PEI

Green MLA calls for public inquiry into COVID-19 response in long-term care homes

P.E.I.’s opposition is raising questions about how the province plans to review the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care homes.

Michele Beaton says external review doesn't go far enough

Green Party MLA Michele Beaton says families who lost loved ones in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic have the right to a public review. (CBC)

P.E.I.'s Opposition is raising questions about how the province plans to review the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care homes.

The provincial government announced last week an external panel will spend the next few months looking at how well private and public homes have dealt with COVID-19, and the impact on staff and residents.

 At a committee meeting Wednesday, Green health critic Michelle Beaton said an external review doesn't go far enough, and is calling for a public inquiry instead.

"It is exempt from public eyes. It is exempt from all of that scrutiny that those 25 families who lost a loved one, during December to March, should have the right to see," she said, noting the review panel's work will be exempt from freedom of information requests.

"And you're doing that in silence, you're doing that in secrecy. And I don't understand why you're doing it this way, and why you wouldn't do it through a public inquiry."

The report is expected to be completed some time this fall. 

The province said the review's findings and recommendations will be made public.

With files from Steve Bruce

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