Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the Canadian Armed Forces has uncovered “deeply disturbing” findings about long-term care homes in Ontario during a military operation.
The information was shared with the provincial government, Mr. Trudeau said.
“I read the report in full yesterday,” he said. “It is deeply disturbing. There are things in there that are extremely troubling. We need to take action.”
Mr. Trudeau said he spoke with Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday morning to assure him the federal government would be there to support the province as they deal with this situation.
“We need to do a better job of taking care of our elders in long-term care facilities in Ontario and, indeed, right across the country,” he said.
“The Premier will be sharing this report with Canadians in the coming hours and will be speaking at more length on it.”
The Prime Minister also said Ontario and Quebec have requested an extension of the military’s operation in long-term care facilities, noting discussions still need to unfold with both provinces.
“We will be following up with the premiers’ offices, but of course we will continue to help,” he said.
On Tuesday, the CAF and the Department of National Defence also confirmed that a total of 36 members of the military employed on Operation Laser in long-term care facilities tested positive for COVID-19. Fourteen of those cases were in Ontario, while 22 tested positive in Quebec.
The number of confirmed cases has increased from last week, when a total of 28 members tested positive.
DND said none of the Operation Laser cases have required hospitalizations to date, but it will not be discussing the specific health conditions of the members in order to respect the “private and protected medical information of our personnel, as well as their personal security.”
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