Thomson Rogers appreciates the opportunity to make submissions regarding the proposed Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020 (“Bill 218” or the
Thomson Rogers represents many of the victims who died in for-profit long-term care homes, as well as their family members, due to the COVID-19 outbreaks at the following long term care homes: Altamont Care Community, Camilla Care Community, Woodbridge Vista Care Community, Weston Terrace Care Community, Carlingview Manor and Extendicare West End Villa.
The residents of LTC homes are some of the most vulnerable citizens in Ontario. They are dependent on the LTC owners and operators to provide them with care and to ensure their safety. These LTC owners and operators are in many cases large, for-profit corporations. The class action and civil lawsuits allege that LTC operators failed to implement proper infection prevention and control standards at the facilities, falling below the reasonable standard of care, which resulted in widespread, yet preventable, illness and death.
Bill 218 proposes immunity for long-term care operators who acted negligently during the pandemic. It would raise the negligence standard to a rarely used gross negligence standard. Thomson Rogers strongly opposes any attempt to lower the standard of care for Ontario’s seniors in long term care facilities and On November 4, 2020, Thomson Rogers outlined its position before the legislative committee reviewing the proposed legislation.
The proposed legislation and the immunity it provides to many LTC operators makes it difficult, if not impossible, for these lawsuits to continue.
As such, Thomson Rogers recommends two alternatives to the proposed legislation.