Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

December 22, 2010 15:22 ET

Ombudsman Should Release LTC Report: People Need to Know if "Guarded Optimism is Justified," CUPE Ontario President "Transparency," Meaningful Public Involvement "Imperative," says Fred Hahn

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 22, 2010) - The full results of Provincial Ombudsman Andre Marin's investigation into the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's monitoring of Long-Term Care (LTC) homes should be made public, the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said today.

"While we thank the Ombudsman for his efforts, transparency and meaningful public involvement are imperative to ensuring all Ontarians have confidence in the system," Fred Hahn said today.

In a news release yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that he had tabled a summary of his findings in the Legislature, but would not "release a full, formal report," citing the Ministry's efforts to cooperate with his office in addressing the "serious, systemic problems" identified during the investigation.

"The Ombudsman recently issued his report on police activities during the G20, just months after the incidents took place. The right to dignified long-term care deserves just as much priority from his office as the right to protest. Ontarians have waited nearly eight years for light to be shone on LTC in Ontario. They deserve more than just a summary," said Hahn.

In his report, Mr. Marin states that he is 'guardedly optimistic' the Ministry is taking the necessary steps to correct the problems his office has identified in monitoring LTC homes. Given the limited transparency the Ministry has provided in the past, "Ontarians need to know if the Ombudsman's guarded optimism is justified," he added.

CUPE Ontario called on the Ministry and the Ombudsman to release the full report, and to provide all stakeholders—residents, family members and staff—with "meaningful involvement in the process" as the Ministry corrects problems identified by the Ombudsman.

"For years, we have tried to get the government to listen to concerns about the conditions LTC residents, their families and our members face daily. Our campaign work has continually urged the McGuinty government to enshrine a meaningful care standard for residents of 3.5 hours of care per resident in LTC facilities," said Candace Rennick, who worked in the LTC sector prior to her election as CUPE Ontario's Secretary-Treasurer.

"We have grave concerns that still not enough attention is being paid by those responsible for oversight. We see funds poured into a system with a very large for-profit provider component and still no mechanism to ensure funds are dedicated to resident care and not to padding corporations' bottom lines," she added.

Hahn also urged MPPs from all political parties to extend the Ombudsman's jurisdiction beyond the Ministry to the actual LTC homes themselves, along with other recipients of public funds that deliver public services.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn
    CUPE Communications
    Kevin Wilson