File photo of London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong by Mike Vlasveld, Blackburn News.

MPP Pressures Government For Expanded Long-Term Care Inquiry

The MPP for London-Fanshawe is continuing to call out the Ontario Liberal government over the issues affecting seniors and staff at the province’s long-term care facilities.

Teresa Armstrong, who is also the NDP long-term care and seniors’ affairs critic, spoke during question period on Monday, and raised the story of Londoner Peggy Clark, who went to Queen’s Park earlier this month to support the call for a broad public inquiry into long-term care.

“Peggy’s mother has endured crisis after crisis. She was treated with the wrong medication for three months. She was moved three times, in just six months and her personal possessions went missing,” Armstrong said at Queen’s Park. “Peggy knows that frontline nurses and PSWs are doing their best, but there just aren’t enough of them to provide the care that our parents and grandparents deserve.”

The provincial government has promised an inquest into long-term care, after 50-year-old former nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer pleaded guilty in June to murdering eight seniors at long-term care homes.

Armstrong said the Wynne government has limited the scope of the inquiry to offences and matters relating to similar tragedies.  She said the New Democrats are calling for an inquiry that also addresses other problems in long-term care homes, such as understaffing and underfunding.

“Families and caregivers, like Peggy Clark, are calling for a broad public inquiry into long-term care. Leading advocates, like the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, are demanding a broad inquiry into the ‘huge problems’ in long-term care,” said Armstrong. “Will the government do the right thing and expand the public inquiry—or will it find another reason to sweep the problems right under the rug?”