Doug Ford got emotional on Tuesday in response to a "horrific" Ontario care homes report. The Canadian Armed Forces have found instances of abuse and neglect in several long-term care homes in the province. Ford called the findings "heartbreaking."
The CAF released their report, which focused on five LTCs in the province, on Tuesday, May 26. It was made available to Narcity by email.
The homes were Orchard Villa in Pickering, Scarborough's Altamount Care Community, Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York, and Brampton's Grace Manor.
Ford tackled the "gut-wrenching" findings head-on in his daily briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
"The reports they provided us were heartbreaking, they were horrific. It's shocking that these things can happen here in Canada. It's gut-wrenching and reading those reports was the hardest thing I've done as Premier, knowing that so much more needs to be done," he said.
Ford was visibly tearing up at more than one point of his briefing and vowed he'll "move heaven and earth" to ensure the system is fixed.
He also confirmed he's making the report public, as well as handing it over to police, so people can have the same insight.
"It was the worst report—the most heart-wrenching report—I have ever read in my entire life," says Ontario Premier… https://t.co/bMBan2SMcb— CPAC (@CPAC) 1590516410.0
"Please pray for these residents and their families," he added. "I believe the public needs to see these reports. You deserve to know what I know. So I've ordered them to be released in their entirety."
Ford hinted that charges could be laid in response to the findings.
The Ontario government issued a release that further details its response to the report's findings.
Those findings, per the report sent to Narcity, include military personnel observing "shocking conditions" including lack of infection control measures in the time of COVID-19, as well as the mistreatment of residents and generally poor care.
It also sheds light on staffing shortages and a lack of personal protective equipment. In addition, bug infestations including cockroaches were noted in some homes.
Ford said during his briefing he takes "full ownership" of the neglect that has been found.
It's worth noting this report looks at just five of Ontario's long-term care homes. Ford repeatedly referenced the fact the province has 626 LTCs in total.
"I don't believe it's just five," the Premier admitted.
It remains to be seen how the government will respond further, and whether further homes will be assessed.
Ford's government had previously scaled back full annual inspections of LTCs in 2019, reports CBC.
The province's LTCs have been ravaged by COVID-19 in many cases, with Etobicoke's Eatonville being one of the hardest-hit centres.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had alerted Ford to the report's findings.
“I was sad. I was shocked. I was disappointed. I was angry. I believe we are talking about a situation that clearly is a reality associated with COVID-19 but has also existed for quite some time,” said Trudeau earlier on Tuesday.