Editor’s note:

River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton is one of the worst long-term care outbreaks in York Region, with 90 resident cases and 36 deaths due to COVID-19, as of June 27.

The following is Mayor Margaret Quirk’s letter to Premier Doug Ford, which was presented to Town Council on June 24.

When Mayor Quirk drafted the letter, there were 35 deaths.

The 36th death was reported by public health officials at 5 p.m. on June 24.

Honourable Premier:

I am writing to you today regarding an issue that is of great importance to our community – the operation of Long Term Care Homes.

Our community has suffered the loss of 35 residents of a LTC home and the family and friends of those loved ones and our community as a whole, are looking for answers and solutions.

On May 19th Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, announced that the Province would be launching an “independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September.”

Our understanding is that over the next few months, details will be finalized on the commission’s terms of reference, membership and leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.

The Town of Georgina supports this review and respectfully requests that it be a full, in-depth analysis covering all aspects of care, in both government and privately operated LTC facilities.

The review should include protection of both the residents, staff and the rights of the families with loved ones in a Long-Term Care home.

We would ask that family members be involved in a meaningful way in the review and that the commission operates in a fashion that allows all areas of the Province to participate. We would also ask that the review be expedited in order to provide answers and solutions quickly.

Protecting our seniors is an obligation that we all share; they are often the most vulnerable and during this pandemic, have too often lost their lives.

We look forward to the release of the details of the commission later this summer/fall, and we will make further comments at that time.

We hope that this review will provide the answers that we are all seeking and the solutions that are required to bring real change to Long Term Care in the Province of Ontario; our seniors deserve no less.


Margaret Quirk

Mayor, Town of Georgina



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