Government of Ontario

Official Opposition challenges Ford on Orchard Villa long-term-care licensing

Published on May 10, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Official Opposition Critic for Long-Term Care, Retirement Homes, and Home Care questioned The Government Wednesday at Queen’s Park about the potential license renewal for Orchard Villa, a nursing home in Pickering known for its high death rate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the worst of the pandemic, far too many of our grandparents and parents lost their lives in a Long-Term Care home,” said Gates. “Orchard Villa, one of the worst offenders for resident deaths, has been looking for a 30-year license renewal in spite of their terrible record. Now they’re going a step further and asking the province for an MZO, despite firm opposition from the Picking Council.”
More than 70 residents of Orchard Villa lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, some due to starvation and dehydration. The Official Opposition filed an objection over the application.
“The Premier needs to listen to the concerns of residents, families and the city of Pickering,” said MPP Jennifer French (Oshawa). “Many people are still grieving their loved ones because of Orchard Villa, and now it seems the Premier is planning to reward these dangerous for-profit homes with a 30-year license renewal and fast-tracked expansion. It’s an insult to these families”.
In April of 2020, the Ontario government called on the Canadian Armed Forces to assist with the situation at Orchard Villa, among other long-term care homes affected by the pandemic. The Armed Forces found numerous issues affecting residents, including rotting food, patients left in soiled diapers, residents being improperly fed, and insect infestations.
“This history of this company is stained with a terrible record,” said Gates. “I am calling on Ford to do the right thing and deny this MZO.”