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Following the tragic beating death of one long-term care resident and the assault on a second resident, CUPE Ontario today called on Ontario’s health minister to follow up on long-standing coroner’s inquest recommendations that will make nursing homes safer for residents.

The recommendations come from a coroner’s report in July 2006 following an inquest into the bludgeoning death of two residents at the hands of another resident in 2001 at Casa Verde, a long-term care facility in Toronto that is no longer operating.

Recommendation 7: “The office of the chief coroner thoroughly investigates all suspected homicides in long-term care.” 

Recommendation 37: “Develop minimum staffing requirements, track staff to patient ratios, make the information public,” speaks directly to ensuring adequate staffing levels in homes.

The health minister is right, this is a disturbing incident. But she needs to act to make nursing homes safer. Call a coroner’s inquest and develop minimum staffing requirements. Front-line nursing and personal support workers are doing all they can to provide quality care and keep residents safe. It’s time for the health minister to do her part,” says Candace Rennick, a former long-term care worker and secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario.

The British Colombia ombudsperson recently issued a report calling for a legislated minimum care standard in that province. 

CUPE represents nearly 40,000 workers in long-term care facilities across Ontario.