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Doug Ford’s government is making it almost impossible to sue long-term-care homes. Good thing he’s ‘protecting’ COVID victims’ families

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Doug Ford made a guarantee, is what he did.

“I will not stop until these families get justice,” Ontario’s premier said Thursday, on long-term-care homes. “Simple as that. That’s what’s going to happen, they will get justice.”

It sounded good. Nearly 2,000 people have died as COVID-19 roared through Ontario’s long-term-care homes. British Columbia, with a little less than a third of the population, has less than 10 per cent of the deaths. Someone has to be responsible.

“I’m protecting the people,” said Ford. “I’m protecting the people that lost loved ones.”

Except he was being asked about including long-term-care homes in Ontario’s liability shield law, which is part of the province’s Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act. British Columbia didn’t include LTCs in its version of the legislation; Ontario did. Ford said he asked if people could still sue long-term-care homes, and was told yes; maybe he didn’t ask the follow-up, or maybe he didn’t want anyone else to.

“When the premier says this is not about protecting negligent long-term-care home operators, that’s all it’s about,” says Graham Webb, a lawyer who has tried many cases against long-term-care homes, and the executive director of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly. “Because long-term-care home operators who weren’t negligent would have no civil liability whatsoever.”

“You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure out that the intent of this thing is to bar lawsuits,” says Dr. Amir Attaran, a professor of law and epidemiology at the University of........

© Peterborough Examiner

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