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Ontario long-term care homes unprepared for COVID-19 due to government's “systemic weaknesses”: AG

CA, 29 Apr 2021
A damning report by Ontario’s auditor general says years of ignoring systemic concerns impacted how government staff were able to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lysyk said there were many contributing factors that “negatively impacted” long-term care residents up until the end of 2020.

Overall, Lysyk said the Ontario government’s response to COVID-19 was “slower and more reactive” compared to other provinces, noting many issues were avoidable because the provincial government “failed to act on key lessons identified after the 2003 SARS outbreak that had not been implemented.” She also said the provincial command and response structure became too “cumbersome” with many tables.

Lysyk and her office went on to emphasize despite concerns being raised for several years, even before the Ford government took office in 2018, “the public sector had not yet effectively addressed the systemic weaknesses in the delivery of long-term care in Ontario.”

Eric Sorensen reports on the history of mismanagement that left the system vulnerable to the devastation of the pandemic.

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