Premier Doug Ford is defending his minister of long-term care amid calls for her resignation after a scathing report found Ontario’s nursing homes were neglected and unprepared for a pandemic.
Ford says he takes ultimate responsibility for the tragedies in long-term care and promised to fix the system.
He says he still has faith in Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton, who has said the government is taking action to address problems in the sector.
His comments come nearly a week after the Ontario Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission issued its report calling for an overhaul of the sector.
Opposition politicians expressed doubts on Thursday whether Ford or Fullerton have committed to necessary moves that would improve the system.
They noted that the government hasn’t committed to changes like permanent wage increases for personal support workers or other recommendations in the report.
NDP Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said it was disappointing to hear Ford defend the minister.
As of Thursday, the province reported that 3,761 long-term care resident deaths and 11 staff had died from COVID-19.