
Doug Ford had all summer long. He knew this second wave was coming, everybody knew the second wave was coming, and I think he created a false sense of hope. A false sense of security for people, suggesting they had actually done something, that they had put an iron ring around long-term care, and they did nothing of the sort," she said.
To date, more than 3,700 residents and staff members of long-term care homes across Ontario have died from the virus.
"My heart remains with the Roberta Place community as families, workers and caregivers grieve tragic losses — some while also recovering from the virus themselves," Horwath said in a release earlier in the day.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care responded to Horwath's claims in a statement to CTV News on Thursday, saying, "It is very disappointing that the NDP would seek to politicize this tragedy, especially after they voted against funding for key outbreak measures in the government's budget."
It goes on to state, "Since the beginning of the pandemic, Roberta Place has received $739,600 in prevention and containment funding to ensure that the home has access to the supports they need to fight this terrible virus.
The home's staff, Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, the public health unit, the Royal Victoria Hospital, Ontario Health, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association have all been working around the clock to stabilize the home."
All 129 residents, plus 106 staff at Roberta Place long-term care home in Barrie, became infected. The outbreak claimed the lives of 69 residents and one essential caregiver.