May 3rd, 2021

Horwath calls for Fullerton to be removed from cabinet

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for Dr. Merrilee Fullerton to be removed as Long-Term Care Minister in the wake of the final report of the Long-Term Care Commission. That report echoes the disturbing, inhumane conditions revealed by reports by the Canadian Armed Forces and Ontario’s Auditor General. Horwath released the following statement:

“According to the Long-Term Care Commission’s final report, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Doug Ford’s Minister of Long-Term Care, knew that seniors in nursing homes were being put at risk of COVID-19, and that thousands would likely die. She knew the Ford government was refusing to take steps or make investments to spare them. And she knew that residents were dying not only of COVID-19, but of dehydration and neglect — all of them alone and in pain.

But she did nothing. She let people die, rather than speak out or take action. Fullerton must resign from her post as Long-Term Care Minister today, or be fired by Mr. Ford.

While Mike Harris, Dalton McGuinty, Kathleen Wynne, and Steven Del Duca all bear responsibility for privatizing, cutting, underfunding and neglecting long-term care, it was Ford and Fullerton who made the devastating choices to cancel comprehensive inspections, deny staff paid sick days, leave facilities brutally understaffed, skip infection prevention and control, and act slowly, if at all, while the virus was ravaging nursing homes.

Ford and Fullerton were focused on their friends that profit off long-term care — acting to protect those friends from legal liability, instead of protecting seniors. Fullerton, Ford and the corporations that put profits ahead of lives must all be held to account.”