Open Letter to Premier Doug Ford

Dear Premier Ford,
While we are pleased that your government has committed to independence, non-partisanship and transparency with
regards to the commission into long-term care and COVID-19, we are seeking some assurances regarding both this
commission and the immediate measures needed that cannot wait for a commission. In addition, we believe that it is
imperative that Ontario hold a full public commission or inquiry into the province’s overall response to COVID-19, like
the SARS Commission, as there are many lessons to be learned from this experience beyond the long-term care sector.

To be clear, the Ontario Health Coalition called for the commission into long-term care to be under the Public Inquiry
Act. You have voted against this in the Legislature. Failing that, Premier, we must state in the clearest possible terms
that it will be unacceptable to the public if the commissioner(s) and any supporting staff are not fully independent of
long-term care operators. Any long-term care commission must have unimpeachable credibility and operate in the
public interest. This means it cannot be led or controlled by any partisan (political party) interests or by long-term care
owners and operators. It must be transparent and open, not by invitation only. Access to the Commission must be
equitable and it must allow for voices from families, residents, staff and their associations and unions, public interest
groups and advocates who have worked closely on these issues. Care workers and professionals must be protected to
speak on the record about conditions in the homes. Testimony and research must be on the record and fully available
publicly as with formal commissions and inquiries in the past, and the commission must report as quickly as possible.

Further, this commission cannot delay immediate action being taken to stabilize and support the workforce to stop
the COVID-19 outbreaks that continue to spread in long-term care homes across significant parts of Ontario. We need
a coherent plan from your government to stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care and retirement homes,
including concrete measures to improve PPE supply, workplace safety and infection control, and to stabilize the
workforce. We urgently need your government to take leadership and concrete coordination measures to immediately
address critical staffing shortages that mean even basic daily care like feeding, bathing, hygiene, human contact are
not able to be done; that palliative care needs are not being met; that care for the gravely ill is less than what is
needed, as follows

Open letter to doug ford re ltc commission

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