OTTAWA -- An Ottawa Councillor says concerns about Carlingview Manor are “systemic in nature” and need to be “specifically examined” as part of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.

Carlingview Manor on Carling Avenue was the hardest hit long-term care home by COVID-19 in Ottawa, with 260 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff and residents. Sixty residents died due to COVID-19 during an outbreak between April 7 and June 18.

In a letter to Premier Doug Ford, Bay Councillor Theresa Kavanagh says that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, “I have received correspondence from family members and concerned citizens pleading with me to keep pushing for immediate change in the management of Carlingview Manor.”

“I have heard about non-infected people being left in ward rooms beside patients infected with COVID-19 and patients left for hours in soiled clothing because of severe staffing shortages. Requests for information to management here about the health of loved ones have been met with a wall of silence.”

Ontario announced a special commission will investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care homes across Ontario. The commission will investigate how COVID-19 spread within long-term care homes, how residents, staff and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measure taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus. 

“The concerns regarding Carlingview Manor are systemic in nature,” says Kavanagh.

“Red flags have been raised on the poor conditions at this privately-operated facility even before the pandemic began. With tragedies that we’ve seen over the past five months in long-term care homes, it is vital we listen to the voices of key advocates, patients’ families, health care professionals and front-line workers.”

Carlingview Manor is owned and operated by Revera Living.  In June, Kavanagh called on the Ontario Government to bring in new management at the home.

“It is clear from what happened at Carlingview Manor and other privately-operated facilities that there is a need for proper governance, organization, clear standards, a principled approach that reflects the values and priorities of Ontarians and that supports equity and compassion,” writes Kavanagh.

The Queensway-Carleton Hospital provided support to staff at Carlingview Manor during the spring as the long-term care home dealt with a staff shortage.

Rivera also operates Montfort Long-Term Care Centre and Longfields Manor in Ottawa.

“There needs to be a proper consultation process regarding reform at home and community care in the public interest. There needs to be a governance and public accountability structure,” said Kavanagh in the letter to Premier Ford.

“The problem at Carlingview Manor can only be fixed when the provincial government makes the well-being of residents the top priority over profit.”