TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says investors who are more worried about profit than people’s lives should sell their stakes in nursing home companies.
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The premier made the comments Thursday during his daily COVID-19 pandemic update in Toronto.
BNN Bloomberg reporter David George-Cosh asked Ford what investors in companies like Sienna Senior Living should expect. Sienna owns Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, Ont., one of the homes that the Canadian Armed Forces raised concerns about in its scathing report released Tuesday.
Fifty-two people have died of COVID-19 at Altamont as of Thursday afternoon. The military says it found residents were not being fed or bathed regularly in the home and that one resident alleged in a “disturbing” letter that they were being abused by a staff member.
Sienna made $669.7 million in revenue last year.
“Should these investors expect these big publicly traded companies to sacrifice profit for quality of care?” George-Cosh asked Ford.
“What they should be doing is doing their job. Protecting the seniors,” the premier replied.
“You want to invest in a company? Make sure the company is run well … These homes, specifically the ones that Canadian Armed Forces [are] in, they failed.”
He said shareholders should focus on holding their CEO and chair accountable for what has happened during the pandemic.
Later in the press conference, another reporter asked Ford what the province can do to improve care in privately operated long-term care homes.
“Number one, we can pull their licence. Then they won’t have to have a home to worry about,” he said.
“We’ll be holding people accountable. Because it’s not about money. It’s about taking care of people … And if they want to be greedy and make money, then get out of the business. Go find something else to do. Don’t put people’s lives in jeopardy.”
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