Taras Natyshak MPP, Essex

Government of Ontario

Statement from Andrea Horwath on ONA court victory on PPE and safety

Published on April 24, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement concerning the court ruling in favour of the Ontario Nurses Association, compelling long-term care homes to immediately fix health and safety issues for health care workers and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“I want to thank Ontario nurses for taking on this fight for their own safety and the safety of patients. It’s shocking that in the midst of this crisis nurses have to go to court to protect patients and themselves.

The court ruling paints a picture of long-term care homes in which seniors are forced to share rooms with patients with COVID-positive residents, and front-line health workers have to fight daily to get the protective equipment they need to protect themselves and their patients.

It was shocking to see that, instead of backing the nurses, the Ford government took on intervenor status in this case to throw cold water on the nurses’ quest to have access to the PPE.

Nurses, patients and all health care workers should have access to PPE, including N95 masks, and the right to wear them. It’s dangerous that the government claimed the nurses were ‘overreaching’ in that goal.

The decision itself is absolute proof that the government should have Public Health take over the operation of some of the private long-term care homes in which residents aren’t properly protected.”

The Attorney General agrees, of course, that the CMOH’s Directives are applicable to LTC homes across the province and must be adhered to. That said, the Attorney General views the Applicants as overreaching to the extent that the relief that they seek requires LTC facilities to provide them, on demand, with whatever PPE they in their sole discretion deem necessary.

— From the decision of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario