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A spokeswoman for Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips says new, tougher fines can be applied after the new law is enacted, but that those fines won’t be issued retroactively.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Ontario long-term care providers that violated regulations during the pandemic won’t be fined retroactively under new legislation introduced this week.

No fines have been issued so far by the Ministry of Long-Term Care since COVID-19 hit.

The Progressive Conservative government says that’s because the previous Liberal government didn’t enact a law allowing the ministry to issue fines.

A spokeswoman for Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips says new, tougher fines of up to one million dollars for corporations can be applied after the new law is enacted.

But she says those fines won’t be issued retroactively.

COVID-19 has sickened and killed thousands of residents in long-term care.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives could have enacted the earlier legislation and started issuing fines at any time since they formed government in 2018.

He and the provincial New Democrats say they support retroactive penalties for care providers found to be negligent in earlier inspections.

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