In an emotional address to the public on Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said a report from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on long-term care homes in the province is "heartbreaking" and "horrific". Vowing to fix the system, the premier said he "will leave no stone unturned".
Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, said: "On reading the deeply disturbing report, I had obviously a range of emotions of anger, of sadness, of frustration, of grief".
The allegations detailed by Canadian Armed Forces members include failure to isolate COVID-19-positive patients and allowing them to wander outside of their rooms, insect infestations and aggressive resident feeding that led to choking.
"I thought it was a rock concert in the beginning when I went out there, I was in shock", Ford said. Half of Canadians said governments were hiding information about COVID-19, while some said they believed conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus, according to the survey from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies.
When a reporter asked Ford whether he could have done more to save seniors, the premier responded "I don't think this government failed seniors".
Orchard Villa in Pickering: 77 deaths (as of Monday). Hawthorne Place has seen 39 residents die - roughly double the number of fatalities at the time military help was requested. Thirty-five people from Simcoe County, and one resident from Muskoka have died from the coronavirus.
Of 1,403 in hospitals, 181 are in intensive care, two more than the day before.
"There are many, extraordinary, excellent long-term care facilities across this country", Trudeau added.
Humber River Hospital will manage Downsview Long Term Care Centre, which has reported 52 deaths, up from 40 just a week ago.
Saskatchewan announced a single-digit increase in COVID-19 infections with an increase of just two cases.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care's Inspections branch will launch full investigations into the most critical allegations raised in the report.
Ontario's Health Minister says they will have a better understanding on how to proceed with COVID-19 restrictions at the end of this week.
"It's appalling. It's disgusting", an emotional Ford said as he grasped for words.
Provincewide, Ontario reported 287 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and 21 more deaths.
The Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care reported today there are 159 active outbreaks at long-term care homes in the province, including 1,926 active cases in residents and 1,395 active cases in staff.
The number of cases is above 400 for the fifth day in a row. The province remains the epicentre of Canada's COVID-19 outbreak, with a total of 4,069 deaths as of May 25 - accounting for over 60 per cent of the country's death toll.