Transcript: Question Period: Tuesday, May 04, 2021 | May 05, 2021

A still camera shows the Ontario Legislature. A caption on screen reads "Question Period."

Few members sit inside the chamber. They wear facemasks.

The Speaker stands. He's is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short light brown hair. He wears a black robe.

He says IT'S NOW TIME FOR OR QUESTIONS. I recognize the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

The caption changes to "Andrea Horwath. NDP. Leader of the Official Opposition."

Horwath is in her fifties, with straight blond hair in a bob. She wears a pink leather jacket over a printed blouse.

She says THANKS VERY MUCH, SPEAKER. SPEAKER, I WAS GOING TO ASK MY FIRST QUESTION THIS MORNING TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE AND I'M GOING TO START BY QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM THE COMMISSION REPORT... "26 RESIDENTS DIED DUE TO DEHYDRATION PRIOR TO THE APPROVAL OF THE CANADIAN ARMED FORMSES TEAMS DUE TO THE LACK OF STAFF TO CARE FOR THEM. THEY DIED WHEN ALL THEY NEEDED WAS WATER AND A WIPE-DOWN." YESTERDAY THIS MINISTER REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO ANSWER A BASIC QUESTION: WHEN DID THIS MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR LONG-TERM CARE KNOW THAT SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE WERE DYING FROM NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says TO RESPOND, MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

The caption changes to "Honourable Merrilee Fullerton. PC. Minister of Long-Term Care."

Fullerton is in her forties, with long wavy blond hair and bangs. She wears a black blazer over a white blouse.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. ANY LOSS OF LIFE IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES DURING THIS PANDEMIC HAVE BEEN TRAGIC. AND THE REASON WE CALLED IN THE MILITARY, THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES WAS BECAUSE ALL THE MEASURES THAT HAD BEEN TAKEN WERE NOT SUFFICIENT TO ADDRESS THE GROWING DEMAND AND THAT IS WHY THEY WERE CALLED UPON. WE KNOW THAT THE STAFFING COLLAPSE IN THESE HOMES FROM MULTIPLE REASONS IS WHAT NECESSARY STATED CALLING IN THE MILITARY. I'VE SAID BEFORE THAT I AM COMMITTED TO MAKING SURE THAT LONG-TERM CARE IS A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE, A BETTER PLACE TO WORK. THESE LIVES LOST CANNOT BE IN VAIRCH. VAIN.LL WE ARE WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE LIVES WERE NOT LOST.

The Speaker says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Horwath says THE MINISTER IS STEM CELL NOT RESPONDING TO THE QUESTION. NOBODY ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE IS TAKING ANY RESPONSIBILITY. THEY'RE NOT BEING ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO LONG-TERM CARE WITH COVID-19. IN FACT IT'S CLEAR THAT GOVERNMENT MINISTERS KNEW EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING ON IN LONG-TERM CARE. IN FACT THE CEO OF THE RNAO GAVE TESTIMONY TO THE COMMISSION THAT THE MINISTER OF TREASURY BOARD AND FINANCE WAS CALLING HER TO TRY TO GET HELP. I SPOKE FROM THE COMMISSIONER'S REPORT, FROM DORIS' TESTIMONY. I GOT THE PHONE CALL AT ABOUT 11 O'CLOCK P.M. ONE DAY AND IN THAT PHONE CALL WAS THE MINISTER TELLING ME CAN I HELP WITH WITH WITHORCHARD VILLA BEFORE TE PUBLIC. SPEAKER DOES THIS MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE RECEIVE THE SAME KIND OF PANICKED CALLS FROM THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, WITH THE SAME KIND OF INFORMATION AND THE SAME KIND OF REQUEST FOR HELP?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU SPEAKER. I HAVE SAID TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS, FOR THE WELLBEING OF THE RESIDENTS, FOR THE STAFF AND FOR THE FAMILIES. AND IN FACT THAT IS WHY I CAME TO POLITICS IN THE FIRST PLACE, OUT OF CONCERN FOR THE ISSUES SURROUNDING THE NEGLECT OF LONG-TERM CARE. HAVING WITNESSED IT PERSONALLY WITH MY FAMILY MEMBERS. I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS ON FAMILIES, HAVING WITNESSED IT AS A PHYSICIAN FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS. AND SO THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT I HAVE A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS, AND I HAVE SAID IT, REPEATEDLY. I DO NOT KNOW WHY THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO REGISTER WITH THE MEMBER OPPOSITE, THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION. SHE DOES NOT SEEM TO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FOR SOME REASON. WE ARE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR A BROKEN SYSTEM, AND COVID MOVED SO FAST. WE HEARD THIS TIME AND TIME AGAIN. A HOME WOULD BE FINE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK AND WITHIN DAYS IT WAS A WAR ZONE. I HAVE SAID THAT REPEATEDLY. SO SPEED WAS OF THE ESSENCE. TO WORK WITH OUR MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH, THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH, ONTARIO HEALTH, THE ACUTE CARE SECTOR TO BRING TO BEAR ON THESE HOMES THE SUPPORT THAT THEY NEEDED. AND WE CAN...

The Speaker says FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says SPEAKER, WHAT'S CLEAR IS THE MINISTER AND THIS GOVERNMENT WERE PROTECTING EACH OTHER AND WORRIED ABOUT THINGS GOING PUBLIC INSTEAD OF PROTECTING SENIORS AND WORRYING ABOUT THEM. IN FACT ON MARCH 30TH, 2020 THIS MINISTER STOOD WITH THE PREMIER AND CLAIMED THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE AN IRON RING PUT AROUND LONG-TERM CARE, WHICH WE ALL KNOW NEVER HAPPENED. ON MARCH 31ST, THE NEXT DAY, THE MINISTER'S OWN STAFF WERE PLEADING FOR MORE PPE IN LONG-TERM CARE. AND THEN OF COURSE IN EARLY APRIL, A FEW DAYS LATER, THE MINISTER OF FINANCE IS BEGGING THE RNAO TO SEND NURSES INTO ORCHARD VILLA, PLEADING FOR HELP. I ASK THIS MINISTER ONE MORE TIME, SPEAKER: WHEN DID SHE KNOW THAT SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES IN ONTARIO WERE DYING OF NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND I'VE TOLD THE MEMBER OPPOSITE REPEATEDLY THAT THE REASON WE CALLED IN THE MILITARY WAS BECAUSE THE SPEED WITH WHICH COVID MOVED IN SOME HOMES MADE THE HOMES INTO A WAR ZONE. IT HAPPENED VERY QUICKLY. THE PREMISE OF YOUR QUESTION IS BORDERING ON OBSCENE, AND THE REASON WHY IS BECAUSE ALL OF THE MINISTRY, PUBLIC HEALTH, MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WORKING TO SHORE UP THESE HOMES, AND THEY WERE NO MATCH FOR COVID-19. AND SO TO IMPUGN, TO IMPUGN THAT THERE WAS ANY ATTEMPT IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU HAVE JUST SAID IS INACCURATE, IT'S NOT BASED ON ANY FACT, IT IS UNFOUNDED. WHAT WE WERE DOING 24 HOURS A DAY WAS TRYING TO GET SUPPORT TO THOSE HOMES, WITH AN UNKNOWN VIRUS THAT WASN'T FULLY UNDERSTOOD, WITH A SHORTAGE OF SUPPLIES GLOBALLY. WE WERE TAKING EVERY MEASURE AND WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH ALL THE PARTNERS TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. AND I REJECT THE...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.

Horwath says THIS IS ALSO FOR THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE BUT I CAN ASSURE HER, WHAT IS OBSCENE AND WHAT ONTARIANS THINK IS OBSCENE IS 4,000 SENIORS DYING FROM COVID-19 IN LONG-TERM CARE, BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T DO THEIR JOB. BUT LOOK, THE CANADIAN ARMED FORMSES, AGAIN TO THE MINISTER, ARRIVED ON APRIL 29TH, THEY STARTED TO GO INTO THE HOMES, AND OF COURSE THEIR REPORT WAS RELEASED ON MAY 29TH. CERTAINLY, IN BETWEEN THE TIME THEY ARRIVED AND THE TIME THE REPORT WAS MADE PUBLIC, THIS MINISTER WOULD HAVE RECEIVED SOME KIND OF UPDATE AS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THESE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. YET ON MAIN 19TH THE MINISTER TOLD THIS HOUSE AND I QUOTE "OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ACTED QUICKLY AND RESPONSIBLY AND WILL TAKE TO TAKE MORE ACTION AT A RAPID PACE UNTIL THIS PANDEMIC IS OVER," WHICH WE ALL KNOW NEVER HAPPENED. SO WHAT DOES THIS MINISTER SAY TO FAMILIES? WHAT DOES SHE SAY TO THE FAMILIES WHO SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PROTECTING WHEN SHE WASN'T DOING SO, WHEN THE ARMED FORCES FOUND THOSE PEOPLE PLEADING FOR WATER? LET'S FACE IT, THIS MINISTER NEEDS TO RESIGN. WILL SHE DO SO?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, IT IS DEVASTATING TO FAMILIES, THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. I HAVE TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR WELLBEING AND THEIR WELFARE AND IT IS DEVASTATING TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK, THE STAFF, THE PUBLIC SERVICE, THE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS, THE EMERGENCY SERVICES, THE FUNERAL HOMES, EVERYONE WHO HAS COME TOGETHER TO TRY AND PROVIDE THE SUPPORT IN A TIME OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, 100-YEAR PANDEMIC, 100 YEARS SINCE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS. AND I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO PROVIDE THE CARE TO THESE HOMES. WHEN THAT FAILS, THAT IS WHAT WE HAD TO DO IS CALL IN THE MILITARY. AND I UNDERSTOOD THE NEED TO GET THEM IN SWIFTLY. BUT EVEN THE MILITARY TOOK A NUMBER OF DAYS TO COME IN. AND SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SPEED WITH WHICH COVID MOVES, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE LEARNING PROCESS THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WAS GOING THROUGH AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE WORKING SO HARD TO SUPPORT THESE HOMES, THE RESIDENTS AND STAFF AND FAMILIES. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Horwath says FOR OVER A YEAR, THIS MINISTER DENIED THE CRISIS IN LONG-TERM CARE, INSTEAD OF STOPPING IT. SHE REFUSED TO SUPPORT SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE. SHE STOOD BY THE PREMIER'S FALLACY OF AN IRON RING AROUND LONG-TERM CARE. SHE ACTUALLY SAID IN THIS HOUSE THAT THEY WERE MOVING QUICKLY AND REASONABLY, LITERALLY WHILE THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES WERE FINDING PEOPLE DYING OF NEGLECT IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. SPEAKER, THIS MINISTER HAS TRIED TO SAVE THE FORMED GOVERNMENT AND SO MUCH HER OWN REPUTATION INSTEAD OF SAVING PEOPLE IN LONG-TERM CARE. HOW CAN ANYBODY EXPECT THIS MINISTER CAN FIX THINGS WHEN SHE CAN'T EVEN ADMIT TO HER MISTAKES? WILL SHE RESIGN TODAY? TAKE MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE THINGS SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO AND DIDN'T DO TO PROTECT SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE?

The Speaker says MINISTER MUCH LONG-TERM CARE TO REPLY.

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. IF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION HAD DONE HER JOB DURING THE TIME THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT NEGLECTED LONG-TERM CARE, YOU HAD BEEN A VOICE, IF YOU HAD TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU HAD YEARS AND YEARS OF RUNWAY THAT YOU WASTED, THAT THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION CLOSED HER EYES TO. GO BACK TO THE HANSARD, LOOK HOW MANY TIMES SHE EVEN BOTHERED TO MENTION THE LONG-TERM CARE WORD. LOOK AT YOUR FAILURE. I WAS LEFT TO PICK UP THE PIECES FROM A DEVASTATING 15 YEARS OF NEGLECT. I WILL NOT BE SPOKEN TO THAT WAY BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, THAT NEGLECT IS... [INDISCERNIBLE] AND THE OPPOSITION AT THE TIME NEGLECTED THIS SECTOR...

The Speaker says ORDER. ORDER. ORDER.

(SHOUTING)

The Speaker says ORDER. STOP THE CLOCK. I WILL REMIND ALL MEMBERS TO MAKE THEIR COMMENTS THROUGH THE CHAIR, NOT DIRECT LIP ACROSS THE FLOOR AT EACH OTHER. THIS IS THE FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says SPEAKER, THIS MINISTER HAS NOT EVEN COMMITTED TO IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION. IT IS UNFATHOMABLE THAT SHE DIDN'T SIMPLY SAY, YES, WE'RE GOING TO IMPLEMENT EVERY ONE OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. INSTEAD, WHAT WE SAW WAS STAFF LITERALLY BEING ABANDONED BY THEIR MINISTER DURING THIS CRISIS, MANY OF THEM HAVE NOW LEFT THE SECTOR AND UNDERSTANDABLY SO. WE NOW HAVE AN IMMEDIATE STAFFING CRISIS THAT IS WORSE THAN WHEN COVID-19 HIT ONTARIO IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE COMMISSIONER SAID CLEARLY STAFF NEED HIGHER WAGES RIGHT NOW. STAFF NEED FULL-TIME WORK RIGHT NOW. WE NEED MORE STAFF RIGHT NOW. NOT THREE YEARS FROM NOW, NOT TWO YEARS FROM NOW. RIGHT NOW. FIVE DAYS LATER, THE MINISTER STILL REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE, STILL AS YOU JUST SAW WILL NOT ADMIT TO HER FAILURE. THIS MINISTER NEEDS TO RESIGN. WILL SHE FINALLY DO WHAT SHE SHOULD DO, RESIGN FROM HER POSITION?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IS COMING UP WITH THIS... THIS DISTORTION. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ADDRESSED ON A CONTINUING BASIS, EVEN AS I BECAME THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE, LOOKING AT THE STAFFING, LOOKING AT THE CAPACITY BUILDING, AND WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS ALL THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC, WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY, UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR THIS SECTOR. IN THE FIRST WAVE WITH THE PANDEMIC WAY OF PAY, WE WERE ABLE TO HIRE 8,600 AND MORE STAFF INTO LONG-TERM CARE. WE BEGAN BEFORE THAT WITH A STAFFING EXPERT PANEL TO INFORM US ON WHAT WE WOULD... COULD DO TO IMPROVE THE STAFFING. WE HAVE CREATED CAPACITY IN OUR COLLEGES, OUR PUBLIC COLLEGES FOR OVER 8,000 STUDENTS TO BE TRAINED BY THE FALL. WE HAVE ANOTHER PROGRAM WITH CAREER COLLEGES AND DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARDS. WE HAVE AN ONTARIO RESERVE SENIOR SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT WE ARRANGED IN THE FIRST WAVE. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE GETTING THIS INFORMATION FROM. WE'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR, WE'RE BUILDING THE CAPACITY, WE'RE BUILDING THE STAFFING, WE'RE BUILDING THE IPAC, WE'RE DOING ALL THESE RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORKING ON THEM, SOME OF THEM...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION. ONCE AGAIN THE Leader of the Opposition.

Horwath says THANK YOU SPEAKER. MY NEXT QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. THE CEO OF THE RECOMMENDING CENTERED NURSES SAID THAT THE MINISTER OF FINANCE CALLED HER ABOUT THE CRISIS UNFOLDING IN HIS RIDING IN ORCHARD VILLA, AND I'M GOING TO AGAIN QUOTE FROM HER TESTIMONY... " SO I GOT THE PHONE CALL AT ABOUT 11 P.M. ONE DAY AND IN THAT PHONE CALL WAS THE MINISTER TELLING ME CAN I HAPPEN WITH ORCHARD VILLA, BEFORE THINGS WERE PUBLIC. IT WAS A DISASTER WHAT HAD HAPPENED WITH THE RESIDENTS AND HE WAS EXCRUCIATINGLY IN PAIN." SO THE GOVERNMENT KNEW, SPEAKER, WHAT WAS UNFOLDING IN LONG-TERM CARE. MINISTERS KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR. THEY KNEW THE STAFFING PROBLEMS WERE SERIOUS AND THAT PEOPLE WERE LOSING THEIR LIVES, THAT PEOPLE WERE ABANDONED IN THEIR ROOMS. DID THE MINISTER OF HEALTH RECEIVE THE SAME PHONE CALL WITH THE SAME INFORMATION AND THE SAME PLEA FROM THE MINISTER OF FINANCE?

The Speaker says REPLY, GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

The caption changes to "Honourable Paul A. Calandra. PC. Government House Leader."

Calandra is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt and silver tie.

He says AGAIN, MR. SPEAKER, THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WILL KNOW AND I WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE THAT MEMBERS OPPOSITE WERE DOING THE SAME THING THAT MEMBERS ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE WERE DOING, WITH ENGAGE BEING WITH OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS, WHETHER IT WAS LONG-TERM CARE, RETIREMENT HOMES, INDIVIDUALS O- IN COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUPS, MR. SPEAKER. WE WERE ALL ENGAGING AND WE WERE ALL WORKING VERY HARD TO SEE HOW WE COULD HELP. THEY OF I DON'T SEE HOW THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION OPPOSITE CAN SUGGEST THAT MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SHOULDN'T BE DOING THAT ON A DAILY BASIS, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT THIS IS A GLOBAL HEALTH AND ECONOMIC PANDEMIC. BUT THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE IS QUITE CORRECT, MANY OF THE ISSUES THAT WE FACED WERE ISSUES THAT WE INHERITED AFTER DECADES OF NEGLECT IN THE SECTOR. WE HAVE MADE A COMMITMENT TO MAKE THEM BETTER. WE INHERITED A SYSTEM THAT WAS WOEFULLY UNDERFUNDED, THAT HAD NOT BEEN BUILT OUT, THAT DID NOT HAVE SPACES. I HAD 118 YEAR WAITING LIST IN MY RIDING BEFORE THIS GOVERNMENT WAS ELECTED, MR. SPEAKER. WE'RE MAKING CHANGES TO MAKE LIVES BETTER FOR THE PEOPLE IN LONG-TERM CARE, MR. SPEAKER. IT'S A RESPONSIBILITY WE ALL HAVE, ALL OF US ON BOTH SIDES OF THE HOUSE AND WE ALL WILL GET THE JOB DONE FOR SENIORS.

The Speaker says LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.

Horwath says WELL, SPEAKER, WHAT THIS MINISTER FORGOT TO MENTION IS THAT THE FORD GOVERNMENT WAS CUTTING LONG-TERM CARE IN 2019 BUDGET AND IN 2018, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THEY DID WAS CANCEL THE COMPREHENSIVE RESIDENT QUALITY INSPECTION. SO THEY REALLY DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THEIR OWN HISTORY. BUT LOOK, THE SAME MINISTER, THE SAME MINISTERS THAT DENIED MORE FUNDING FOR LONG-TERM CARE IN FEBRUARY KNEW THAT THERE WAS A DISASTER UNFOLDING. HE WOULDN'T COUGH UP THE MONEY. THE DISASTER CONTINUED TO UNFOLD. THE ENTIRE FORD CABINET KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND YET THEY ALL CONTINUED TO CLAIM THERE WAS AN IRON RING AROUND LONG-TERM CARE. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE, THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, NOW THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER, NONE OF THEM WILL TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR 4,000 SENIORS LOSING THEIR LIVES IN LONG-TERM CARE BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T SPEND THE MONEY AND THEY WOULDN'T ACT QUICKLY ENOUGH TO SAVE THOSE LIVES. THEY ALL NEED TO TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY. WHEN WILL THEY?

The Speaker says MEMBERS WILL PLEASE TAKE THEIR SEATS. GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER?

Calandra says LET'S BE VERY CLEAR, MR. SPEAKER, THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE THINGS THAT FALL UNDER OUR WATCH AND THAT'S WHY WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS. BUT TO BE CLEAR, MR. SPEAKER, ALL LEGISLATURES FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WOEFUL INADEQUACY IN THIS SECTOR. , WOEFUL INADEQUACY OF THIS SECTOR, A SECTOR THAT HAD NOT BEEN INVESTED IN FOR DECADES. WE IMMEDIATELY MOVED TO MAKE INVESTMENTS IN LONG-TERM CARE BEFORE THE ELECTION WE TALKED ABOUT ENDING HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. THAT IS WHY THE MINISTER OF HEALTH BROUGHT FORWARD OR NOT HEALTH TEAMS, A BLANKET OF CARE, MR. SPEAKER, THAT WOULD INCLUDE LONG-TERM CARE, INCLUDED ACUTE CARE, INCLUDED ICUS, HOME CARE COMOR COMMUNITIES, MR. SPEAKER. WE MADE THOSE INVESTMENTS, MR. SPEAKER. WE'RE ADDING HOMES EVERY SINGLE DAY. THE LARGEST BUILD-OUT OF LONG-TERM CARE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS PROVINCE, MR. SPEAKER. WHAT HAPPENED IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. WE ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE THINGS, MR. SPEAKER, BUT TO BE CLEAR GENERATIONS OF PART TAIRNTION WHO HAVE SAT IN THIS PLACE HAD FAILED SENIORS BUT WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THAT STOPS AND WE STARTED TO MAKE SURE IT STOPS...

The Speaker says THE OPPOSITION WILL COME TO ORDER THE NEXT question. The member for BRAMPTON WEST.

THE CAPTION CHANGES TO "AMARJOT SANDHU. PC. BRAMPTON WEST."

SANDHU IS IN HIS THIRTIES, WITH SHORT BLACK HAIR AND A STUBBLE. HE WEARS A GRAY SUIT, WHITE SHIRT, AND burgundy TIE.

He says MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS AND RED TAPE REDUCTION. FOR WEEKS NOW ON THIS PART OF THE HOUSE WE HAVE BEEN CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SECURE OUR INTERNATIONAL BORDERS AND STOP THE FLOW OF COVID-19 VARIANTS INTO OUR COUNTRY. MR. SPEAKER, DOES OUR GOVERNMENT RECOGNIZE THE SERIOUSNESS OF VARIANTS OF CONCERN OF FLYING INTO OUR AIRPORTS AND DRIVING OVER OUR LAND BORDERS? WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING TO ADDRESS THIS?

The Speaker says THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND RED TAPE REDUCTION.

The caption changes to "Honourable Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria. PC. Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction."

Singh Sarkaria is in his thirties, with a prominent full beard. He wears a blue turban, blue suit, white shirt and blue tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. MORE THAN 5,000 AIR TRAVELLER PASSENGERS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 SINCE PREMIER AND D THE PREMIER AND THIS GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SECURE OUR BORDERS AND KEEP ONTARIANS SAFE. BUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DRAGGED THEIR FEET. WE NOW HAVE CONFIRMED CASES OF THE B.1.617 VARIANT IN ONTARIO, IN QUEBEC, IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, WE NEEDED STRONGER ACTION LIKE COUNTRIES IN THE U.K., AUSTRALIA WHO WERE ABLE TO SECURE THEIR BORDERS AND KEEP THEIR COMMUNITIES SAFE. , MR. SPEAKER WE WILL CONTINUE TO CALL ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CLOSE ALL THE LOOPHOLES. YOU CAN STILL TAKE A CONNECTING FLIGHT INTO ONTARIO AND CARRY ONE OF THESE DEADLY VARIANTS INTO PROVINCE. WE NEED TO PROTECT ONTARIANS. WE NEED TO KEEP CANADIANS SAFE AND WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TAKES STRONGER ACTIONS ON OUR BORDERS.

Sandhu says THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. MORE THAN 90 percent OF NEW CASES IN ONTARIO ARE VARIANTS, BUT B.1.1.7 VARIANT FIRST FOUND IN THE UNITED KINGDOM IS NOW THE DOMINANT FORM OF COVID-19 HERE IN ONTARIO. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT THINK SECURING OUR BORDERS IS A PRIORITY BUT IF THEY HAD TAKEN ACTION BEFORE, IT WAS TOO LATE WE MAY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO AVOID THIS THIRD WAVE. MR. SPEAKER IT IS STILL BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. WILL THE MINISTER CALL UPON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO FINALLY TAKE ACTION TO SECURE OUR BORDERS?

The Speaker says THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER.

Singh Sarkaria says MR. SPEAKER, WE KNOW THE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT THESE VARIANTS ARE HAVING ACROSS ONTARIO, THROUGH THE THIRD WAVE. WE KNOW THAT 90 percent OF CURRENT CASES ARE FROM VARIANTS. WE NOW HAVE CONFIRMED CASES OF B.1.167 VARIANT IN ONTARIO, QUEBEC AND BRITISH COLUMBIA. WE NEED STRONGER ACTIONS. PREMIER FORD LED THE COUNTRY IN IMPLEMENTING TESTING AT OUR AIRPORTS BEFORE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. WE HAVE SECURED OUR LAND BORDERS BORDERS. [INDISCERNIBLE] AT OUR LAND BORDERS IN MANITOBA AND QUEBEC. CURRENTLY PEOPLE ARE FLYING TO THE UNITED STATES TO AVOID QUARANTINING AND CROSSING AND WALKING OVER OUR FEDERAL BORDERS IN NEW YORK AND WINDSOR AND OTHER PLACES. WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ACT NOW, TO SECURE ONTARIANS, TO KEEP CANADIANS SAFE AND WE'RE CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ONCE AGAIN TO ADDRESS THE BORDERS AND KEEP... AND SECURE OUR... SECURE ONTARIO.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Toronto-Danforth.

The caption changes to "Peter Tabuns. NDP. Toronto-Danforth."

Tabuns is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He wears glasses, a black suit and a pale blue shirt.

He says THANK YOU SPEAKER. MIGHT HAPPEN QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. LAST YEAR A SHADOWY GROUP CALLED VAUGHAN WORKING FAMILIES SPEND FER SPENT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON ADS ATTACKING TEACHERS, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME THIS GOVERNMENT ATTACKED TEACHERS EVERY DAY DURING THEIR CONTRACT TALKS. THE VAWRN WORKING FAMILIES GROUP IS A FRONT FOR A GROUP CALLED VAUGHAN HEALTH CATCH US OF CARE WHO WERE LONG TIME BIG DONORS TO THE PCS. NOW FOUR YEARS LATER AFTER THE ADS RAN WE RECEIVED CONFIRMATION THE RCMP IS NOW INVESTIGATING. NOW THAT THE RCMP IS INVOLVED, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THIS PREMIER OR THIS MINISTER OF EDUCATION WOULD LIKE TO TELL ONTARIO CRANS WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THESE ATTACK ADS AGAINST TEACHERS?

Calandra says I GUESS LIKE THE MEMBER OPPOSITE I HAVE FULL FAITH IN ELECTIONS ONTARIO TO CONTINUE TO DO ITS JOB. WHAT I DO KNOW WHEN IT COMES TO WHETHER IT'S EDUCATION, WHETHER IT'S HEALTH CARE, TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION, THE MEMBER IS QUITE CORRECT, WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAICH THROUGH COVID-19. THE MEMBER OPPOSITE IS QUITE CORRECT WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS IN TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION SO WE CAN TIBET PEOPLE MOVING AROUND, SO HE CAN RELEASE... ONCE WE GET THROUGH THIS COVID PANDEMIC BUT OBVIOUSLY WE'RE GOING TO BE FOCUSED ON MAKING SURE THAT WE KEEP THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO TOP OF MIND, MR. SPEAKER, THAT IS WHY THE MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND RED TAPE TAPE POINTED OUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SECURE OUR BORDERS. IF THE MECH WANTS TO BE HELPFUL HE CAN CALL HIS FEDERAL COUSIN IN OTTAWA AND ASK THEM TO PUSH TO SECURE THE ONTARIO BORDER SO THAT WE CAN KEEP THESE VARIANTS OUT OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Tabuns says I GUESS THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE QUESTION. ONE OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IS A DEVELOPMENT LAWYER THIS PREMIER APPOINTED TO BE VICE-CHAIR OF THE LCBO. HE'S ALSO BEEN A VERY GENEROUS DONOR TO THE PCS AND SUPPORTED THE HEALTH MINISTER WHEN SHE RAN FOR THE PARTY LEADERSHIP. WE ASKED THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES COMMITTEE TO BRING THIS PERSON FORWARD SO WE COULD ASK QUESTIONS, BUT THE GOVERNMENT BLOCKED OUR ATTEMPTS. NOW THE RCMP ARE INVOLVED IN GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS SHADY GROUP, THE ZAHN WORKING FAMILIES. ONTARIANS DESERVE TO KNOW IF THE PREMIER IS STILL FINE WITH THIS PERSON'S ROLE AT THE LCBO. WILL THE PREMIER NOW ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES COMMITTEE TO BRING FORWARD MR. ANNABALI FORWARD FOR QUESTIONS WITH HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH VAUGHAN WORKING FAMILIES?

Calandra says I'M VERY CONFIDENT THAT ELECTIONS ONTARIO HAS ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS IN ONTARIO DO SO FAIRLY, MR. SPEAKER AND AGAIN UNLIKE THE MEMBER OPPOSITE, I HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT ELECTIONS ONTARIO WILL DO THAT. AT THE SAME TIME, MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO REMAIN FOCUSED ON WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO RIGHT NOW IS THAT WE CHART A PATH OUT OF THIS COVID-19 MESS, MR. SPEAKER. WE ARE SEEING VARIANTS OF CONCERN OUT OF CONTROL AT OUR BORDERS, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON, MR. SPEAKER. WE NEED THE ASSISTANCE OF THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE TO HELP US TO CONVINCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SECURE OUR BORDERS. IN THE MEANTIME, MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE DOING I THINK THAT WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL ONTARIANS GET VACCINE INSIDE THEIR ARM, OVER 5 MILLION DOSES... VERY SOON WE'LL BE ABLE TO UNLEASH THE FOLKS OF THE ONTARIO ECONOMY AND GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Simcoe-Grey.

The caption changes to "Jim Wilson. Independent. Simcoe-Grey."

Wilson is in his fifties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears a black suit, blue shirt, and striped black tie.

He says MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE. 36 percent OF PEOPLE LIVING IN WASAGA BEACH ARE SENIORS. THE TOWN IS ONE OF THE TOP 10 POAFL CODES IN ALL OF CANADA FOR ITS HIGH PERCENTAGE OF SENIORS AND THAT NUMBER IS RAPIDLY GROWING. SURPRISINGLY WASAGA BEACH HAS NO VACANCY IN LONG-TERM CARE BEDS. MY CONSTITUENTS ARE PERPLEXED THAT LAST MONT'S BUDGET MADE NO MENTION OF BUDGET IN WASAGA BEACH. WE WERE HOPING FOR SOME BEDS. CAN THE MINISTER GIVE MY CONSTITUENTS AN EXPLANATION?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND IT UP TO THE MEMBER FOR SIMCOE-GREY FOR THE QUESTION. WASAGA BEACH IS A COMMUNITY LIKE SO MANY THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT NEGLECTED WITH RESPECT TO LONG-TERM CARE. THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT, THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT ONLY BUILT 611 NEW SPACES BETWEEN 2011 AND 2018 AND THEY FAILED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE PROVINCE LIKE WASAGA BEACH. OUR GOVERNMENT IS MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME AND ALONG WITH BUILDING NEW HOMES, WE'RE TAKING INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO SOLVE LONG STANDING PROBLEMS. IN NOVEMBER OF LAST YEAR, OUR GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THE EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY PARAMEDICINE PROGRAMS. THIS INITIATIVE WILL HELP SENIORS STAY SAFE WHILE LIVING IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR OWN HOME. BOTH SIMCOE AND GRAY COUNTIES WERE OFFERED PLACES IN OUR GOVERNMENT'S EXPANDED COMMUNITY PARAMEDICINE PROGRAM.

The Speaker says AND SUPPLEMENTARY.

Wilson says WELL, THANK YOU FOR THAT ANSWER. THE MINISTER MAY KNOW, SPEAKER, THAT AT LEAST TWO COMPANIES ARE PREPARED TO FILL THE VOID FOR LONG-TERM CARE BEDS IN WASAGA BEACH, PRIME ACARE APPLIED TWO YEARS AGO FOR A 160 BED FACILITY IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE GREEN FIELD FACILITY THERE PROVIDING FOR 96 SENIORS. BOTH OF THESE ARE REPUTABLE COMPANIES WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECORD. THEY HAVE THE RESOURCES, THE EXPERIENCE AND THE COMMITMENT TO DELIVER THE URGENTLY NEEDED SUPPORT THAT MY CONSTITUENTS NEED AND DESERVE. AND SPEAKER, I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE THE [INDISCERNIBLE] IN TERMS OF THE NEED FOR LONG-TERM CARE BEDS ACROSS THE PROVINCE AND THE FORMER MINISTER OF HEALTH, I KEPT TRACK OF THIS ISSUE QUITE CLEARLY OVER THE YEARS EXPICHES ASTOUNDED IN 15 YEARS THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT BUILT NO BEDS. THEY TOOK CREDIT FOR 6,000 BEDS THAT MIKE HARRIS HAD PUT IN PLACE, OVER THE 15,000 THAT HE BUILT DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE NDP GOVERNMENT BUT THEY BUILT NO NET NEW BEDS OVER 15 YEARS SO I KNOW THERE'S A BACKLOG. I JUST WANT YOU TO CONSIDER WASAGA BEACH TOP 10 POSTAL CODES IN CANADA FOR SENIOR CITIZENS WHO NEED BEDS, MINISTER, WILL YOU GIVE THEM SERIOUS CONSCIOUS IN THE NEXT ROUND OF ALLOCATIONS?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU SPEAKER, AND AGAIN THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR SIMCOE-GREY FOR HIS QUESTION. THE MOST RECENT GROUP OF ALLOCATIONS PRIORITIZED UPGRADING OLDER HOMES IN RESPONSE TO THE LESSONS LEARNED AROUND IMPROVED INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEASURES. PARTICULAR LIP THE ELIMINATION OF THREE AND FOUR-BED WARD ROOMS. THIS WAS ADDRESSING ALSO THE ADDRESSING THE GROWING NEEDS OF DIVERSE GROUPS, INCLUDING FRANCOPHONE AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. AND PROMOTING CAMPUSES OF CARE TO BETTER ADDRESS THE SPECIALIZED CARE NEEDS OF RESIDENTS. APPLICATIONS THAT HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN ALLOCATION IN THIS ROUND WILL BE KEPT AND CONSIDERED FOR FUTURE POTENTIAL ALLOCATIONS. IN ADDITION TO THE 750 EXISTING SPACES AT 9 HOMES IN SIMCOE-GREY, THERE ARE CURRENTLY THREE PROJECTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE THAT WILL BUILD 121 NEW SPACES AND UPGRADE ANOTHER 169 SPACES TO MODERN DESIGN STANDARDS AND SO I THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR HIS QUESTION. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. NEXT question. The member for BRAMPTON WEST.

SANDHU says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. SPEAKER, IN ADDITION TO INEFFECTIVE BORDER MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN CHALLENGING OUR PROVINCIAL HEALTH RESPONSE BY BRINGING VARIANTS OF CONCERN INTO THE PROVINCE, ON FRIDAY PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU ONCE AGAIN CONFUSED CANADIANS WITH HIS NEXT STAGE THAT CANADIANS ARE REQUESTING A BAN ON INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. SPEAKER THIS CAME AS A SURPRISE TO ME, OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY CLEAR ON THE PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS COMING... OR RETURNING TO ONTARIO AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH... [INDISCERNIBLE] TO HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. SPEAKER, WOULD THE MINISTER PLEASE HELP TO CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION THAT THE PRIME MINISTER CREATED?

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR NORTHUMBERLAND-PETERBOROUGH SOUTH AND PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT.

The caption changes to "David Piccini. PC. Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities."

Piccini is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He wears a dark blue suit, white shirt, and pink tie.

He says THANK YOU SPEAKER AND IT UP TO THE MEMBER FOR THAT IMPORTANT QUESTION AND FOR ALL OF HIS WORK ADVOCATING FOR A BETTER POST-SECONDARY FUTURE IN HIS COMMUNITY OF BRAMPTON. MR. SPEAKER, HE IS RIGHT THAT THERE IS A LOT OF CONFUSION CAUSED BY THE PRIME MINISTER'S REMARKS. SO PERHAPS WE COULD TAKE THIS AS A LEARNING LESSON FOR ALL OF US AND SEPTEMBER THE RECORD STRAIGHT. WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT HAS CALLED FOR AND WHAT WE'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR ON IN FOUR LETTERS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TO TAKE STRICTER MEASURES AT THE BORDER TO PREVENT VARIANTS OF CONCERN FROM ENTERING THIS COUNTRY. WE'VE CALLED FOR A BAN ON ALL NONE ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. WE'VE CALLED FOR MANDATORY PCR TESTING FOR INTERPROVINCIAL TRAVELLERS. WE'VE CALLED TO CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE AT OUR LAND BORDERS AND WE'VE CALLED FOR PROPER ENFORCEMENT OF HOTEL QUARANTINING. MR. SPEAKER, WE CONTINUE TO BE VERY CLEAR, CRYSTAL CLEAR TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WE'RE IMPLORING THEM TO TAKE STRICTER MEASURES. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR THE SORT OF DIVISION THAT THE PRIME MINISTER'S REMARKS CREATE. NOW IS THE TIME TO WORK TOGETHER. WE AGAIN CALL ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, GET STRICT, GET REAL AT OUR BORDERS.

The Speaker says AND THE SUPPLEMENTARY.

Sandhu says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND I WANT TO THANK THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT FOR CLARIFYING THE CONFUSING AND INCORRECT STATEMENT THAT THE PRIME MINISTER MADE ON FRIDAY. I KNOW THAT MANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THESE MEASURES WOULD MEAN AND WERE LOOKING TO THEIR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP UP WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT. THIS THAT BE THE CASE, IMPOSING STRONG BUT NECESSARY RESTRICTIONS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND NOW STANDING UP FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. SPEAKER WOULD THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT PLEASE HE'S LASH RATE ON WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO ENSURE THAT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ENTERING INTO ONTARIO ARE DOING SO IN A SAFE WAY THAT DOES NOT POSE A RISK TO THEMSELVES, THEIR CLASSMATES AND ALL ONTARIANS?

The Speaker says THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT.

Piccini says AGAIN THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR THAT IMPORTANT QUESTION. SO LET ME BE CLEAR AGAIN: WHAT WE ARE CALLING FOR FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS STRICT BORDER MEASURES, ADEQUATE SCREENING AND PROPERLY ENFORCED QUARANTINE. WHAT WE HAVE DONE WITH OUR POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS, WITH OUR DESIGNATED LEARNING INSTITUTES IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO IS WE'VE WORKED ACTIVELY WITH THEM, EACH OF THEM AND THEIR LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICERS TO DEVELOP INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED SOLUTIONS FOR PROPER QUARANTINING AND MEASURES FOR ARRIVING STUDENTS. WE'VE DONE IT TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THOSE COMMUNITIES, TO ENSURE THE SAFETY ON CAMPUS AND TO ENSURE SAFETY OF THOSE STUDENTS ARRIVING, MR. SPEAKER WHILE I'M AT IT, WHEN WE WORK COLLABORATIVELY TOGETHER WITH OUR INSTITUTIONS WE INCREASED MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS ON OUR CATCH USES. WHEN WE WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH OUR INSTITUTIONS MR. SPEAKER, WE SUPPORTED THEM WITH MICROCREDENTIALS. WHEN WE'VE WORKED COLLABORATIVELY WE'VE STREAMED PSW TRAINING TO TACKLE THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS BACKLOG. WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING. THAT'S WHY WE'RE CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WORK WITH US, LISTEN TO THE MUNICIPALITIE-

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for NIAGARA CENTRE.

The caption changes to "Jeff Burch. NDP. Niagara Centre."

Burch is in his forties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears a gray suit and a pink shirt.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THROUGH YOU TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, THIS GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO PREPARE FOR THE THIRD WAVE HAS LEFT OUR HOSPITALS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE. THIS MEANS THAT WHILE ICU BEDS ARE OVERFLOWING, THOUSANDS OF ESSENTIAL SURGERIES HAVE HAD TO BE DELAYED. TRAGICALLY, WE'RE NOW HEARING STORIES OF CANCER PATIENTS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES AFTER CANCELLED SURGERIES. THIS GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO PROVIDE HOSPITALS WITH THE SUPPORT THEY NEED IS ONLY GOING TO MAKE STORIES LIKE THESE MORE CONSTANT. WHAT IS THE MINISTER'S PLAN TO ADDRESS THE HOSPITAL CAPACITY ISSUE AND WILL SHE MAKE THE NECESSARY INVESTMENTS NOW TO SAVE LIVES IN ONTARIO'S HOSPITALS?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF HEALTH.

The caption changes to "Honourable Christine Elliott. PC. Minister of Health."

Elliott is in her late fifties, with shoulder-length blond hair. She wears a beige blazer over a black dress, and a golden necklace.

She says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND I THANK THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. IN FACT, WE HAVE INVESTED OVER 5 BILLION DOLLARS IN OUR HOSPITALS SINCE THE START OF THIS PANDEMIC. WE'VE CREATED OVER 3400 NEW BEDS, EQUIVALENT OF SIX LARGE COMMUNITY HOSPITALS. WE'VE CREATED SEVERAL HUNDRED NEW INTENSE ITCH CARE SPACES, BECAUSE OF THE INCREASING VOLUMES OF COVID-19 PATIENTS. WE HAVE PREPARED FOR THAT THROUGHOUT. WE ARE PREPARED TO DEALING WITH EXPANDING OUR CAPACITY YET AGAIN AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE HEALTH HUMAN RESOURCES IN ORDER TO OPERATE IN THOSE SITUATIONS. AS TO THE SURGICAL BACKLOG, IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT IT'S NECESSARY FOR US TO PAUSE IN SOME OF THESE SURGERIES BECAUSE OF THE INFLUX OF COVID PATIENTS; HOWEVER, DESPITE THAT, WE WERE ABLE TO DO OVER 420,000 SURGERIES SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC FOR PEOPLE WHO REQUIRED SURGERY FOR CARDIAC CANCER OR FOR OTHER REASONS AND AS SOON AS THE NUMBERS START GOING DOWN, BOTH IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF CASES AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN HOSPITALS, WE WILL GET BACK TO THAT AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN, BECAUSE WE KNOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SURGERIES FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND THAT IS A PRIORITY FOR US, TO MAKE SURE THEY GET THE SURGERIES THAT THEY NEED.

The Speaker says AND THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Burch says WELL, I GUESS THAT MEANS THERE IS NO PLAN, SPEAKER. THIS GOVERNMENT'S NOW PATTING THEMSELVES ON THE BACK FOR TELLING HOSPITALS THAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO AVOID THE WORST OF THEIR TRIAGE PROTOCOLS. TO BE CLEAR, PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DYING BECAUSE OF HOSPITAL CAPACITY. THEY'RE DYING BECAUSE THEY'VE HAD LIFE SAVING SURGERIES CANCELLED. THEY'RE DYING IN HOSPITALS, HUNDREDS OF KILOMETRES AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES AND FAMILIES. AND EVEN IF WE AVOID THE PROVINCE'S WORST CASE SCENARIO, THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN THE WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR MANY ONTARIO FAMILIES AND FOR THE DOCTORS AND NURSES WORKING ON THE FRONTLINES. MY QUESTION AGAIN TO THE HEALTH MINISTER: WILL SHE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CAPACITY CRISIS AND WHAT IS SHE DOING NOW TO SAVE THE LIVES OF PATIENTS IN OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEM?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says WELL, I WOULD SAY TO THE MEMBER, THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, THAT WE HAVE BEEN CREATING CAPACITY. WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC. WE'VE BEEN CREATING MORE SPACE IN OUR HOSPITALS, AS FAR AS DEALING WITH THE SURGICAL BACKLOG PREVIOUSLY, WE INVESTED OVER 500 MILLION DOLLARS IN IN ORDER TO EXPAND THE OPERATING HOURS IN OUR HOSPITALS, TO EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE TOOK A LOOK AT OUR REGIONAL WAIT BEING LIFTION SO IS THAT WE COULD EXPAND OUR SURGERIES INTO ALL OF OUR HOSPITALS. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE WILL CONTINUE. ONCE THIS PANDEMIC AND THE CRISIS OF THIS PANDEMIC IS OVER, BECAUSE IT MAKES USE OF ALL OF THOSE SPACES AND GETS PEOPLE INTO OPERATING ROOMS AND SURGERIES TO HAVE THEIR NECESSARY WORK DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THERE ARE MANY STEPS THAT WE HAVE TAKEN AND THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PEOPLE IN OUR HOSPITALS ARE, OUR FRONTLINE HEALTH CARE HEROES WHO HAVE BEEN AT THIS FOR OVER A YEAR NOW, WE CAN NEVER THANK THEM ENOUGH FOR THE WORK THAT THEY'RE DOING. WE ARE TRULY GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF THAT BUT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ALONGSIDE OUR HEALTH CARE WORKERS, BESIDE OUR HOSPITALS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO OF THAT WE NEED SO THAT ANYONE COMING INTO OUR HOSPITALS...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for Scarborough-GUILDWOOD.

The caption changes to "Mitzie Hunter. Liberal. Scarborough-Guildwood."

Hunter is in her forties, with long wavy black hair. She wears a gray blazer over a black and white dress.

She says THANK YOU, MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE. I WROTE TO THE MINISTER AND HER GOVERNMENT ABOUT THE STATE OF LONG-TERM CARE AND THE GOVERNMENT'S SLOW RESPONSE TO COVID, YET DESPITE MANY CALLS ESPECIALLY FROM FAMILIES TO PROTECT RESIDENTS AND STAFF, YOUR GOVERNMENT WAS SLOW TO RESPOND AND EVEN TOOK A SUMMER BREAK. CAN YOU TELL THIS HOUSE WHAT YOU DID TO PROTECT VULNERABLE SENIORS AND TO REMEDY THE STAFFING THAT THE CANADIAN ARMED FORMSES THE FAO LABOUR UNIONS, MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION, THE MEDIA AND FAMILIES WERE CALLING ON YOU TO DO? WILL YOU ACCEPT AND ACT ON THE 85 RECOMMENDATIONS THAT MAKE UP THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS REPORT, MAKE THEM PUBLIC AS IS REQUESTED IN RECOMMENDATION 85 ON AN ANNUAL BASIS TO THIS LEGISLATURE ON YOUR PROGRESS?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR SINCE WE ASKED FOR THE COMMISSION TO BE SET UP FOR LONG-TERM CARE, WE'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR ABOUT OUR INTENT TO MAKE THE REPORT PUBLIC, WHICH WE'VE DONE. WE'VE ALSO BEEN VERY CLEAR ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT WE ADDRESS THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THAT REPORT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE'VE ALREADY IMPLEMENT THE, WHAT NEEDS TO BE IMPLEMENTED, WE ARE COMPLETELY OPEN TO ADDRESSING ALL OF THOSE 85 RECOMMENDATIONS AS SOON AS WE UNDERSTAND WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE AND WHAT IS IN PROGRESS AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND THE DIFFERENCE IS REALLY THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING ACTION, THAT REPORTS REALLY LITTERED THE LANDSCAPE, THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE UNDER THE PREVIOUS LILLEHAMMER GOVERNMENT, SUPPORTED BY THE NDP. REPORT AFTER REPORT AFTER REPORT, ON DIRECT HOURS OF CARE, FOUR HOURS OF DIRECT CARE, ON THE CAPACITY ISSUES AND THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FROM OTTAWA SOUTH, HE KNEW FULL WELL THAT THE WARD ROOMS POAFSED A THREAT. AND IN TOMBS OF LOOKING AT PREPAREDNESS, WE WORKED WITH THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH ONTARIO, WE CREATED A...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. SAYS SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Hunter says SO MR. SPEAKER, IF THE MINISTER KNEW THIS THREAT, WHY DID YOU REFUSE TO ACT? I WILL SEND YOU THE LETTER I WROT TO YOU ON MARCH 27TH AND AGAIN ON MAY 19TH. MIGHT HAPPEN QUESTION WAS SPECIFICALLY WHAT DID YOU DO OVER THE SUMMER TO PREPARE FOR THAT SECOND WAVE, BECAUSE THERE WERE MORE DEATHS IN LONG-TERM CARE IN THE SECOND WAVE THAN IN THE FIRST. AND SO YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE RESPONSE AND IT DOESN'T GO FAR ENOUGH. THIS REPORT IS DEVASTATING. IT'S DEVASTATING TO THE FAMILIES, TO THE STAFF AND TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CLOSEST IMPACTED. MINISTER, THROUGH YOU, SPEAKER, WILL YOU APOLOGIZE TODAY TO THESE FAMILIES AND IF YOU CAN'T BRING YOURSELF TO APOLOGIZE, YOU MUST RESIGN.

The Speaker says I REMIND MEMBERS TO MAKE THEIR COMMENTS THROUGH THE CHAIR. MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

Fullerton says THANK YOU SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, THE REPORT IS VERY INSIGHTFUL AND I THANK THE COMMISSIONERS FOR THEIR INSIGHTS. I REALLY THINK THAT IT WAS INSPECTEDDED TO PROVIDE US WITH GUIDANCE AND THAT IS WHAT IT HAS DONE. IN LATE JUNE, IF THE MEMBER OPPOSITE WOULD CHOOSE TO LISTEN, I AM GIVE HER THE INFORMATION SHE'S LOOKING FOR. IN LATE JUNE OF 2019 OUR GOVERNMENT CREATED THE FIRST STAND ALONE MINISTRY OF LONG-TERM CARE TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES AND THE COMMISSIONER IS VERY CLEAR IN THE REPORT, THESE LONG STANDING SYSTEMIC ISSUES, AT NUMEROUS TIMES THROUGHOUT THE REPORT. AND JUST A FEW MONTHS LATER COVID-19 STRUCK OUR PROVINCE. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS DIFFICULTY ENVIRONMENTAL RELIED ON THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH, ONTARIO HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH ONTARIO, COUNT LESS MEDICAL EXPERTS AND LAST SUMMER PREPAREDNESS ASSESSMENTS WERE CARRIED OUT ACROSS THE PROVINCE TO HELP LONG-TERM CARE HOMES WITH EMERGENCY AND OUTBREAK PREVENTION. THIS WAS IN ADDITION SHORING UP THE STAFFING IN THE HOME, USING THE RESIDENT SUPPORT AIDS, HIRING 8,600 PLUS HIRES INTO LONG-TERM CARE WITH THE PANDEMIC PAY. HOMES WERE ENCOURAGED TO WORK WITH THEIR HOSPITAL PARTNERS AND ONTARIO HEALTH ASSISTED WITH THAT. THIS WAS A COLLABORATIVE COOPERATIVE EFFORT AND ABSOLUTELY WE MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIRING THIS LONG NEGLECTED SYSTEM AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

The Speaker says ORDER. MEMBER FOR OTTAWA SOUTH COME TO ORDER. THE NEXT question. The member for BRAMPTON West.

Sandhu says MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE. LAST MONTH I HAD THE PLEASURE OF JOINING OUR FIRM AND MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATION WRETCHING OUR GOVERNMENT TO ANNOUNCE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WILL IMPROVE THE LOCAL SYSTEM IN THE CITY OF BRAMPTON. MR. SPEAKER, I WAS THRILLED TO SEE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS INVESTED OVER R58 .2 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE LATEST BRAMPTON TRANSIT PROJECT. THIS FUNDING WILL HELP ENSURE THAT BRAMPTON'S RESIDENTS AND VISITORS WILL BE ABLE TO ACCESS MORE EFFICIENT AND SAFE TRANSIT SERVICES GETTING PEOPLE WHERE THEY WANT TO GO WHEN THEY WANT TO GET THERE. I'M PROUD THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS WORKING WITH OUR MUNICIPAL PARTNERS AND FIRM COUNTER COUNTERPART TOGET THESE PROJECT. CAN THE MINISTER TELL US HOW SHE'S WORKING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE MUNICIPAL PARTNERS TO MAKE MEANINGFUL INVESTMENTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF BRAMPTON?

The Speaker says PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT, THE MEMBER FOR OAKVILLE.

The caption changes to "Stephen Crawford. PC. Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure."

Crawford is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

He says I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR THIS IMPORTANT QUESTION AND FOR HIS CONTINUED VOLKS ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF BRAMPTON. WE NOW HAVE NOMINATED OVER 760 PROJECTS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR ISIP FOR APPROVAL. THIS INCLUDES 140 ROADS, BRIDGE, AIR AND MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS FOR A TOTAL PROVINCIAL INVESTMENT OF MORE THAN 115 MILLION DOLLARS IN OVER 200 PUBLIC TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE OUTSIDE G THA PUBLIC TRANSIT STREAM AND ALTHOUGH COVID-19 HAS FORCED THE WORLD TO SLOW DOWN, WE HAVE NOT STOPPED BUILDING. SINCE JANUARY, WE HAVE MADE NEARLY 60 JOINT VIRTUAL EVENTS LIKE THE ONE THE MEMBER MENTIONED, DELIVERING EXCITING NEWS ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, NONPROFITS AND MUNICIPALITIES. THESE PROJECTS CAN FINALLY GO FROM SHOVEL-READY TO SHOVELS MOVING TO GET MUCH NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS BUILT.

Sandhu says WE HAVE HEARD BOTH THE MINISTER AND THE PREMIER SAY THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING 145 BILLION DOLLARS IN ONTARIO'S INFRASTRUCTURE OVER TEN YEARS FOR BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY, TRANSIT AND HIGHWAYS, SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS AND WE KNOW THAT THIS IS A RECORD LEVEL INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT PART OF THIS VERIFYING INCLUDE THE PROJECT I ANNOUNCED ON BEHALF OF MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE LAST MONTH. THIS PROJECT INCLUDES THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEARLY 400,000... TRANSIT MAINTENANCE AND STORAGE FACILITIES. THIS FACILITY WILL ACCOMMODATE ABOUT 250 BUSES AND WILL HELP IMPROVE THE QUALITY, CAPACITY AND SAFETY OF TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE IN BRAMPTON. IT WILL ALSO SUPPORT FUTURE INSTALLATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE TO SERVICE ELECTRIC BUSES AND THAT WILL MEAN MORE EFFICIENT TRAPPINGS FOR ALL BRAMPTONIANS. THIS WAS VERY WELCOME NEWS BY MY COMMUNITY. CAN THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT EXPLAIN WHEN CAN WE EXPECT MORE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS LIKE THE ONE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED?

Crawford says THANK YOU SPEAKER. SIEWRN THE PROJECT ANNOUNCED IN THE CITY OF BRAMPTON IS PART OF MORE THAN 200 PUBLIC TRANSIT PROJECTS WE'VE SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW AND RECENTLY RECEIVED APPROVAL ON FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THIS MULTI-GOVERNMENT COLLABORATION IS A PRIMARY EXAMPLE OF HOW EVERYONE CAN BENEFIT WHEN GOVERNMENTS WORK TOGETHER. OUR MINISTRY WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE FEDERAL COUNTERPARTS TO SECURE TIMELY PROJECT APPROVALS AND MUCH NEEDED FUNDING TO FILL THE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT LEFT BY THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT FOR COMMUNITIES LIKE YOURS IN BRAMPTON. WE KNOW THERE IS MORE WORK TO BE DONE BUT WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE. THAT'S WHY THE PREMIER AND THE MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOREIGN RG FOR SEEKING AN ADDITION 10 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR FOR OVER TEN YEARS TO GET SHOVELS IN THE GROUND FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. WE CAN CONTINUE TO HELP IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR EVERYONE IN ONTARIO WITH STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS. THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

The caption changes to "Jennifer French. NDP. Oshawa."

French is in her thirties, with shoulder-length straight gray hair. She wears a black blazer over a printed green blouse.

She says MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. YESTERDAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WOULD TAKE OVER THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR THE HIGHWAY 413 MEGAPROJECT THAT WOULD CUT THROUGH THE GREEN BELT. JUST LAST WEEK THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION CLAIMED THERE WAS A "STRONG CASE" FOR THIS HIGHWAY PROJECT, EVEN THOUGH THE MOST RECENT REVIEW FOUND THAT THIS 6 BILLION-dollar PROJECT WOULD ONLY SAVE DRIVES FER DRIEMPS MAYBE 30 TO 60 SECONDS PER TRIP, MAYBE IN FACT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO THINK THERE IS ANY CASE TO THIS PROJECT IS THE SPECULATORS WHO OWN LAND ALONG THE CORRIDOR, WHOSE POLITICAL DONATIONS HAVE FILLED THE COFFERS OF THE PC PARTY AND WHO ARE DOGGEDLY CLINGING TO THEIR HOPES FOR THIS HIGHWAY. WILL THE PREMIER REVERSE COURSE ON THE 413 AND CANCEL THIS WAIFS FULL AND DESTRUCTIVE GIFT TO HIS FRIENDS AND DONORS?

The caption changes to "Honourable Caroline Mulroney. Minister of Transportation."

Mulroney is in her mid-forties, with long wavy brown hair. She wears a gray blazer over a white blouse.

She says THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER AND I THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. IT'S UNCLEAR AT THIS TIME WHAT THIS FEDERAL DESIGNATION MEANS FOR THIS PROJECT. WE DON'T KNOW THE... WHAT THE SCOPE OF THE FEDERAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT WOULD BE OR WHETHER A FULL FIRM IMPACT WILL BE SOUGHT. SO WE LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING MORE INFORMATION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO HAS ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGED OUT ROBUST ONTARIO'S INDIVIDUAL EA PROCESS IS. THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT AGENCY OF CANADA HAS CONCLUDED THAT CONCERNS SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ARE "EXPECTED TO BE ADDRESSED THROUGH FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL REGULATORY PROCESSES THAT ALREADY EXIST," MR. SPEAKER. AS RECENTLY AS MARCH OF 2020 THE EXPERTS AT THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT AGENCY OF CANADA REVIEWED THE EVIDENCE AND DECLINED TO TAKE FURTHER ACTION AGAINST THE GTA WEST PROJECT. THE AGENCY STATED THE GTA WEST DOES NOT FIT THE CAREER I CAN'T FOR A PROMPT TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT ACT. THE GOAL OF THIS PROJECT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ADDRESS CONGESTION AND POPULATION GROWTH FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WILL COLLABORATE WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says MEMBER FOR HAMILTON WEST ANCASTER Dundas.

The caption changes to "Sandy Shaw. NDP. Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas."

Shaw is in her late forties, with chin-length straight brown hair. She wears glasses, a black blazer, blue blouse, and striped white scarf.

She says UNFORTUNATELY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO EXCLUDED THE BRADFORD BYPASS FROM ITS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT ALIKE HIGHWAY 413 THE BRADFORD BYPASS WOULD CUT THROUGH THE GREEN BELT AND LIKE HIGHWAY 413 IT RUNS ALONG LAND OWNED BY WELL CONNECTED DEVELOPERS WHO ARE DONORS TO THE PC PARTY. DESPITE THE RISK TO THE WETLANDS, THE GOVERNMENT IS RUSHING TO COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION ON THIS HIGHWAY. WHY WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE ARE STILL SUFFERING 000 THIS PANDEMIC IS THE PREMIER SNOWED FOCUSED ON PAVING OVER THE GREEN BELT AND PAVING OVER FARMLAND ON BEHALF OF HIS FRIENDS AND THE POLITICAL DONORS?

Mulroney says AS I'VE SAID THE GOAL OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND OF THESE PROMPTS HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO ADDRESS CONGESTION AND POPULATION GROWTH IN THE GREATER GOLDEN HORSESHOE. A POPULATION BOOM IS COMING TO THE GREATER GOLD GOLDEN HORSESHOE AND THERE'S NO GETTING AROUND IT. WE BELIEVE EXPAND BEING THE HIGHWAY NETWORK MUST BE PART OF THE SOLUTION SO WE CAN GET PEOPLE AND GOODS MOVING AND CREATE GOOD JOBS. WE CAN'T RELY ON TRANSIT ALONE. THE OPPOSITION IS TAKING A PATH ON ADDRESSING CONGESTION IN THIS RAPIDLY GROWING AREA. IF YOU'RE A UNION MEMBER WHO WORKS IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION THE OPPOSITION IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE. IF YOU ARE A PARENT LIVING IN YORK REGION WHO DRIVES TO WORK, THE OPPOSITION IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE. ONTARIO'S INVESTED 82 BILLION DOLLARS IN TRANSPORTATION OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. 21 BILLION DOLLARS IN HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES AND 61 BILLION DOLLARS IN TRANSIT, MR. SPEAKER. OUR GOVERNMENT WILL EXPLORE ALL OPTIONS TO BUILD TRANSPORTATION LINKS WHETHER IT'S TRANSIT OR ROADS.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Don Valley East.

The caption changes to "Michael Coteau. Liberal. Don Valley East."

Coteau is in his early forties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and striped red tie.

He says MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTIRACISM. SINCE OF THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC THERE'S BEEN AN ALARMING RISE IN ANTI-ASIAN RACISM HERE IN ONTARIO, MORE SPECIFICALLY A 40 percent INCREASE IN HATE INCIDENTS HERE IN THE PROVINCE. MINISTER, YOU'VE RECENTLY PUT OUT AN UPDATE TO THE ANTIRACISM STRATEGY IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS PANDEMIC AND TO MY SURPRISE, THE 30 PAGE DOCUMENT THAT THE MINISTER PUT FORWARD FAILED TO MENTION ANY FORM OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE OR RACISM, IN FACT IT FAILED TO EVEN MENTION THE WORD ASIAN ONCE. SO SPEAKER, MY QUESTION TO THE MINISTER... WHY DID THE MINISTER THINK IT WAS OKAY TO PUT FORWARD AN UPDATE TO THE ANTIRACISM STRATEGY AND FAIL TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF ANTI-ASIAN ASIAN RACISM ESPECIALLY CONCERNING IT'S ONE OF FASTEST FORMS MUCH HATE IN THIS COUNTRY?

The Speaker says TO REPLY, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The caption changes to "Honourable Sylvia Jones. PC. Solicitor General."

Jones is in her sixties, with straight blond hair in a short bob. She wears glasses, a blue blazer and a printed blue blouse.

She says THANK YOU FOR RAISING THIS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT ISSUE. IT IS DISTURBING WHEN WE SEE RISES IN ANY FORM OF HATE SPEECH, BUT PARTICULARLY WHEN WE'RE DEALING WITH A PANDEMIC AND TO NOW SEE THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE USING THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DEAL AND SPREAD VIAL HATEFUL MESSAGES ABOUT PEOPLE. IT'S FRANKLY WHY WE AS A GOVERNMENT HAVE INVESTED AND PARTNERED WITH OUR COMMUNITIES TO NOW OFFER ANTIRACISM AND HATE GRANT. WE ALL APPRECIATE AND UNDERSTAND THAT ZERO TOLERANCE IS CRITICAL BUT WE NEED TO PROVIDE SOME ASSISTANCE TO THOSE ORGANIZATIONS AND TO DO THAT WE'VE ESTABLISHED A NEW ANTIRACISM AND ANTI-HATE GRANT. THIS PROGRAM THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS CAN ENSURE WE ADVANCE MOST EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM AND HATE. AND I WILL...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Coteau says WELL THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. AND THANK YOU TO THE MINISTER FOR THE ANSWER. ASIAN CANADIANS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BEAR RACIST EFFECTS OF THIS PANDEMIC AND THE GOVERNMENT REALLY NEEDS TO STEP UP AND INCLUDE ANTI-ASIAN HATE WITHIN THEIR STRATEGY. BUT SPEAKER RECREATIONAL MARIJUANAALIZED ONTARIANS ARE NOT ONLY BEING AT THAT,ED OUTSIDE THE WALLS OF THIS LEGISLATURE, THEY'RE BEING TARGETED WITHIN THE WALLS OF THIS GOVERNMENT AS WELL. THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO HAVE PEOPLE STOPPED BY THE POLICE RANDOMLY AND TO PROVIDE THEIR NAME AND ADDRESS OTHERWISE KNOWN AS CARDING WAS IMPULSIVE AND POORLY THOUGHT OUT. MINISTER, YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE AND THE DUTY TO PROTECT RACIAL LIELTZED ONTARIANS HERE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO BUT SPEAKER NOT ONLY DID THE MINISTER ANNOUNCE THIS NEW POLICY FROM WHAT HAIR SHE WAS OF THE ONE WHO ACTUALLY CHAMPIONED THIS DECISION. WHAT WAS THE MINISTER THINKING? AS THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTIRACISM, WHY DOESN'T THE MINISTER STAND UP AND DO HER JOB AND STAND UP FOR RACIALIZED ONTARIANS AND PUT A STOP THIS THIS BACKWARD DECISION HERE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO?

Jones says AS I MENTIONED I WOULD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE INVESTMENTS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN DOING WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH OUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS. INCLUDING A THREE MILLION DOLLAR ANTIRACISM AND ANTI-HATE GRANT TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR IMPORTANT WORK ACROSS ONTARIO. A NEW ANTIRACISM AND ANTI-HATE GRANT PROGRAM THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS. THIS NEW GRANTING PROGRAM, 1.6 MILLION DOLLARS IN TOTAL FUNDING WILL BE ACCESSIBLE TO COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT ONTARIO AND PROVIDE INVESTMENTS TO COMMUNITY BASED PROJECTS THAT ADDRESS SYSTEMIC RACISM AND HATE, FOCUSING ON ANTIBLACK, ANTI-DIMTION, ANTISEMITIC AND ISLAMOPHOBIA. THEY BUILD ON OUR INVESTMENT OF 1.7 MILLION DOLLARS THROUGH THE SAFER AND VIOLATE COMMUNITY GRANTS, FUNDING 26 NEW COMMUNITY BASED PROGRAMS WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO OUR WORK WITH COMMUNITY AGENCIES AND THANK YOU FOR RAISING THIS ISSUE BECAUSE IT DOES DISTURB ME WHEN WE HEAR ABOUT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE USING THE PANDEMIC AS ANOPPORTUNITY TO RAISE FALSE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUALS WITHIN OUR SOCIETY. THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "Honourable Ted Arnott. Speaker."

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for LONDON FANSHAWE.

The caption changes to "Teresa J. Armstrong. NDP. London-Fanshawe."

Armstrong is in her early fifties, with shoulder-length brown hair in a bob and bangs. She wears glasses and a gray blazer over a beige sweater.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. SPEAKER, I WANT TO READ WHAT A LONDON CONSTITUENT CHRISTOPHER WROTE TO ME... "I'M ADVOCATING FOR MY BROTHER WHO IS 69 AND HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 PANCREATIC LIVER CANCER AND HAS BEEN GIVEN A WINDOW OF THREE TO SIX MONTHS. CURRENTLY, HIS ACCESS HAS BEEN GOOD CONCERNING APPOINTMENTS, BUT THINGS ARE NOW STARTING TO BE POSTPONED AND I AM SEEING A DECLINE IN HIS STRENGTH SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED 3D WEEKS AGO. WHEN HE RECEIVED HIS FIRST VACCINATION, HE PRODUCED A LETTER FROM HIS DOCTOR AND WAS TOLD NOT GOOD ENOUGH. WE NEED A LETTER FROM A MELON MN PSYCHOLOGIST

The Speaker says MINISTER of HEALTH TO RESPOND.

Elliott says THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. I'M VERY SORRY THAT HER CONSTITUENTS ARE HAVING SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME OBTAINING THEIR SECOND SHOT. WE HAVE BEEN TAKING ADVICE ON WHO SHOULD RECEIVE THE SECOND SHOT EARLIER FROM OUR MEDICAL EXPERTS BASED ON THE CLINICAL EVIDENCE. WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES, OVER THE AGE OF 80 NEED TO HAVE THEM WITHIN A PERIOD OF TIME. AND THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN TYPES MUCH CANCER THAT MUST... WHERE PEOPLE DO NEED TO RECEIVE THEIR SECOND SHOTS EARLIER. THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED TO US BUT CERTAINLY WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO WORK WITH YOU TO BRING YOUR CONSTITUENTS' ISSUES BEFORE THE MEDICAL EXPERTS TO SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ACCELERATE THEIR SECOND SHOTS. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Armstrong says I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT, SPEAKER BUT ALSO WE'VE HEARD FROM ADVOCATES AND THEY SAY THAT THE GUIDELINES FOR EXCEPTIONS IN ONTARIO AREN'T CLEAR AND MANY PATIENTS ARE STILL WAITING WEEKS AND SOMETIMES MONTHS FOR THEIR SECOND DOSE. MARTINA ELIAS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MELOMA CANADA SAID WHEN OFTEN CAME OUT WITH THESE GUIDELINES, NO ONE ON THE GROUND KNEW WHAT THEY WERE AND PATIENT WERE GOING TO THEIR APPOINTMENTS FOR THEIR FIRST VACCINE AND WERE STILL GETTING BOOKED FOR THEIR SECOND DOSE FOUR MONTHS LATER. NOW THAT WE'RE SEEING THAT THE HOSPITALS ARE PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS TO PATIENTS ABOUT SECOND DOSES, BUT IT'S NOT HAPPENING EVERYWHERE, IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU LIVE. SPEAKER. MANY CANCER PATIENTS HAVE HAD THEIR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT DELAYED WHICH IS A VERY STRESSFUL EXPERIENCE. ON TON OF THAT, THEY HAVE TO NAVIGATE THIS INCREDIBLY COMPLEX SYSTEM. WILL THIS GOVERNMENT WORK ACROSS THE PROVINCE TO ENSURE EQUITY EXEMPTING CANCER PATIENTS FROM DELAYED SECOND DOSES OF THE VACCINE?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND OF COURSE I WOULD CERTAINLY AGREE THAT EQUITY IS VERY IMPORTANT ACROSS THE PROVINCE FOR ALL CANCER PATIENTS TO MAKE SURE THAT IF THEY REQUIRE THE SECOND DOSE IN AN ACCELERATED MANNER, THAT THEY WILL GET THAT. WE DO HAVE A TABLE ON THE VACCINE TASKFORCE HEADED BY DR. DIRK HIRE WHO IS CONSULTING WITH OTHER MEDICAL EXPERTS TO UNDERSTAND WHO NEEDS TO HAVE THE SECOND SHOT ACCELERATED. WE KNOW THAT TRANSPLANT PATIENTS DO AND PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN TYPES OF CANCER, BUT WE'RE LEARNING MORE EVERY DAY: I CAN CERTAINLY REFER THIS IF YOU CAN PROVIDE ME WITH THE INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR CONSTITUENTS I WILL CERTAINLY PROVIDE IT TO THE MEDICAL EXPERTS TO SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR THEM. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Ottawa-Vanier.

The caption changes to "Lucille Collard. Liberal. Ottawa-Vanier."

Collard is in her fifties, with long wavy blond hair and bangs. She wears glasses, a black blazer over a white blouse, and a black scarf.

She says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I WANT TO ASK MY QUESTION TO THE MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFAISHES BUT THE PREMIER SAYS I SHOULD DIRECT MY QUESTION TO THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT. THE NEW CHAIR OF THE GREEN BELT COUNCIL SAID IT WAS BE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE LAND FROM THE PROTECTED AREA. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT MR. STERLING WILL SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES BUT I'M AFRAID THOSE PRIORITIES DO NOT SUPPORT THE ENVIRONMENT SO MIGHT HAPPEN QUESTION IS HAS THE GOVERNMENT NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT MR. STERLING'S PREVIOUS STANCE ON THE MATTER OR DID THE GOVERNMENT HOPE THAT PEOPLE WERE NOT PAYING ATTENTION?

The Speaker says TO REPLY, MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING.

The caption changes to "Honourable Steve Clark. PC. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing."

Clark is in his fifties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears rounded glasses, a black suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

He says THANKS, SPEAKER. I WANT TO THANK THE HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. I DO FIND IT STRANGE COMING FROM THIS PARTY A QUESTION GIVEN THE FACT THAT THEY CARVED UP THE GREEN BELT 17 TIMES AND REMOVED 370 ACRES FROM IT. I'VE SAID MANY TIMES MR. STERLING SHARES MY VISION OF GROWING THE GREEN BELT. WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONSULTATION AS MEMBERS KNOW AND I BELIEVE WE HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GROW THE GREEN BELT IN A VERY SIGNIFICANT WAY SINCE ITS CREATION IN 2005, BUT YOU KNOW, DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. TAKE A FORMER MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT FOR THE ONTARIO LIBERAL GOVERNMENT JIM BRADLEY WHO SAID AND I QUOTE "HERE IS AN INDIVIDUAL, NORM STERLING, WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NIAGARA ESCARPMENT PLAN, AN ENDURING LEGACY FOR HIM. HIS INITIATIVES WILL ENDURE FOR MANY YEARS AND THROUGH IN PARLIAMENTS." I AGREE WITH JIM BRADLEY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH NORM STERLING ON GROWING THE Greenbelt.

Watch: Question Period: Tuesday, May 04, 2021