September 16th, 2020

Ford failing Mushkegowuk-James Bay residents facing long wait times at short-staffed COVID-19 testing centre

KAPUSKASING – Doug Ford’s failure to plan for a second wave of COVID-19 is failing people in Mushkegowuk-James Bay, said NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin after his community office received complaints from residents about long wait times at Kapuskasing’s short-staffed COVID-19 testing centre.

“One resident told me she would not be able to get tested this week as the only testing centre is at capacity and short of staff,” said Bourgouin. “Waiting this long will force people to turn away from getting the test they were told by Ford they can and should get.

“People are having to take time off from work because their children have symptoms. Ford should be supporting residents who want to get tested to protect themselves, their families and their communities, instead of leaving them stuck waiting, or not able to get tested at all.”

The local COVID-19 testing centre in Kapuskasing is already at capacity with appointments from family members wishing to visit their loved ones in long-term care homes.

“Doug Ford is leaving northern communities like Kapuskasing behind,” said Bourgouin. “The testing centre is overwhelmed with demand, lack of resources, and shortage of staff. Ford’s lack of second-wave planning doesn’t cut it for northern and rural communities.

“Ford needs to act now to increase the capacity of testing centres,” said Bourgouin. “Ford has had months to prepare and he’s done a lot of talking, but we’ve seen little action to help people deal with COVID-19.”