Media Advisory: Families, Residents, LTC Workers, Concerned Citizens Virtually “Pack the Galleries” at the Ontario Legislature to Demand Ford Finally Take Action to Fix Long-Term Care

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


TORONTO, May 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With just a few weeks left before the Legislature closes for the summer, hundreds of Ontarians are organizing a major event to pressure the Ford government to finally address the still-terrible LTC care levels, non-existent accountability, expansion of for-profit LTC now underway, and onerous restrictions on LTC residents. We are expecting more than a thousand Ontarians to join the event to virtually “Pack the Public Galleries” of the Ontario Legislature tomorrow, Tuesday May 18 at 10:30 a.m. for Question Period.

People have volunteered to help organize by the hundreds, outraged at the response of the Minister to the LTC Commission Report. Minister Merrilee Fullerton has failed to express contrition for the deaths of almost 4,000 residents and staff from COVID-19 in Ontario’s LTC homes through the pandemic, many of them preventable. Among the organizers are family members who experienced the horror of being helpless to save their loved ones as they declined and died of neglect and dehydration, not included in the COVID numbers. The organizers are also incensed at the empty words of Doug Ford who has repeatedly said he takes responsibility and will fix LTC, but has consistently failed to redress the terrible shortfalls in care, staffing, accountability and violations of residents’ human rights—opting instead to shield the for-profits from liability, give the worst of them new licenses and expansions, refuse to reinstate annual surprise inspections, and delay improving care and conditions in LTC.

For local media: Participants on the Zoom media conference will be from the following towns: Belleville, Bowmanville, Brantford, East Gwillimbury, Etobicoke, Florence, Guelph, Haliburton, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Iroquois Falls, Kawartha Lakes, Kingston, London, Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara, North Bay, Oshawa, Ottawa, Oxford, Peterborough, Port Hope, Sarnia, Sault Ste Marie, Scarborough, South Frontenac, Stoney Creek, Sudbury, Sutton, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Val Caron, Wallaceburg, Waterloo, Windsor, and Woodstock.

When: Tuesday, May 18 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. -- We will watch and comment on Question Period from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. At the end of Question Period at 12 p.m. there will be a virtual “scrum” for the media on the Zoom. Media can get reactions and first-hand stories of what is happening in LTC from the participants in their towns.

What: Pack the Public Galleries of the Ontario Legislature (virtually) --The Ontario Health Coalition will livestream Question Period with a split screen showing the Legislature in action and our own organizing committee responding to what is said. The Opposition Parties will welcome the group to the Legislature (virtually) and we expect they will raise the key issues in Question Period. There will be several thousand watching the livestream on the Ontario Health Coalition Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ontariohealth

Media are invited to register to join by Zoom here:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sdO-hrT8oGdIGxqJXsPeFTq_sc8ZgYOTB  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom.  Media will be able to and ask questions of the participants (most of whom have direct experience in LTC, either having lost a loved one in the pandemic, or currently have a loved on in LTC, or are a resident themselves).

For more information: Natalie Mehra, executive director (416) 230-6402.