Ontario has appointed the Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese, an experienced judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, to lead an independent public inquiry into the policies, procedures and oversight of long-term care homes.
In particular, Justice Gillese has been asked to inquire into the circumstances and systemic issues which may have contributed to the assault and death of residents who were under the care of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a former registered nurse in long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario. The inquiry will help get answers to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.
“What happened to the victims and their families in southwestern Ontario was a tragedy. This inquiry will help provide answers to those affected and ensure something like this never happens again. Our parents and grandparents deserve to live in comfort, with access to the best care possible and we want to assure the public that Ontario’s 78,000 long-term care residents are safe in their homes. Justice Gillese’s recommendations will help ensure that loved ones in long-term care homes continue to be safe and secure.” said,— Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General
As part of her broad mandate, Justice Gillese will review the accountability measures in place to ensure they meet the objectives of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, and provide recommendations to improve the safety and well-being of residents.
The appointment of the commissioner takes effect today. A final report, including all recommendations, will be delivered to the Attorney General by July 31, 2019 and will be made available to the public.
“I want to reaffirm my deepest sympathies to the families affected by this tragic situation. The safety, quality of care and quality of life of Ontario’s long-term care residents continues to be our government’s priority. This inquiry will bring critical answers that will allow our government to further ensure the safety and security of long-term care residents.” said, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Ontario’s oversight system in long-term care specifically focuses on the safety and security of residents. Appointing Justice Gillese to lead the public inquiry into the oversight of long-term care homes is one of the many steps Ontario is taking to protect the safety and well-being of residents and ensure homes across the province are meeting the highest standards of care.