Transcript: Question Period: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | May 19, 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 ORAL 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 pale pink blazer over a black blouse, and a silver pendant necklace.

She says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. AS MENTIONED THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES AND RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE WATCHING ACROSS ONTARIO TODAY AND THEY'RE DEMANDING ANSWERS FROM THE FORD GOVERNMENT. SO WE'VE OFFERED TO PUT THEIR QUESTIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT TODAY AND HOPING ON THEIR BEHALF AND OUR OWN THAT THE PREMIER AND THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE WILL ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS. THE FIRST ONE IS FROM SHERRY COLSTON-HUTCHINSON. SHE SAYS THIS, I'VE BEEN WATCHING WITH HORROR HOW THIS GOVERNMENT HAS IGNORED CONDITIONS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES EVEN AFTER THE MILITARY SAID THAT RESIDENTS WERE DYING NOT JUST WITH COVID BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE DEHYDRATED, STARVING AND LYING IF THEIR OWN URINE AND FECES. ON BEHALF OF SHERRY AND SO MANY OTHERS, SPEAKER, WHY DID THE PREMIER BREAK HIS PROMISE OF JUSTICE AND A FULL INVESTIGATION OF THOSE DEATHS FROM NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says THE MINISTER TO 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 striped blue tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. AS I'VE SAID ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS FOR SHERRY AND ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, SPEAKER, WE WERE PUT ON THE DEFENCE DURING THE FIRST PHASE OF THIS BATTLE WITH COVID, MR. SPEAKER. THAT IS OF COURSE WHY EVEN PRIOR TO THE PANDEMIC WE BEGAN TO REFORM THE LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE BEGAN RENOVATING THOSE OUTDATED HOMES THAT STILL HAD WAR BEDS. WE PUT IN ADDITIONAL... THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL SPACES THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE KNEW THAT THERE WAS AN ISSUE OF STAFFING IN THE SECTOR AND THAT'S WHY WE BEGAN A STUDY INTO STAFFING, THE ISSUES THAT WERE BEING FACED. OF COURSES, WE INCREASED PAY. WE KNEW THAT PAY WAS AN I SHALL. WE INCREASED PAY FOR THE PSWS THROUGH INCREASED PAY BEFORE AND DURING AND AFTER. WHEN WE HAD VACCINES DESPITE THE SHORTFALL IN THE EARLY MONTHS OF THE VACCINES, THE VERY FIRST PEOPLE THAT WE VACATED WERE THOSE IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. THERE IS A LOT OF WORK LEFT TO BE DONE, MR. SPEAKER. WE WILL CONTINUE THAT WORK FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Horwath says SPEAKER, I WOULD LIKE THE MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT SIDE TO LOOK AROUND THESE GALLERIES AND IMAGINE THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HERE BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU FOR SURE THAT IF THEY WERE ABLE TO BE HERE THEY WOULD BE HERE. HERE'S WHAT PAMELA SAID, PAMELA LOST BOTH PARENTS TO A COVID-19 OUTBREAK IN PINECREST NURSING HOME IN BOB CAGE BOBCA. MY ELDERLY MOTHER FELT COMPELLED TO VOLUNTEER HER TIME DAILY SO MY DAD HAD THE CARE HE NEEDED. SHE BECAME A FRONTLINE VOLUNTEER FOR A FOR-PROFIT HOME. HER EMPHASIS, NOT MINE. AFTER LOSING BOTH OF THEM, THE PREMIER PATCHED A BILL THAT HAS MADE IT SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFICULT FOR US TO SEEK COMPENSATION FROM THESE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CORPORATIONS. SO ON BEHALF OF PAMELA AND SO MANY OTHERS WHY WAS IT THIS PREMIER'S FIRST ACT TO PROTECT FOR-PROFIT OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF THESE HOMES AND HIMSELF FROM LEGAL LIABILITY?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WILL NOT THAT'S ACTUALLY NOT THE CASE, MR. SPEAKER. WE... THE PREMIER UNDERTOOK A COMMISSIONER OF INQUIRY TO UNDERTAKE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED. WE KNEW IN ADVANCE OF THE PANDEMIC THAT THERE WERE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES IN LONG-TERM CARE. I JUST MENTIONED THAT, MR. SPEAKER, THERE NEEDED TO BE A BUILD OUT OF LONG-TERM CARE. WE NEEDED RENOVATIONS IN THE OLDER HOMES INCLUDING THAT IN BOBCAYGEON. WE PUT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO DOING THAT IN ADVANCE OF THE PANDEMIC. WE WANTED TO KNOW WHY STAFFING WAS NOT STAYING WITHIN THE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES, SPEAKER. WE STARTED THAT WORK BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. WE WENT FURTHER AND SAID THERE HAS TO BE FOUR HOURS OF CARE. WE'RE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS, 2,000 ADDITIONAL NURSES, BUILDING OUT THOUSAND OF BEDS, MR. SPEAKER. WE ENGAGED CORONER ON THE COMMISSIONER OF INQUIRY, AND THOSE FAMILIES WHO WANT JUSTICE WILL BE GUARANTEED THAT JUSTICE, MR. SPEAKER, WE WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS AND MAKE SURE THAT THE VOLUNTEER CARE HOMES ARE WORK FORG ONTARIO FOR DECADES TO COME... FOR ONTARIO.

The Speaker says THE FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says IT ACTUALLY HAPPEN AND IT WAS BILLION DOLLARS 218 IN CASE THE... BILL 218 IN CASE THE GOVERNMENT FORGOT. THIS IS A WOMAN IN BARRIE. I LIVE BLOCKS FROM ROBERTA PLACE WHERE MY BOTTOM WAS A RESIDENT UNTIL HER PASSING. IT'S THE PLACE WHERE ALL BUT ONE OF THE 129 RESIDENTS ENTRUSTED TO ITS CARE WERE INFECTED BY COVID-19. AND WHERE 71 RESIDENTS SUBSEQUENTLY DIED. I AM HERE TO DEMAND JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THIS HOME AND OF THE OTHER HOMES IN ONTARIO THAT FAILED OUR SENIOR CITIZENS SO MIZ RANNABLY. SO MY QUESTION ON BEHALF OF JOYCE, SPEAKER, AND MANY OTHERS, IS WHY HAS THE GOVERNMENT NOT PROVIDED JUSTICE? WHY HAVE THEY NOT PROVIDED ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE RESIDENTS AND TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IN LONG-TERM CARE?

The Speaker says MEMBER RESPONSE, GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says I THINK THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WOULD EXPECT THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS ENSURE THAT AS WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT OUR HOMES AND THE PEOPLE WITHIN THOSE HOMES HAVE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF SERVICE AND PROTECTION THAT THEY CAN GET. SO THAT IS WHY ONE OF THE FIRST GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE VACCINATED IN PHASE 1 WHEN WE STARTED TO GET VACCINES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WERE THE RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE HOMES AND THE IMPACT OF THAT HAS BEEN DRAMATIC. BUT ALSO AT THE SAME TIME, MR. SPEAKER, WE UNDERTOOK A COMMISSION OF CONCERN WE KNEW THAT WE HAD TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT IT WAS THAT HAD. HAPPENED... HAPPENED. THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY HELPED TO IDENTITY THE HISTORICAL PROBLEMS IN LONG-TERM CARE THAT WAS NOT ADDRESSED PRIOR TO THIS GOVERNMENT TAKING OFFICE. IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE FOR NOT TAKING ACTION. THAT'S WHY WE HIRED 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS, FOUR HOURS OF CARE, THOUSANDS OF HOMES BEING BUILT, OLDER HOMES RENOVATED WITH A LOT OF WORK TOO. WE WILL GET IT DONE, MR. SPEAKER.

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

Horwath says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY NEXT QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER BUT I CAN TELL THAT YOU THOSE HUNDREDS OF FAMILY MEMBERS AND RESIDENTS WATCHING ARE PROBABLY INSULTED AND DISGUSTED BY THE FACT THAT THE PREMIER AND THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE REFUSED TO ANSWER THEIR REQUESTS. BUT I'M... QUESTIONS. BUT I'M PUTTING ANOTHER ONE FORWARD, FROM A FRONTLINE HERO IN LONG-TERM CARE FROM THE PETERBOROUGH AREA WHO SAID... AND I QUOTE. ... I SAT IN FULL PPE WITH A 92-YEAR-OLD NAVY VETERAN OF WORLD WAR II WHO SURVIVED HIS SHIP BEING BOMBED TWICE. HE CRIED, TELLING ME HE WOULD RATHER DIE THAN LIVE IN ISOLATION BECAUSE THIS WASN'T LIVING. THIS WAS WHAT THEY USED TO DO TO PUNISH PEOPLE IN THE WAR. THIS WAS WORSE THAN JAIL. MELO DY MACCULLOUGH FROM PETERBOROUGH SAYS THIS, WHY DID YOU MAKE IT SO ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN'T SUE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES? WHY WAS THERE NO INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH CAUSED BY NEGLECT? DOES THE PREMIER HAVE AN ANSWER TO MELODY'S QUESTION?

The Speaker says RESPONSE. THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says SPEAKER, I WOULD HOPE AND I THINK THAT THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WOULD AGREE THAT THE VERY FIRST THING THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC IS MAKE SURE THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO INCLUDING THE RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE ARE TAKEN CARE OF. THAT'S WHY THE VACCINATION EFFORT STARTED WITH LONG-TERM CARE. WE ALSO UNDERSTAND, MR. SPEAKER, THAT THERE IS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT THAT IS HAD NOT BEEN MADE IN THE YEARS LEADING UP TO THE PANDEMIC. THAT'S WHY BEFORE THE PANDEMIC WE STARTED TO MAKE THOSE INVESTMENTS. DURING THE PANDEMIC WE CONTINUED TO MAKE THOSE INVESTMENTS AND AFTER, MR. SPEAKER, WE WERE BUDGETING FOR 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS. OVER 2,000 NEW NURSES FOR THE SYSTEM. THOUSANDS OF BEDS TO BUILD NEW HOMES AND TO FIX AND RENOVATE THOSE OLD OUTDATED HOMES, MR. SPEAKER. AT THE SAME TIME WE'VE DAMAGED THE... ENGAGED THE CORONER ON THIS. WE'RE THE FIRST PROVINCE TO HAVE A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO LONG-TERM CARE. THOSE ARE THE FIRST STEPS. NOT ONE PERSON WHO WANTS TO SEEK JUSTICE WILL BE STOPPED, NOT BY THIS GOVERNMENT.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says DOES THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER HEAR HIS OWN DRIBBLE? 4,000 PEOPLE DIED IN LONG-TERM CARE BECAUSE THEY WAITED OVER A YEAR FOR THIS GOVERNMENT TO DO ANYTHING, ANYTHING AT ALL TO TAKE CARE OF THEM. HERE'S ANOTHER QUOTE FROM SOMEBODY WHO IS WATCHING, JUNE CASTLEMAN FROM MARKHAM, SPEAKER... AND I QUOTE... OUR 90-YEAR-OLD MOTHER IS IN LONG-TERM CARE IN UNIONVILLE. HER HOME WAS IN LOCKDOWN FROM DECEMBER 2020 TO PRESENT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF APPROXIMATELY 12 DAYS WHEN THE RESIDENTS WERE ABLE TO LEAVE THEIR ROOMS. I CAN SEE THE LIGHT IN MY MOM'S EYES DIMMING. IT IS WORSE UNANIMOUS JAIL FOR THESE RESIDENTS. THAN JAIL FOR THESE RESIDENTS. MY QUESTION ON BEHALF OF JUNE AND MANY OTHERS IS WHY ARE THESE RESIDENTS STILL BEING KEPT SEPARATE FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES?

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says OBVIOUSLY, MR. SPEAKER, THE FIRST PART AS I SAID ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, BUT, AND I APPRECIATE THAT THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MAY NOT AGREE BUT OUR PRIORITY IS THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THOSE IN LONG-TERM CARE AND THEIR FAMILIES. WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF A THIRD WAVE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE OUR VACCINATION EFFORTS HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL WITH OVER 7 MILLION ONTARIANS RECEIVING A FIRST DOSE AND IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN CLOSE TO 90 percent OF THOSE IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES, MR. SPEAKER, THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE. BUT OUR MAIN... OUR FIRST ARE PRIORITY IS TO KEEP THOSE PEOPLE SAFE, MR. SPEAKER. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO. THAT IS WHY WE'RE MAKING HISTORIC INVESTMENTS IN THE LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR, MR. SPEAKER. I'VE BEEN THERE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED. I'VE HAD HOMES IN MY OWN RIDING THAT REQUIRED THE ATTENTION OF THE MARKHAM STOUFFVILLE HOSPITAL. I DO NOT NEED THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION TO SUGGEST THAT I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. IT IS WHY WE'RE FIGHTING SO HARD TO INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN THE SECTOR, MR. SPEAKER. SO THAT THE DEVASTATION OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS IS NOT THE HALLMARK OF THE NEXT 15.

The Speaker says THE FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says THIS GOVERNMENT UTTERLY FAILED RESIDENTS IN LONG-TERM CARE AND THEIR LOVED ONES. THEY SHOULD HAVE IN FACT MADE THEM THEIR FIRST PRIORITY. BUT THEY DIDN'T! THEY SHOULD HAVE MOVED HEAVEN AND EARTH TO PROTECT THOSE SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE. THEY SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED THE JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE FOLKS WHEN THE HOMES FAILED THEM. INSTEAD, THEY PROTECTED THE FOR-PROFIT OWNERS AND THEMSELVES FROM LEGAL LIABILITY. INSTEAD THEY LEFT RESIDENTS ABANDONED. INSTEAD, THEY'VE BROKEN THEIR PROMISES, TIME AND TIME AGAIN. TO THIS VERY MOMENT THEY HAVE STILL NOT COMMITTED, THEY HAVE NOT COMMITTED TO IMPLEMENTING ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION. SPEAKER, ON BEHALF OF ALL OF THE FAMILIES WATCHING TODAY AND SO MANY OTHERS, I WANT TO ASK THIS GOVERNMENT WHEN WILL THEY TAKE THE PROFITS OUT OF LONG-TERM CARE? WHEN WILL THEY STOP PROTECTING THE FOR-PROFIT OWNERS AND OPERATORS AND THEMSELVES FROM LEGAL LIABILITY, SPEAKER? WHEN WILL THIS PREMIER FINALLY SHOW SOME COMMITMENT TO CHANGE AND FIRE HIS MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE?

The Speaker says MEMBERS, PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS. GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says MR. SPEAKER, THIS IS AN OPPOSITION LEADER WHO BETWEEN 2011 AND 2014 HELD THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THIS LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. SHE COULD HAVE FOCUSSED ON LONG-TERM CARE. SHE COULD HAVE FOCUSSED ON HEALTH CARE. INSTEAD SHE CHOSE TO FOCUS ON A STRETCH GOAL FOR INSURANCE. ACCOMPLISHING NOTHING. WHEN WE TOOK OFFICE IN 2018 AND EVEN BEFORE WE UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM IN LONG-TERM CARE, MR. SPEAKER. THAT IS WHY WE MOVED IMMEDIATELY TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF NEW SPACES FOR LONG-TERM CARE SO THAT WE CAN BRING DOWN THE WAITING LIST. THAT IS WHY THE MINISTER OF HEALTH MOVED TOWARDS THE CREATING ONTARIO HEALTH TEAM. THAT IS THAT IS WHY WE CREATED ICU CAPACITY AND RIGHT NOW WE'RE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS. THAT IS WHY WE ANNOUNCED LAST FRIDAY THE HIRING OF 2,000 NEW NURSES. THAT IS WHY WE'VE SAID WE'RE GOING TO BUILD 30,000 SPACES OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS, MR. SPEAKER. OUR PRIORITY IS MAKING SURE THAT WE GET IT RIGHT. THAT WE PUT THE PAST 15 YEARS BEHIND US AND THAT THE NEXT 15 YEARS, 20, 30 YEARS ARE THE BEST IN LONG-TERM CARE. WE'LL GET THE JOB DONE FOR THOSE PEOPLE.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Brampton Centre.

The caption changes to "Sara Singh. NDP. Brampton Centre."

Singh is in her thirties, with long curly black hair. She wears a black blazer over a blue and white dress.

She says THANK YOU, GOOD DAY. MY QUESTION TO THE PREMIER. SPEAKER, THOUSANDS OF ONTARIANS ARE WATCHING TODAY AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM DESERVES ANSWERS FROM CONSERVATIVES AND THIS PREMIER. SUSAN BARREL IS ONE OF THOSE. HERE'S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY. I'M RAISING MY VOICE IN MEMBER RID OF MY MOM VIVIAN BARREL. SHE PASSED AWAY APRIL 15, 2020. SHE WAS ALONE FOR A MONTH BEFORE HER PASSING. I WAS AT MY MOM'S SIDE FOR 12 YEARS EXCEPT FOR THE LAST MONTH. MY MOM WAS A RECOMMENDING CENTERED NURSE WHO PROVIDED EXEMPLARY CARE TO HER PATIENTS. SHE DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE THE WAY SHE DID. I FIGHT FOR 12 YEARS TO BRING ISSUES WITHIN THE LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR TO THE ATTENTION OF THE MANAGEMENT. I WAS LIED TO AND PROMISED THESE THINGS WOULD CHANGE. IT ONLY GOT WORSE. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE AND FIX THE LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM. SPEAKER, AFTER DECADES OF LIBERAL NEGLECT, CONSERVATIVES HAVE ONLY MADE THE CRISIS IN LONG-TERM CARE MEAN WORSE. WHEN WILL THIS GOVERNMENT LISTEN TO PEOPLE LIKE SUZANNE AND MAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND START FIXING ONTARIO'S BROKEN LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM.

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says I THANK THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION BECAUSE IT HIGHLIGHTS WHAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR WEEKS IN THIS PLACE. SUZANNE IN HER E-MAIL TO THE MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS THIS VERY MUCH MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN I COULD HAVE. FOR 12 YEARS SHE HAD BEEN WORKING AND EXPRESSING THE PROBLEMS THAT WE FOUND WHEN WE TOOK OVER... WHEN THE PEOPLE GAVE US THE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE PRIVILEGE OF GOVERNING IN 2018 AND EXACTLY WHAT SUZANNE TALKED ABOUT IS WHAT WE HAVE FOUND. THERE WASN'T ENOUGH STAFF, THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH HOMES SO WE MOVE QUICKLY TO BUILD 30,000 NEW SPACE. I HAD A 118 YEAR WAITING LIST FOR LONG-TERM CARE IN MY RIDING. UNACCEPTABLE FOR ONE OF THE RICHEST PROVINCES IN THIS COUNTRY OR NORTH AMERICA. FOR DECADES LEADING UP TO THIS, MR. SPEAKER, AND IN PARTICULAR OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS THE LACK OF. HAVE, THE LACK A-- OF INVESTMENT AND LACK OF ATTENTION BY THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO ADDRESS THE PANDEMIC. WE WON'T STOP AND BEAL GET THE JOB... WE'LL GET THE JOB DONE FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Singh says THE LIBERALS NEGLECTED LONG-TERM CARE, WE UNDERSTAND THAT BUT THIS GOVERNMENT MADE THE SITUATION WORSE AND THEIR INACTION THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC COST US PRECIOUS LIVES IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. SHARON IS LISTENING FROM KAWARTHA LAKES. I QUOTE, YOU KEEP CALLING US FRIENDS AND TALKING ABOUT AN IRON RING AROUND LONG-TERM CARE, BUT YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING. YOU ALMOST ELIMINATED IN-PERSON INSPECTIONS OF HOMES AND THOSE HOMES WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN DISASTROUS OUTCOMES DURING COVID AND WHERE THE MILITARY IDENTIFIED ABYSMAL CONDITIONS HAVE FACED NO CONSEQUENCES. END QUOTE. SO SPEAKER, SHARON HAS A QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER, WHEN IS HE GOING TO HOLD FOR PROFIT COMPANIES WHO RUN THESE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES ACCOUNTABLE AND WHEN IS HE GOING TO START PROTECTING THE CITIZENS FOR ONTARIO INSTEAD OF PROTECTING HIS FRIENDS ON THE BOARDS OF THOSE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES.

The Speaker says TAKE YOUR SEATS. GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. THE VERY FIRST STEP IN ACCOUNTABILITY WAS THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY, MR. SPEAKER. A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WERE RECEIVED THROUGHOUT COMMISSION OF INQUIRY MANY OF WHICH ARE ALREADY BEING... HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF BY THE GOVERNMENT, MR. SPEAKER. ALSO THE AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. AT THE SAME TIME WE'VE ENGAGED THE CORONER, THESE ARE STEPS THAT PEOPLE EXPECT THEIR GOVERNMENT TO TAKE, MR. SPEAKER. AT THE SAME TIME WE UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES IN THE SYSTEM. NOT ENOUGH STAFF, MR. SPEAKER, NOT ENOUGH TIME SPENT WITH PATIENTS AND RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE A NORTH AMERICAN LEADING FOUR HOURS OF CARE FOR LONG-TERM CARE AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS, MR. SPEAKER. AND THAT IS WHY WE'RE BUILDING 30 NOW NEW SPACE AND HIRING 2,000 NEW NURSES. IT IS A GREAT FIRST STEP. THERE'S MORE WORK TO BE DONE AS WE COME OUT OF THE PANDEMIC AND THAT IS WHY WE VACATED OUR SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES AND MORE WORK TO BE DONE ABSOLUTELY. BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES THIS IS A GOVERNMENT COMMIT TO GETTING IT DONE.

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

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Sarnia-Lambton.

The caption changes to "Bob Bailey. PC. Sarnia-Lambton."

Bailey is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears glasses, a black suit, blue shirt, and a patterned blue tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. WE KNOW, MR. SPEAKER, THAT STRICTER BORDER MEASURES STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THE REALITY IS BACKED UP BY HARD EVIDENCE. COUNTRIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD IMPLEMENTED STRICT BORDER FOILS STOP THE ENTRY OF COVID-19 WITH GREAT SUCCESS. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL FROM OVERSEAS. COVID-19 CAN ENTER ONTARIO FROM THE UNITED STATES AS WELL. I READ TODAY THAT THE PRIME MINISTER IS CONSIDERING OPENING OUR BORDER WITH OUR SOUTHERN COUSINS. ACCOUNT SOLICITOR GENERAL REMIND THE HOUSE WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT'S POSITION IS ON OPENING OUR BORDERS SO SOON?

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 dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION FROM SARNIA-LAMBTON. HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED. IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT WAS ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO TRAVELLED INTO ONTARIO AND DEVASTATED THE LONG-TERM CARE HOME IN BARRIE. I WOULD HOPE THAT THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE WOULD JOIN NEWS DEMANDING THAT OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEEP BORDER RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE WHILE THESE VARIANTS OF CONCERN CONTINUE TO PUT OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES AT RISK AND I WAS PLEASED WITH THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE, PLEASE JOIN US IN OUR FIGHT TO ASK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO KEEP THEIR BORDERS CLOSED UNTIL WE CAN DEAL WITH COVID-19 AND SHUT DOWN THE VARIANTS TRAVELLING. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Bailey says THANK THANK YOU, MR. SPE. I TOO WAS SHOCKED READING IN "THE NATIONAL POST" OF PLANS BE DEVISED BY THE BILL BLAIR MINISTRY. WE ALL LOOK FORWARD TO OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS VISITING AGAIN BUT NOW IS NOT THE TIME. CAN THE MINISTER TELL ME ABOUT HER CONCERNS ABOUT OUR AMERICAN TRAVELLERS.

Jones says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE DO KNEE MOBILITY IS A FACTOR... KNOW THAT MOBILITY IS A FACTOR IN THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. ACCORDING TO THE CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL ONLY 47.3 percent OF THE U.S. CITIZENS HAVE RECEIVED ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE. WE ARE OVER 56 percent NEAR ONTARIO. WE REALLY ARE NOT READY TO OPEN UP YET. AS OF MAY 10 THE CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL FORECASTED BETWEEN 84,000 TO 406,000 NEW COVID CASES WILL LIKELY BE REPORTED DURING WEEK OF JUNE 5. IN ONE DAY THE U.S. HAS 16,000 NEW CASES OF COVID-19. IN. SO HARDEST HIT STATES ACCORDING TO THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTRE ARE ON OUR BORDER, MICHIGAN, NEW YORK, ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN. IT'S THE NOT THE TIME FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO... IT'S NOT THE TIME FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RE-OPEN OUR BORDERS. THEY NEED TO KEEP THE VARIANTS OUT OF ONTARIO.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Oshawa.

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

French is in her thirties, with shoulder-length straight gray hair. She wears a gray blazer over a patterned gray dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION TO THE PREMIER, SPEAKER, THIS PAST APRIL 20, MARKETS ONE YEAR SINCE MARY WALSH DIED FROM COVID-19 AT A LONG-TERM CARE HOME IN PICKERING. HER DAUGHTER MARY TRIPLE MUTATION COVID VARIANT SAYS SHE WAS TRIPP SAYS SHE WAS REDEGRADE. SHE HAS PROOF OF VOLUNTEERS NOT WEARING PPE. BUT SHE WAS SURE IF THERE WAS PROPER TRAINING THINGS WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT. MARY WANTS TO KNOW WHICH MINISTERS IN THIS PROVINCE WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES AT ORCHARD VILLA. I WANT TO KNOW WHY THIS GOVERNMENT LOOKED AWAY FOR SO LONG? WE ALL READ THE REPORTS AND FAMILIES KNOW THAT MORE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. MARY'S MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS "WE THE FAMILIES OF DECEASED LOVED ONES NEED ANSWERS AND CLARIFICATION AND JUSTICE. WILL THERE BE ANSWERS AND JUSTICE?" WILL THE GOVERNMENT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS FAILURE TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says MR. SPEAKER, THAT IS WHY THE PREMIER LAUNCHED A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY BEFORE ANY OTHER PROVINCE HAD...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

says RECOMMENDATIONS IN THERE THAT ARE WELL UNDERWAY IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. LOOK, WE UNDERSTOOD HOW DIFFICULT THE FIRST PHASE OF THIS PANDEMIC WAS AND WE WERE LEFT WITH A REPORT HIGHLIGHTED BY THE AUDITOR GENERAL AND THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY WE WERE LEFT WITH... EXCUSE ME... CIRCUMSTANCES DURING THIS BATTLE BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT HAD LEFT IT SO UNDERPREPARED. WE'RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, MR. SPEAKER. WE'VE ADDED NURSING CARE AND ADDED 27,000 PSWS, WE'RE ALLEGED THOUSAND OF BEDS, MR. SPEAKER, AND WE'RE WELL ON OUR WAY TO ENSURING THAT THE NEXT GENERATION OF ONTARIANS HAVE THE BEST LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Calandra says THAT DOES NOT ALLEVIATE ANYBODY FROM WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE FIRST WAVE BUT THAT'S WHY WE HAD A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY AND WE'LL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

French says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. PETER MORRIS IN OSHAWA LOST HIS MOTHER TO COVID IN THE SECOND WAVE OF NOVEMBER 2020. SHE WAS LIVING IN LONG-TERM CARE IN PETERBOROUGH AND BELIEVES THAT COVID WAS BROUGHT IN BY STAFF. AND HIS MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS THIS... "HER DEATH WAS PREVENTIBLE, NO RESTRICTIONS ON LONG-TERM CARE EMPLOYEES WORKING IN MULTIPLE WHY IN PLACE. NO PAID SICK LEAVE TO LONG-TERM CARE WORKERS WHO COULD AVOID WORK IF THEY EXPERIENCED COVID SYMPTOMS. I BLAME MY MOTHER'S DEATH ON A GOVERNMENT THAT FAILED TO ACT WITH FORESIGHT AND COMMON SENSE IN THE FACE OF PREDICTABLE OUTCOMES. THERE WAS NO IRON RING." SPEAKER, THE PREMIER PROMISED AN IRON RING TO PROTECT VULNERABLE SEASONS AND HE DELIVERED AN IRON RING AROUND FOR-PROFIT OVERNIGHTTORS. I WILL ECHO PETER'S WORDS IN ASKING WHETHER OR NOT THIS GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR FAILURE TO PROTECT SENIORS AND TAKE THE PROFIT OUT OF LONG-TERM CARE.

The Speaker says THE HONOURABLE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER TO RESPONSIBILITY.

Calandra says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. AS I SAID THE INITIAL... INITIAL RESPONSE, OF COURSE, WAS TO ENSURE A COMMISSIONER OF... COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE FIRST WAVE. THE AUDITOR GENERAL CONCLUDED A REPORT AS WELL. WHAT WAS SIGNIFICANT IN BOTH REPORTS IS THE HIGHLIGHTING OF THE FACT THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT OVER 15 YEARS FAILED TO MAKE THE IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS IN THE LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM, MR. SPEAKER. THAT'S WHAT WE UNDERSTOOD AND THAT'S WHY WE MOVED QUICKLY EVEN BEFORE THE PANDEMIC TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE SHORTFALLS IN THE SYSTEM. I UNDERSTAND, PETER. I UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT WE'RE ADDING THOUSANDS OF NURSES AND PSWS TO THE SYSTEM DOES NOT DIMINISH THE PAIN HE FEELS, IT DOESN'T DIMINISH THE PAIN THAT ANYBODY FEELS WHO LOST A LOVED ONE BUT WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE BEST SYSTEM IN PLACE WITH THE BEST QUALITY OF CARE. FOUR HOURS OF CARE, NEW HOMES AND THE OLD HOMES IN THE WARDS THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT UNREFLOURISHED FOR YEARS. THAT MEANS ADDING THOUSANDS OF NURSES. WE'LL GET THE JOB DONE WITHOUT SACRIFICING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR YORK CENTRE.

The caption changes to "Roman Baber. Independent. York Centre."

Baber is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a black suit, white shirt, and striped black tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. TO THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER. THE CANADIAN PEDIATRIC SOCIETY QUOTED YESTERDAY THAT KIDS ARE DEPRESSED, SUICIDAL AND LONELY. THEY NEED SCHOOL AND SPORTS BUT YESTERDAY THE GOVERNMENT MPPS WERE WHIPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT AGAINST A MOTION TO OPEN OUTDOOR SPORTS. WERE THE MPPS FORCED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PREMIER TO VOTE AGAINST THE MOTION TO OPEN THE OUTDOORS? EVERY DOCTOR IS TELLING THEM THAT THE OUTDOORS IS SAFE AND THEY WANT TO OPEN THE OUTDOORS BUT TO AVOID ADMITTING THEY WERE WRONG THEY VOTED AGAINST THE MOTION. SO MY QUESTION TO THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER, WITHOUT TELLING US THAT THEY'RE LISTENING TO THE EXPERTS OR RECITING THE MONTHS OF THE YEAR AGAIN WAS YESTERDAY'S VOTE IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT REFUSED TO OPEN OUTDOOR SPORTS WAS IT THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE KIDS?

The Speaker says TO REPLY THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says ACTUALLY, MR. SPEAKER, THAT GENTLEMAN WILL KNOW QUITE WELL WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO VOTE WITH THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE HE DID SO ON EVERY OCCASION, MR. SPEAKER, WHEN WE INITIALLY BROUGHT IN THE STATE OF EMERGENCY THAT MEMBER WAS VERY HOPE THAT VOTE IN SUPPORT OF THAT STATE OF EMERGENCY. ALL THE MEASURES THAT WE BROUGHT IN TO EPP CAN YOU TELL PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF... TO KEEP THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO SAFE HE VOTED IN FAIR. HE STOOD IN HIS PLACE, WENT THROUGHOUT LOBBY IN A... WENT THROUGH THE LOIBL IN A SAFE WAY WEARING MASK TO WORK FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO IN A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE WAY. HE WAS SUPPORT THINK OF... HE WAS SUPPORTIVE OF EVERY ONE OF THOSE MEASURES AND HE WOULD KNOW HOW TO KEEP THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO SAFE AND NOW HE CHANGED HIS MINDS. ONE THING THAT REMAINS CONSISTENT WITH THIS GOVERNMENT, WE PUT THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO FIRST AND THE HEALTH AND SAY THE OF THE PEOPLE. PROVINCE OF ONTARIO FIRST, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Baber says I'M NOT SURE THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER'S REASONING BEHIND THAT. HE KNOWS THAT I'VE OPPOSED A LOCKDOWN SINCE MAY AND HE KNOWS WHY I'M ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE. HE FAILED TO KICK ME... HE THREATENED TO KICK ME OUT WHEN I OPPOSED THE LOCKDOWN IN JUNE. THE RESPONSE FROM THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER IS WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT BY THE GOVERNMENT. THEY KEEP PRETENDING THAT THEY'RE NOT TOLD THAT THE OUTDOORS ARE SAFE. THEY PRETEND THAT THEY DON'T READ ANYTHING BULL THEY STICK TO THEIR GROUND AND READ THE MONTHS OF THE YEARS. LIKE WITH SICK DAYS, THEY OPEN THE OUTDOORS ON THEIR TURN AND HAVE THE MPPS DO PHOTO OPS ABOUT HOW GREAT IT IS FOR MENTAL HEALTH. IT WOULD BE FUNNY IF IT WASN'T TRAGIC FOR THE KIDS. THEY DON'T NEED TO WAIT. WHEN WILL YOU OWN YOUR FAILURE AND OPEN THE OUTDOORS?

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 black blazer and dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I INDICATE YESTERDAY THAT YESTERDAY WAS NOT THE DAY TO OPEN THE OUTDOORS FOR ALL AMENITIES BUT WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO GO OUTDOORS AND ENJOY THE WARM WEATHER. THE PARKS ARE OPEN, PLEASE USE THEM. GO FOR A WALK, A RUN, WALK YOUR DOG, TAKE YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN OUT. WE WANT PEOPLE TO GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THE OUTDOORS. THIS IS NOT... BUT WE STILL AS YOU KNOW HAVE HIGH LEVELS OF HOSPITALIZATIONS AND HIGH NUMBERS OF PEOPLE IN ICUS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN THE PEOPLE GO OUT THEY USE THE PROPER PUBLIC SAFETY MEASURES AND THEY'VE BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST YEAR BUT PLEASE GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THE OUTDOORS.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Sarnia-Lambton.

Bailey says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION TODAY IS TO THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF ENERGY. MR. SPEAKER, MY CONSTITUENTS REMAIN VERY CONCERNED WITH THE MICHIGAN GOVERNMENT'S ONGOING EFFORTS TO CLOSE LINE 5 AND ENDANGER THE WELLBEING AND LIVELIHOOD. IN THE UNITED STATES THE RANSOMWARE ATTACK RECENTLY SHUT DOWN THE COLONIAL PIPELINE, AN 8800 KILOMETRE PIPELINE THAT CARRIES 2 AND A HALF MILLION BARRELS A DAY FROM TEXAS THROUGH TO PENNSYLVANIA. SHUTDOWN OF THIS MAJOR PIPELINE LED TO A SHORTAGE IN PRICE HIKES OF DIESEL AND GASOLINE IN THE UNITED STATES. IT CREATED A MESS WITH SEVERAL STATES DECLARING A STAKES. ACCOUNT ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF ENERGY TELL THIS HOUSE, IS THE AFTERMATH OF THE COLONIAL PIPELINE ATTACK A SIGN OF WHAT AWAITS ONTARIANS IF THE MICHIGAN GOVERNMENT ACTIONS TO SHUT DOWN LINE 5 IS SUCCESSFUL?

The Speaker says REPLY, THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF ENERGY.

The caption changes to "Honourable Bill Walker. PC. Associate Minister of Energy."

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

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I THANK THE MEMBER FOR SARNIA-LAMBTON FOR HIS QUESTION AND ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF HIS CONSTITUENTS. THEY'RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE THEM REPRESENT... HIM REPRESENT THEM FOR YEARS. I CHEER THE MEMBER'S CONCERN. WE WERE ALL TROUBLED BY THE NEWS OF THE RAN SOME WARE ATTACK ON THE COLONIAL PIPELINE MAY 7TH. IT SPEAKS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING LINE 5 OPEN AND TO THE ROLE IN OUR ENERGY AND ECONOMIC SECURITY. IT SERVES AS A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MAJOR PIPELINE IS TAKEN OUT OF COMMISSION. A SHUTDOWN OF LINE 5 WOULD HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES AND IMPACT EACH ONE OF US, MEDIA. A HOUSE OF COMMONS MULTIPARTY COMMITTEE IN OTTAWA CONFIRMED WOULD CAUSE ENERGY SHORTAGES, TRANSPORTATION BOTTLENECKS AND JOB LOSS. NONE OF WHICH WE CAN AFFORDS. MR. SPEAKER, I ASSURE THIS HOUSE AND THE GREAT PEOPLE OF ONTARIO THAT WE SUPPORT EVERY EFFORT TO ENSURE THAT LINE 5 CONTINUES TO OPERATE AS IT HAS FOR 60 YEARS.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Bailey says SPEAKER, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MINISTER FOR HIS ASSURANCE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE ITS ADVOCACY FOR LINE 5 TO KEEP IT OPEN. THERE'S SO MUCH AT STAKE FOR MY CONSTITUENTS AND FOR ALL OF ONTARIOIANS AND CANADIANS AS A HE WHOLE. THE PRICE HIKES CAUSED BY THE COLONIAL PIPELINE CYCLE HAVE NOT BEEN... HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE 2014. THIS MORNING I SAW THEY WERE ADVOCATING 19 GOVERNORS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ADVOCATING FOR THE RE-OPENING AND TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE. BUT WE MUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO ENSURE THAT CANADIANS AND ONTARIANS DO NOT MEET A SIMILAR FATE IN LINE 5 IS SHUT DOWN. CAN THE MINISTER UPDATE THIS HOUSE ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN THE EFFORT TO KEEP LINE 5 SAFELY.

The Speaker says THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF ENERGY.

Walker says THANK YOU AGAIN. I AGREE WITH THE MEMBER FOR SARNIA SARNIA-LAMBTON. THE COLONIAL PIPELINE ATTACK HIGHLIGHTS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE A THIRD OF YOUR SUPPLY. IMAGINE THE CHAOS IF YOU DECOMMISSIONED 50 percent OF YOUR SUPPLY OF FUEL NEEDS PERMANENTLY. MR. SPEAKER, ONTARIO NEEDS LINE 5. CANADA NEEDS LINE 5. MICHIGAN AND THE UNITED STATES NEEDS LINE 5. THE OTHER PROVINCES ARE URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO USE ALL MEANS AT ITS DISPOSAL TO KEEP LINE 5 OPEN. WE WERE PLEASED TO SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S APPEARING CUSS BRIEFING LAST WEDNESDAY UNDERSCORING THE IMPORTANCE OF LINE 5 TO THE ENERGY AND ECONOMIC SECURITY TO OUR PROVINCE AND COUNTRY. I ASSURE THE MEMBER FOR SARNIA-LAMBTON THAT OUR GOVERNMENT WILL STAND WITH THE ENERGY WORKERS, AND THE FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITIES IN HIS RIDING AND ACROSS THE PROVINCE. ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER, MR. SPEAKER, HAVE HAD THEIR LIVELIHOODS PUT IN JEOPARDY AS A RESULT OF THE DECISION OF THE MICHIGAN GOVERNMENT. WE REMAIN STEADFAST IN KEEPING THIS CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AVAILABLE.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for KITCHENER CENTRE.

The caption changes to "Laura Mae Lindo. NDP. Kitchener Centre."

Lindo is in her thirties, with long highlighted hair in thin dreads. She wears a blue jacket over a black shirt, a colourful headscarf and an oversized bright green pendant necklace.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. IN SEPTEMBER 2020 I TABLED A PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT SENIORS ADVOCATE IN ONTARIO. KITCHENER CENTRE SUPPORTED AND SO DID THIS GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD IT'S THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT US ESPECIALLY DURING A CRISIS LIKE THE CURRENT PANDEMIC. THAT INCLUDES CREATING WAYS TO RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT HOW OLDER ADULTS ARE TREATED BEFORE, DURING AND PART OF THE PANDEMIC. BEVERLY SUMMERFIELD, A KITCHENER RESIDENT JOINING US VIRTUALLY TODAY IN THE GALLERY COULD HAVE ASKED HER QUESTION TO THE SENIORS ADVOCATE BUT THE GOVERNMENT REFUSESES TO CALL IT IN COMMITTEE AND MAKE IT LAW. BEVERLY WRITES, WHY AFTER LEARNING FROM THE MILITARY OF THE ABHORRENT CONDITIONS IN WHICH OUR SENIORS SUFFERED DID YOU PROCEED TO DO NOTHING OTHER THAN PASS LEGISLATION TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND HOLD THOSE IN AUTHORITY AWAY FROM CULPABILITY OR RAMIFICATIONS. WHERE WAS THE IRON RING? ON BEHALF OF BEVERLY AND THOSE WE LOST, WHERE IS THE IRON RING AND WHO IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CHAOS?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENSURING THAT WE HAVE 89 BEST LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM IN NORTH AMERICA. WE UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES FACED DURING THE FIRST WAVE OF THE PANDEMIC. AND EVEN INTO THE SECOND WAVE. IT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THE FIRST PEOPLE TO GET VACCINATED WERE RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE. WE KNEW IN ADVANCE THAT WE HAD TO MAKE SERIOUS CHANGES IN THE LONG-TERM CARE. WE KNEW THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH STAFFING. ONE OF THE VERY FIRST MEETINGS I HAD AFTER BEING GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ELECTED WAS A PSWS IN MY RIDING PAUL WHO LET'S ME KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING. ONE OF THE THINGS SAID IS WE HAVE TO BE ORGANIZED. THERE'S A BILL TO ALLOW THEM TO BE ORGANIZED. WE NEED MORE PSWS, MR. SPEAKER AND THAT'S WHY I'M PROUD OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS SO WE CAN GET TO THE LEVEL OF CARE NEEDED IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. THAT'S FOUR HOW WAS CARE. THERE IS NOTHING THAT I CAN SAY OR DO THAT WILL DIMINISH THE LOSS THAT BEVERLY, PETER AND ROWERS FACING WHEN IT COMES TO THE LOVES THEIR LOVED ONES, NOTHING BUT I CAN MAKE SURE THAT I WORK WITH THIS GOVERNMENT, MAKE SURE THAT WE WORK WITH LEGISLATORS TO GIVE PEOPLE THE BEST LONG-TERM CARE IN NORTH AMERICA.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Lindo says BACK TO BE THE PREMIER. BEVERLY IS NOT THE ONLY ONES WITH QUESTIONS. BRUCE THOMPSON IS THE ACTING CHAIR OF THE FAMILY CURRENTLY FOR AMMON AT A COUNTRY HAVEN. A FOR PROFIT LONG-TERM CARE HOME IN ONTARIO. DURING THE FIRST WAVE HE WRITES THAT WE LOST 30 percent OF RESIDENTS DUE TO UNDERSTAFFING, PSWS WORKING IN MORE THAN ONE HOME, LITTLE OR NO PPE, NO TESTING CAPABILITY, NO INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALTIES AND NO DIRECTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT. BRUCE HAS ONE ASK AND I QUOTE... "WE WANT THE FORD GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT ALL RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COVID-19 COMMISSION ON LONG-TERM CARE." THROUGH YOU, SPEAKER, AND BACK TO THE PREMIER ON THE BEHALF OF THE RESIDENTS, THE STAFF AND THE CAREGIVERS AND THE HUNDREDS OF FAMILY MEMBERS OF THIS HOME WILL THE GOVERNMENT IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENT ALL RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COVID-19 COMMISSION ON LONG-TERM CARE.

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER REPLY.

Calandra says WE'RE WELL ON OUR WAY TO DOING JUST THAT. BRUCE RAISED A VERY GOOD POINT IN HIS E-MAIL TO THE MEMBER. HE HIGHLIGHTED THE FACT THAT TESTING WAS WOEFULLY INADEQUATE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. THIS IS WITH WHAT WE FACEDE INITIAL PHASE OF THE PANDEMIC. WE INHERITED A SYSTEM THAT DID 5,000 A DAY. WE TO INCREASE THAT AND BROUGHT IT UP TO 75,000 TEST AS DAY. WE KNEW THAT ICU CAPACITY WAS A MAJOR PART OF HALLWAY HEALTH CARE AND WE INCREASED CAPACITY IN OUR ICUS, SPEAKER, FROM 1800 TO OVER 2300. WE INCREASED CRITICAL CARE BEDS ACROSS THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE KNEW THAT THIS WAS INADEQUATE AND THIS IS WHAT WAS GIVEN TO US BY THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT. WE KNEW THAT THERE WAS A CAPACITY ISSUE SO THAT'S WHY WE'RE BUILDING THOUSANDS MORE SPACES. THAT'S WHY WE'RE HIRING 27,000 MORE PSWS, 2,000 ADDITIONAL NURSES. THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS INHERITED THAT HAD TO BE FIXED AND WE WILL FIX THAT.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Scarborough-Guildwood.

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

Hunter is in her forties, with long curly black hair. She wears a black blazer over a black and white blouse.

She says I WELCOME THOSE FROM THE ONTARIO HEALTH COALITION PACKING THE GALLERY. INCLUDING MICHELLE JONES FROM SCARBOROUGH. MICHELLE'S GRANDMOTHER IS IN LONG-TERM CARE AND BOTH MICHELLE AND HER GRANDMOTHER ACQUIRED COVID-19 IN NOVEMBER FROM A RESIDENT WHO HAD VISITED THE HOSPITAL FOR DIALYSIS DURING AN OUTBREAK AT THE HOSPITAL. SO MUCH FOR THE IRON RING SAYS MICHELLE. MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. THIS GOVERNMENT ROLLED OUT A VACCINATION PLAN THAT IS NOT EASY TO USE OR ACCESSIBLE TO ALL. WE CANNOT OVERRELY ON VACCINE HUNTERS TO WICK UP THE GOVERNMENT'S SLACK. WHERE IS THE PLAN FOR THE ONTARIANS WHO HAVE SYSTEMIC BARRIERS TO VACCINATION? NOT EVERYONE HAS A COMPUTER. THEY CANNOT USE A COMPUTER DURING LOCKDOWN. SOME PEOPLE LACK CONFIDENCE IN VACCINES AND IN THIS GOVERNMENT. WHAT IS THE MINISTER'S PLAN TO REACH THE PEOPLE IN ONTARIO WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO GET THE VACCINE BUT FACE SYSTEMIC BARRIERS TO GETTING IT? HOW WILL YOU TRACK INDIVIDUALS AND PROVIDE SOCIOECONOMIC DATA...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THANK THANK YOU VERY MUCH TE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. WE DO HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE THREE-PHASE PLAN FOR A VACCINE ROLLOUT. WE'RE IN PHASE 2 OF THE PLAN AND I CAN ADVISE THAT TO DATE OVER 7.2 MILLION VACCINES HAVE BEEN DELIVERED. WE HAVE OVER 5.3 MILLION BOOKINGS FOR VANCOUVER CANUCKS IN THE FUTURE... VACCINES IN THE FUTURE. SO CLEARLY MANY ARE FINDING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE SYSTEM AND ARE NOT FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO NEGOTIATE. BUT FOR THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE A COMPUTER THEY CAN CALL OUR ONLINE CALL CENTRE AND BOOK VACCINES THAT WAY. WE ALSO HAVE A NUMEROUS PHARMACIES OFFERING VACCINES. MODERNA AND THE PFIZER VACCINE. PEOPLE CAN MAKE APPOINTMENTS THROUGH THEIR OWN VACCINE CLINICS AT THEIR PHARMACIES. THERE ARE MANY WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO ACCESS VACCINES. WE ARE MAKING SURE THAT ANY ONE IN ONTARIO WHO WANTS A VACCINE WILL GET ONE.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Hunter says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. BACK TO THE MINISTER. AS YOUR GOVERNMENT JUST SAID IT TAKES ONE TO IGNITE AN OUTBREAK. THE ONTARIO SCIENCE TABLE SAID TO PRIORITIZE HOT SPOTS FOR WEEKS TO SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU SAID NO. HOT SPOTS HAVE THE MOST VULNERABLE IN OUR COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE A HIGH PROPORTION OF ESSENTIAL WORKERS AND THEY'VE SEEN A TSUNAMI OF ONE WAVE CONTINUOUSLY SINCE LAST YEAR. IF THE MINISTER AND THIS GOVERNMENT IS CAN'T IN THEIR PLAN... CONFIDENT IN THEIR PLAN WHY NOT ACCEPT MY REQUEST TOE COLLECT DATA ON RACE, ETHNICITIES, DISABILITIES, AND LANGUAGES SPOKEN SO WE CAN BETTER TRACK WHO AND WHERE THE VACCINE IS GETTING TO? TOMORROW I'LL PROVIDE AMENDMENTS TO BILL 283 AT COMMITTEE THAT WILL REQUIRE THE COLLECTION OF RACE BASED DATA AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION COLLECTED WHEN SOMEONE GETS A VACCINE WHILE PROTECTING THEIR PRIVACY WHICH YOU REQUIRE AND THIS WILL ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO SEE IN THIS LIFE SAVING VACCINE TRULY EQUITABLY DISTRIBUTED. WILL THE MINISTER FIX THE BILL AND SUPPORT AMENDMENTS TO BETTER TRACK WHO IS RECEIVING THE VACCINE?

The Speaker says THE MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says THANK YOU, AS THE MEMBER WILL CERTAINLY KNOW WE ARE TRACKING THIS SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION BY ASKING IF THEY WISH TO DISCLOSE IT OR NOT. WE'RE MAKING THE RECEIPT OF THE VACCINE SUBJECT TO THE PERSON'S CHOICE AND I BELIEVE THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF THIS INFORMATION SHOULD BE ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN WISHES AND NOT MANDATORY. MOST PEOPLE ARE PROVIDING. SOME PEOPLE DON'T WISH IT. I CAN SPEAK TO THE I SHALL ABOUT THE HOT SPOT AREAS, WE DESIGNATED 50 percent OF ALL VACCINES GOING INTO HOT SPOTS FOR A TWO-WEEK PERIOD WITH THE RESULT THAT WE HAVE A 7.9 percent HIGHER INCREASE IN PEOPLE RECEIVING THE VACCINES IN THE HOT SPOT AREAS AND IN THE NONHOT SPOT AREAS. THAT'S CLEARLY WORKING BUT I CAN ADVISE THAT THE ONTARIO SCIENCE TABLE RECOMMENDATIONS PRESENTED IN APRIL ASSUMED A RATE OF 100,000 VACCINES ADMINISTERED PER DAY AND A 350 percent HOT SPOT... 350 percent HOT 50 percent HOT SPOT FOR 30 DAYS. IN THE MONTH OF MAY THE PROVINCT NUMBER OF VACCINES THAN WERE ESTIMATED BY THE SCIENCE ADVISORY TABLE AND WE'RE CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL ROLL OUT THOSE VACCINES IN THOSE AREAS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE WHO IS NEEDS TO BE COVERED WILL BE COVERED.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR SARNIA-LAMBTON.

Bailey says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THIS QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. WE KNOW THAT THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT DID NOT MAKE NECESSARY INVESTMENTS IN OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. THIS INCLUDED NOT MAKING THE RIGHT INVESTMENT TO THE FUTURE OF THE GENERATIONS OF NURSING STUDENTS IN ONTARIO. WE ALL HEARD STORIES OF ONTARIANS WHO WANTED BECOME NURSES BUT WERE NOT ABLE TO FIND A PROGRAM CLOSE TO HOME OR NOT GETTING INTO A PROGRAM EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE QUALIFIED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF INCREASING ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITIES. I'M PLEASED THAT THE GOVERNMENT TOOK THE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NURSING STUDENTS HAVE IMPROVED ACCESS TO POSTSECONDARY TRAINING. ACCOUNT MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TELL US THE ACTIONS THIS GOVERNMENT IS TAKING TO PROVIDE THE GREATER CHOICE AND ACCESS TO THE RESPECTIVE NURSING STUDENTS IN ONTARIO.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND SOUTH.

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 blue suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. YESTERDAY WHEN I ROSE IN THE HOUSE I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS REFUSED TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND EQUIP US WITH THE CAPACITY TO MEET TODAY'S NEEDS AND TOMORROW'S NEEDS. I THANK THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. I'M PLEASED TO RISE TO TACK ABOUT STAND ALONE NURSING. WHAT IS STAND ALONE NURSING? PREVIOUSLY COLLEGES PARTNERED WITH UNIVERSITIES TO OFFER DEGREES. WE OFFERED THIS WITHOUT PARTNERING WITH THE UNIVERSITY. PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS NOW HAVE GREATER ACCESS TO EXCELLENT POSTSECONDARY TRAINING IN HIGH DEMAND JOBS CLOSER TO HOME. SPEAKERS I'M PLEASED TO SAY THAT TO DATE TWO COLLEGES ARE PREPARING TO OFFER THE FIRST STAND ALONE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE NURSING PROGRAMS IN FALL 2021. SPEAKER, THIS WILL ENSURE THAT WE ARE TRULY MEETING THE NEEDS NOT ONLY OF ONTARIANS TODAY BUT WE'RE TRAINING A WELL TRAINED WORK FORCE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ONTARIOIANS TOMORROW. I'M PROUD TO BE PART OF A GOVERNMENT THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND DOING THAT. HOOPS.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Bailey says GREAT NEWS, SPEAKER, THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS MAKING THE INVESTMENT INTO FUTURE NURSING STUDENTS. I KNOW THAT NURSES WILL LOOK FORWARD TO CARING FOR OUR CY AND LOVED ONES. THIS IS THE FIRST INCREASE IN NURSING SEATTLE IN TWENTY YEARS. IT'S WELCOME NEWS. ACCOUNT MINISTER EXPLAIN WHAT INVESTMENTS OUR GOVERNMENT IS ALSO MAKING TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF NURSING STUDENTS IN ONTARIO?

The Speaker says MEMBER FROM NORTHUMBERLAND-PETERBOROUGH SOUTH.

Piccini says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE MEMBER IS RIGHT. I THANK HIM FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND CHAMPIONING THIS ISSUE. MR. SPEAKER, WE DO NEED TO TAKE CONSISTENT ACTION TO TRAIN A WELL TRAINED NEXT GENERATION OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. THAT'S WHY I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT LAST WEEK UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE MINISTRY OF OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THE MINISTRY OF LONG-TERM CARE AND PREMIER FORD THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED A 35 MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT TO EXPAND THE NUMBER OF NURSING SEALS SEATS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO... SEATS. THAT MEANS OVER 2,000 ADDITIONAL NURSES BROUGHT INTO THE SYSTEM, 1,130 NEW PRACTICAL NEWS CONFERENCE 870 REGISTERED NURSES. THIS WAS THE FIRST EXPANSION OF NURSING SEATS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. THE FIRST IN OVER 20 YEARS. 20 YEARS, SPEAKER. WE KNOW THIS WAS NEEDED BUT IT'S NOT JUST THAT. IT'S ABOUT THE FREE TUITION FOR OVER 16,000 PSWS IN THE PIPELINE TO MEET OUR EFFORT TO HIRE 27,000 MORE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE NEXT question. The member for Humber River-Black Creek.

The caption changes to "Tom Rakocevic. NDP. Humber River-Black Creek."

Rakocevic is in his late thirties, with side-parted blond hair and a boxed beard. He wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and black tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I WELCOME THE MEMBERS OF THE HEALTH COALITION IN THE VIRTUAL GALLERY AND THANK THEM FOR THEIR ADVOCACY. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER... PAUL WAS A MOTHER OF 7, A GRANDMOTHER OF 12 AND A GREAT GRANDMOTHER OF 11. ON MOTHER'S DAY LAST YEAR DORIS FELL INTO THE COMA AND A PRIVATE LONG-TERM CARE HOME WHERE SHE WAS A RESIDENT. DORA TESTED IT POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 TWO DAYS LATER. MARCH 16, 2020 SHE PASSED AWAY A I LONE WITHOUT ANY LOVED ONES. HER GRANDDAUGHTER SAID SIENNA TRIED TO HIDE THE FACT THAT THE HOME HAD AN OUTBREAK WITH A CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF STAFF. TARA EXPLAINED THAT HER GRANDMOTHER SUFFERED FROM NEGLECTIVE CONDITIONS THAT ARE COMMON IN FOR PROFIT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. SHE WANTS TO KNOW WHY THIS GOVERNMENT DIDN'T SEND CANADIAN ARMED FORCES INTO THE HOME WHEN THEY WERE SENT INTO OTHER HOMES EXPERIENCING SIMILAR OUTBREAKS?

The Speaker says TO REPLY, GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. OBVIOUSLY THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES WERE SENT IN TO A NUMBER OF HOMES, SPEAKER. I MENTIONED EARLIER HOW THE CONCEPT OF ONTARIO HEALTH IS CHAMPIONED AND BROUGHT THIS BY THE MINISTER OF HEALTH IN ORDER TO HELP TRANSFORM THE SYSTEM. WE SAW IN A NUMBER OF HOMES INCLUDING TWO IN MY RIDING, SPEAKER, WHERE THE MARKHAM STOUFFVILLE HOSPITAL HELPED WHETHER IT WAS PARTICIPATION HOUSE OR A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES THAT NEED ASSISTANT. NO DOUBT THAT WE WERE ON THE DEFENCE IN THE FIRST PART OF THE PANDEMIC. I'M UNDER NO ALLUSION THAT I'M GOING TO PROVIDE COMFORT IN A ONE MINUTE ANSWER TO TARA. I WISH I COULD. I WISH WHAT SHE HEARD IN A MILNE WOULD GIVE HER SOLACE... MINUTE WOULD GIVE HER SOLACE BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE AWAY THE ANGER AND THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Calandra says WE GIVE PEOPLE THE BEST LONG-TERM CARE IN ALL OF NORTH AMERICA WE WE WILL.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Rakocevic says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. A GRATEFUL MOTHER TO THE MEMBER OF A LONG-TERM CARE. FOR THE PAST YEAR SHE'S BEEN CONFINED TO A ROOM WITH NONE OF HER LOVED ONES ABLE TO VISIT. LIKE MANY OTHER SENIORS DURING THE PANDEMIC HER MOTHER'S MENTAL HEALTH HAS BEEN DECLINING AND THE WARMER WEATHER IS DOING NOTHING TO IMPROVE HER SPIRIT. GRACE SAYS HER MOTHER DOES NOT DESERVE TO SPEND HER LAST DAYS AND MONTHS IN PRISON. GRACE IS WATCHING TODAY. ACCOUNT MINISTER TELL GRACE AND OTHER FAMILIES WHO ARE WAITING TO SEE THEIR LOVED ONES IN LONG-TERM CARE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL MAKE THE VISITOR ACT INTO LAW TO GIVE ESSENTIAL VISITORS IN CONGREGATE CARE ACCESS TO LOVED ONES SO GRACE'S MOTHER AND OTHERS DON'T SUFFER IN ISOLATION?

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says MR. SPEAKER, I UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT'S WHY IN PHASE 1, THEY WERE TO ENSURE THAT ALL RESIDENTS LONG-TERM CARE HOMES RECEIVE THEIR VACCINATION. WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO ASSURING THAT. OVER 7 MILLION ONTARIANS HAVE BEEN VACCINATED. BUT A QUESTION WAS RAISED EARLIER WITH RESPECT TO ROBERTA PLACE AND WE SAW WHAT A VARIANT INTRODUCED INTO A HOME CAN DO TO A POPULATION OF A HOME EVEN IF THEY'VE BEEN VACCINATED. ITS WHY WE'VE BEEN CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HELP US, BEGGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HELP US TO CLOSE DOWN OUR AIRPORT RECALL SO THESE INTERNATIONAL... DOWN OUR AIRPORTS SO THESE INTERNATIONAL VARIANTS DON'T MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES? I KNOW HOW DIFFICULT IT IS. BLOW ME I UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS. THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WITH FRIENDS AND RELATIVELY IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. WE ALL DO. BUT OUR PRIMARY IS TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE AND THAT'S WHAT WE'LL CONTINUES TO DO.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR ORLÉANS.

The caption changes to "Stephen Blais. Liberal. Orléans."

Blais is in his early forties, with short brown hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and gray plaid tie.

He says MY QUESTION FOR THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE WHO HAPPENS TO REPRESENT A RIDING IN OTTAWA. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK BETTY FOR COMING THIS MORNING, MR. SPEAKER. BETTY IS FROM OTTAWA AND HER MOTHER LIVES AT THE MADONNA CARE COMMUNITY LONG-TERM CARE HOME IN ORLÉANS. SHE'S ALSO THE CHAIR OF THE HOME'S COUNCIL. IT WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT HOMES. 47 RESIDENTS AND TWO PSWS DIED. THIS MORNING ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE OTTAWA CITIZEN WE LEARNED THAT THE HOME OPERATOR ALLOWED A MANAGER WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 TO COME INTO WORK LAST APRIL. THE MANAGER TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND THE OPERATOR ALLOWED THEM TO COME TO WORK. AN INSPECTION REPORT FROM OCTOBER HAD MANAGERS NOT SCREENED BEFORE ENTERING THE HOME. STAFF NOT ALWAYS WEARING PPE AND ONE VOLUNTEER ENCOURAGED TO REUSE THEIR PPE. FAMILIES LOST LOVED ONES...

The Speaker says QUESTION.

Blais says WHY IS THE PREMIER RESISTING IMPLEMENTING HIS COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS AND WILL HE COMMIT TO PUBLICLY REPORTING ON THE BE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING THEM?

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE CALLED THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES IN THE FIRST WAVE WITH RESPECT TO OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES, SPEAKER, WHAT WE FOUND THROUGH THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY AND THROUGH AN AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT IS A SIGNIFICANT LACK OF FUNDING BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT WHICH LEFT US UNPREPARED TO DEAL WITH THE PANDEMIC WHEN IT HIT. HAVING SAID THAT, HAVING SAID THAT, SPEAKER, THAT IS WHY WE MOVED QUICKLY FROM THE PANDEMIC TO ENSURE THAT THE LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM RECEIVED THE ATTENTION THAT IT REQUIRED. IT WAS UNACCEPTABLE TO HAVE MULTIYEAR DECADES WAITING LISTS TO GET INTO HOMES. THAT IS WHY WE COMMITTED TO BUILDING 30,000 NEW HOMES. THAT IS WHY WE COMMITTED TO FOUR HOURS OF CARE, THAT IS WHY WE'RE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS, THAT IS WHY THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER OF TRADING COLLEGES JUST MENTIONED THE FACT THAT WE'RE HEARING 2,000 NEW NURSES. IT DOESN'T TAKE AWAY THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT PEOPLE ARE FEELING BUT IT MAKES SURE THAT THE NEXT GENERATION DO NOT FEEL THE EXACT SAME PAIN THAT THIS ONE WENT THROUGH.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY question. The member for Ottawa-South.

The caption changes to "John Fraser. Liberal. Ottawa South."

Fraser is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with wavy white hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I WOULD LIKE TOLL WELCOME HELLENTLY LEE... TO WELCOME HELEN LEE FROM OBSERVINGVILLE SEEKING JUSTICE FOR HER MOTHER WHO PASSED AWAY IN A HOME. SHE'S HERE WITH OTHER FAMILIES SEEKING JUSTICE. FAMILIES WHO LOST A LOVED ONE. JUSTICE DENIED WHEN SHE PREMIER REFUSED TO ENACT PROVISIONS OF BILL 160 THAT HELD HOMES MORE ACCOUNTABLE AND THEN PASSED LEGISLATION TO MAKE THEM LESS ACCOUNTABLE. JUSTICE DENIED WHEN MORE RESIDENTS DIED IN THE SECOND WAVE THAN IN THE FIRST. JUSTICE DENIED WHEN AN INVESTIGATION INTO DEATHS FROM DEHYDRATION THAT THE PREMIER PROMISED DIDN'T HAPPEN. JUSTICE THAT WAS DENIED WHEN THE PREMIER REFUSED TO COMMIT TO IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF HIS OWN LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION.

The Speaker says QUESTION.

Fraser says FAMILIES DESERVE JUSTICE SO THROUGH YOU WILL THE PREMIER COMMIT TO RECOMMENDATION 85 AND PUBLICLY REPORT ON THE PROGRESS INTO THE RECOMMENDATION OF HIS OWN LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION REPORT?

The Speaker says TO RESPOND GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. OF COURSE WE'RE ACTING ON THE RECOMMENDATION, MR. SPEAKER. BUT WE HAVE MADE IT VERY CLEAR WHAT WE WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISN LONG-TERM CARE. BEFORE WE WERE ELECTED, MR. SPEAKER, WE SAID THAT WE HAD TO END HALLWAY HEALTH CARE, WHY? BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT LEFT US WITH THE LOWEST ICU CAPACITY IN NORTH AMERICA. THAT IS A LEGACY OF THIS MEMBER AND HIS LEADER. WHY DO WE HAVE TO BUILD 30,000 NEW LONG-TERM CARE SPACES IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO? BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS 15 YEARS THAT THE LIBERALS WERE IN GOVERNMENT THEY DIDN'T BUILD ANY. 600 LONG-TERM CARE SPACES IS THE LEGACY OF THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT COMPARED TO 3,000 THOUSAND BEING BUILT BY THIS GOVERNMENT. 5,000 TESTS A DAY THEY LEFT US WITH. WE INCREASED THAT TO 75,000. INCREASED CRITICAL CARE BY 3,000 BEDS. HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS. BRINGING ON 2,000 ADDITION THURSDAY. WE'RE GETTING A JOB DONE, A JOB THAT SHOULD HAVE STARTED 15 YEARS AGO IN FOUR PREVIOUS LIBERAL DEMONSTRATIONS IN BETWEEN. WE WILL GET THE JOB DONE FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. UNLIKE THAT MEMBER AND HIS LEADER.

The Speaker says 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 brown cardigan over a beige shirt.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. SO FAMILIES FROM EVERY CORNER OF THIS PROVINCE HAVE HAD HORROR STORIES ABOUT LONG-TERM CARE UNDER THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. HEATHER MCMICHAEL FROM LOPPED WANTS THE PREMIER TO HEAR HERS. SHE SAID, "ALTHOUGH MY MOM DIDN'T DIE FROM COVID I'M CONVINCED THAT THE ISOLATION CONTRIBUTED TO HER DEATH IN 2020. SHE WAS USED TO HAVING HER TWO DAUGHTERS VISIT HER THREE TIMES A WEEK AND HELPING HER WITH THINGS THAT STAFF DIDN'T HAVE TIME FOR, INCLUDING CLEANING HER HUMIDIFIER AND HELPING HER WITH MAIL AND BANKING. THEN SHE FEELS CONFINED TO HER ROOM WITH NO VISITS FOR MONTHS." MY QUESTION THROUGH YOU TO THE PREMIER NO, FAMILY SHOULD GO THROUGH THE HEARTBREAK OF WATCHING THIRD LOVED ONE SUFFER IN ISOLATION AND LONELINESS...

The Speaker says QUESTION.

Armstrong says WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN?

The Speaker says TO RESPOND, THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says LET ME JUST SAY TO THE HONOURABLE MEMBER, AND HER CONSTITUENTS, I UNDERSTAND, MR. SPEAKER, I CAN TELL YOU THAT NOT THAT IT MATTERS BUT FOR A YEAR GOING TO MY FATHER-IN-LAW'S HOUSE EVERY SATURDAY AND THEN LEAVING HIM. A 90-YEAR-OLD MAN, GIVING HIM HIS GROCERIES AND LEAVING, IT'S NOT EASY TO DO. IT'S NOT EASY. IT'S NOT JUST THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE AND NOT JUST THE PEOPLD THIS, WE GET IT AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE TRYING SO HARD TO GET VACCINES INTO ARMS. WHEN IT COMES TO LONG-TERM CARE THAT IS WHY WE'RE FIGHTING SO HARD TO GET 30,000 SPACES, 27,000 NEW WEST, MR. SPEAKER, UP TO... PSWS, MR. SPEAKER, 2,000 NEW NURSES. WE HAVE TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. WE HAVE TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED IN THE DECADE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. IT WASN'T. AND NOTHING I SAY NOW IS GOING TO SOLVE ARE MAKE PEOPLE FEEL BETTER. I GET IT, SPEAKER, BUT 15 YEARS AGO WHEN THEY LOOK BACK I WANT THEM TO TO SAY THAT THIS GOVERNMENT AND LEGISLATURE DID SOMETHING ABOUT AND WE ARE AND WE WILL, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Armstrong says SPEAKER, WE LEARNED FROM THE FIRST WAVE THE HORRIBLE ISOLATION AND WE HAVE A BILL CALLED BILL 203 LANGUAGE DISTINGUISHING IN... LANGUAGE DISTINGUISHING IN COMMITTEE. HEATHER FAMILY DIDN'T THIS AFTERNOON THIS AND SAYS THIS ABOUT HER MOM "SHE WAS A VERY SOCIAL PERSON AND ENJOYED MEALS IN THE DINING ROOM WITH OTHER RESIDENTS. GOING OUTSIDE TO ENJOY THE WEATHER AND SEEING THE GARDEN. I UNDERSTAND THAT THAT SHER IN HER ROOM BUT GOING OUTSIDE WOULD HAVE BEEN SAFE FOR HER. SHE WAS CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR AND COULDN'T GO OUTSIDE BY HERSELF AND THE STAFF WERE OVERWHELMED WITH COVID AND DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO TAKE HER OUTDOORS." MY QUESTION TO THE PREMIER, WHAT IS THIS GOVERNMENT DOING IT ENSURE THAT HOMES HAVE ENOUGH STAFF AND THE SUPPORTERS THEY NEED TO ENSURE THAT NO FAMILY MEMBER EVER AGAINS TO HAD A WORRY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEID AND ARE NOT ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS.

The Speaker says FOR RESPONSE, THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says LOOK, I GET IT AND I UNDERSTAND HOW FRUSTRATING IT IS THAT A YEAR AFTER THERE'S STILL A GLOBAL HEALTH PANDEMIC THAT WE HAVE TO TACKLE. THE THEME THIS WEEK SEEMS TO BE THAT THE OPPOSITION WOULD LIKE TO DECLARE VICTORY AND MOVE ON BUT IT IS NOT TIME YET FOR US TO DO THAT. WE HAVE TO ENSURE NATIONAL PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE INCLUDING THOSE SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE ARE KEPT SAFE, MR. SPEAKER. I IMPLORE THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE TO HELP US. HELP US, SPEAKER, HELP US TO CONVINCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CLOSE DOWN OUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS SO THAT THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN DON'T MAKE THEIR WAY BACK INTO THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. IT'S NOT TOO LATE. IF THEY HELP US WE COULD STOP THAT, SPEAKER. WE'VE GOT TO GET VACCINES INTO PEOPLE'S ARMS. WE'VE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB SO FAR, THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE, OVER MILLION PEOPLE RECEIVED THEIR... 7 MILLION PEOPLE RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE. WE WILL GET THIS DONE. I'M CONFIDENT OF IT AND WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE DO.

Watch: Question Period: Tuesday, May 18, 2021