Canadian Lawyer

July/August 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 21 of 35

20 FEATURE LONG-TERM CARE IN MID-APRIL, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam announced that half of Canada's COVID-19 deaths had stemmed from outbreaks in long-term care facilities and retirement homes. By May 6, a total of 3,436 long-term care residents and six staff members had died of COVID-19, representing 82 per cent of Canada's deaths. In Ontario, 300 homes have seen outbreaks. Quebec reported 273 separate facilities with outbreaks before they stopped releasing lists of affected homes on April 30. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has declared that, in his province, "the system is absolutely broken." A "broken system" comes as no surprise to Collin May. In 2017, the Calgary-based estates and corporate lawyer's father died in a nursing home. As his father was dying, May says he Pushing for change in a crisis A group of lawyers is using the COVID-19 pandemic to advocate for systemic changes in Canada's long-term care facilities and retirement homes, writes David Kitai saw the failings of a single facility and a wider system firsthand. In August of 2017, May's father became unresponsive, aspirated and developed a pneumonia that eventually took his life. May says he and his siblings were only contacted seven days into their father's unresponsive state. When he arrived at the home, May says, he observed routine acts of substandard

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