Premier Doug Ford‘s 95-year-old mother-in-law, who lives at a long-term care home, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from his office.
The confirmation comes after Ford became visibly shaken during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
He was asked if the Ontario government failed long-term care home residents given that more than 500 people have died in Ontario facilities. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country was “failing” elders.
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“When I think of the long-term care … my heart breaks for the people and the families. Can we do better in the system? Yeah, the system, absolutely, but we’re focused 100 per cent on making sure we help the most vulnerable people,” Ford said.
He went on to reference a front-page photo of the Toronto Sun.
“You see a loved one with their… their elderly parent and they put their hand up against the window, that’s heart-breaking… You know I, I relate to it in my own family as I mentioned with my wife Karla, and there was a person that got on a cherry picker. Um,” Ford said before pausing, exhaling and briefly lifting his arm.
“Anyways, the system we can do better.”
When pressed on the question again, he reiterated the need for systemic change — something he said his government was doing.
“Right now our main focus is to make sure that we protect the people inside these long-term care homes,” Ford said.
On Thursday, the federal government approved a request from the Ontario government for the Canadian Armed Forces to help long-term care homes with operational needs.
More to come.
— With files from Travis Dhanraj
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