Hamilton’s Seniors Advisory Committee wants a provincial public inquiry into the 119 deaths which occurred in Hamilton’s long-term care facilities during the first ten months of COVID pandemic.

Hamilton City Council has decided this is a legal matter and spent over 30 minutes in closed session on Thursday discussing the Advisory Committee’s petition for Council to endorse calls for an inquiry.

Ward 6 Councillor Tom Jackson moved the matter into closed session, stating legal advice was necessary for council to make a decision.

Council’s Emergency and Community Services Committee went into closed session, and emerged after 30 minutes stating they gave staff direction, and would not reveal what that direction may entail.

There was no public debate of the matter.

The Senior Advisory Committee decided during its January 5, 2024, to ask for Council to request a provincial inquiry following years of attempting to gain insights into why a significant portion of those deaths occurred in a handful of long-term care facilities.

SAC’s petition states “families deserve competent, fair investigations into the death of their loved ones.”

While the province will not call a public inquiry, an inquiry would review the City of Hamilton’s actions as the local public health unit responsible for enforcing standards in long-term care.

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Published: June 22, 2024
Last updated: June 22, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
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