More than half of Ontarians believe Premier Doug Ford and his government were “willfully negligent” in protecting long-term care seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll.
Fifty-one per cent of those polled say the Ontario government is directly to blame for the suffering and deaths of seniors from COVID-19 in long-term care homes.
The poll, conducted by Maru/Blue Public Opinion, also found that two-thirds of respondents believe that for-profit home facilities, who can’t be sued due to government-legislated immunity, are the most responsible for the sickness and death of residents.
A majority of Ontarians, 61 per cent, surveyed believe for-profit long-term care residents and their families should be able to sue the Ontario government and receive compensation for their losses.
While 54 per cent of Ontarians polled believe the premier has done a good job of protecting residents of long-term care homes, only around 46 to 47 per cent of those in hotspot areas, like the Toronto region and Niagara-Hamilton, hold that belief.
Meanwhile, more than 60 per cent of respondents believe that Ford should be spending more of his time dealing with long-term care homes rather than airline travel.
The poll, which was conducted from January 28 to 30, surveyed 817 randomly selected Canadian adults, who are members of Maru/Blue’s Voice Canada online panel, and is considered nationally accurate to within plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
According to the Ontario government’s website, there have been 3,589 deaths in long-term care homes, including 11 staff members. A total of 14,586 residents and 6,218 long-term care staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
Read the complete poll results here.