QUEEN’S PARK - Ontario NDP MPP Jennifer French (Oshawa), critic for Long-Term Care Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), and critic for Municipal Affairs Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) released the following statement on the Ford government’s latest MZOs for private for-profit care homes operated by Southbridge.
“Despite their track record, Orchard Villa and its operators are getting rewarded with an expansion and a 30-year license extension - this is absolutely unacceptable,” said French. “Families in our community have suffered terribly after losing their loved ones at this facility. These families deserve justice. Instead, the Ford Conservatives keep rewarding for-profit bad actors with new contracts and extensions – this is unconscionable, and the local community deserves answers. A rebrand and a new build cannot rebuild the trust that has been lost at Orchard Villa and neither does it rewrite the facility’s horrific history.”
“There is no accountability for these for-profit long-term care homes” added Gates. “Companies like Southbridge face no repercussions for the harm they have caused to seniors and families across Ontario. Ford Conservatives need to hold these corporations accountable and stop prioritizing corporate profits over the well-being of Ontario’s seniors.”
“This government’s record of bulldozing over local democracy with MZOs is deeply concerning,” said Burch. “This is not the first time Ford Conservatives have undermined the voices of local residents and their elected officials, and it won’t be the last. Who is benefiting from these rash decisions? Whose interests is the government prioritizing? We need transparency and accountability.”
- In Pickering, the MZO was issued for Southbridge, a for-profit private corporation who is proposing an expansion for what was formerly known as Orchard Villa. Despite opposition from the local city council, Ford Conservatives abandoned their own policy of requiring council approvals for MZOs on non-provincial land and pushed this project ahead.
- Orchard Villa had one of the worst track records for patient care during the pandemic, was forced to call in the Canadian Armed Forces due to their state of care, and is currently in an ongoing class action lawsuit with families whose loved ones were impacted in this facility.
- In Port Hope, a similar MZO was issued for a Southbridge-owned private for-profit long-term care home despite the mayor confirming that the municipality did not request the MZO and ongoing concerns from the local community.
- Another MZO was issued for a Southbridge-operated long-term care home on Ottawa, despite a request for more information from the local city council.