I am appalled at the situation taking place at Tendercare Living Centre in Scarborough-Agincourt and at other for-profit long-term care homes across Ontario. According to reports, 64 residents have died of COVID-19 at Tendercare and over 100 have been infected.
Last week I stood in solidarity with families protesting outside Tendercare against the awful handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in Scarborough's long-term care homes. The outbreak at Tendercare was first declared on December 9th and a month later it has not improved. These are our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. These are our loved ones becoming numbers as the outbreak continues.
I am very concerned for those living in these homes. We need to keep asking questions and advocating for change until we see this situation improved.
It is unacceptable that for-profit long-term care shareholders across Ontario are getting payouts while seniors are dying and caregivers are stretched to the limit.
The City of Toronto and the Minister of Long-Term Care must take immediate action. I am calling for:
- An immediate assessment of standards and operations for all private for-profit long-term care homes in Scarborough;
- This assessment is to be undertaken by a team of doctors, health professionals and long-term care specialists, including City of Toronto public health staff, to recommend proactive interventions where necessary;
- The Province must take full responsibility for the problems at Tendercare and all other long-term care homes, to ensure the same high standard of operations and accountability as the 10 City operated long-term care homes.
We can and should do a better job taking care of our seniors. The pandemic began last March which means they have had 10 months to prepare. There is no excuse to fail again.