February 25th, 2021

Horwath on Long-Term Care testimony of Dr. Williams

QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, said the transcript of Dr. David Williams’ testimony at the Long-Term Care Commission makes it astoundingly clear that the government is trying to hide their response to COVID-19 in Ontario’s nursing homes.

“The Ford government and Dr. Williams are taking great pains to hide, bury and cover up how they dealt with COVID-19 in long-term care homes,” said Horwath. “Dr. Williams lawyered up, tried to redact his own notes, and they delayed releasing an unfathomable 217,000 documents until there would not be enough time to read them.”

The government withheld 217,000 documents from the commission until just last week — eight weeks before the Commission’s report is due, making it literally impossible for them to read them all before filing their final report. Meanwhile, Williams tried to black-out much of his own notes before turning them over to the Commission. An arbitrator had to order Williams to hand over an unredacted version.

“About 3,800 people have tragically died in of COVID-19 in long-term care,” said Horwath. “Their families deserve answers. And we all deserve the kind of answers that will prevent this preventable, horrific disaster from ever happening again.”

The Commission and Horwath have both called for the Commission to be allowed to keep working until the end of 2021. The Ford government has refused, and insists it will be shut down by April 30.