QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario NDP continues to press the Ford government to support all workers at West End Villa with the PPE they need, after workers countered the government’s claims that the facility already has the protective equipment it requires.
“How many deaths will it take before Doug Ford takes action at West End Villa?” said Joel Harden, NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre. “How many more staff need to be infected before they get the equipment they need to do their jobs and keep seniors and other vulnerable residents safe?”
During question period Wednesday, Teresa Armstrong, the Official Opposition critic for Long-Term Care, said the Ford government must stop stalling and provide all workers at West End Villa with the PPE they have been asking for since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Despite claims from the government and their private, for-profit operator friends at Extendicare, workers are saying that this vital PPE is available to some employees but not all,” said Armstrong.
“Workers in these homes are laying their lives on the line to care for our vulnerable seniors, and each and every one of them should be able to freely access the PPE they need to stay safe.
“Why is the information peddled by the minister of long-term care so wildly different than that of workers on the front line of this pandemic?”
Earlier this week when asked about protections for workers at West End Villa, the minister of long-term care said, "I can assure this chamber and Ontarians that West End Villa has the PPE that it requires, including N95s available to the staff to use." Workers on the front lines of this devastating outbreak bravely came forward to say that this is simply not the case.
The COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare West End Villa has infected 23 staff and 37 residents, and claimed the lives of 11 other residents, and is the worst case of any facility in Ottawa right now.
The Ottawa Hospital took over management of West End Villa, and one other Extendicare facility, this week as a result of their inability to keep people safe.
“There is no more time to waste, no more tall tales to tell. This government needs to move now to get workers the PPE they have been asking for, and desperately need,” said Harden.