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Ontario Hansard - 20-October2021


Mr. Rick Nicholls: My question is to the Minister of Long-Term Care. Sunnycrest Nursing Home, located in Whitby, recently had four deaths and seven hospitalizations within the first week since the COVID boosters were administered. Sadly, these deaths were covered up and not reported to the mainstream media for reasons that are suspect.

An inquest was not called. Autopsies seeking the cause of death were not performed. Coroner findings were not released. If I were a family member, I would demand answers and I wouldn’t accept, “Well, they died from other comorbidities.”

Minister, to you: What is the government doing to protect our elderly from dying when the purpose of the boosters is supposed to save lives?

Hon. Rod Phillips: I do thank the member for the question. Mr. Speaker, our focus has been on protecting the residents of our seniors homes. Of course, every death is a tragedy and we mourn them with the family.

But, Mr. Speaker, that is why the province of Ontario, with the support of the chief medical officer, moved, as the first jurisdiction in North America, to have third doses. I am pleased to report to the Legislature today that 88% of eligible residents have those boosters.

Now, Mr. Speaker, and to the member, as we know, there is no perfect protection against this disease. That is why we continue to make sure that other protections are in place, including now requiring randomized testing of both immunized and non-immunized staff. We want to take every step we can to make sure that we’re protecting people in our long-term-care homes.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, on October 1, I indicated that a vaccine mandate would be in place so that by November 15 all staff will need to be vaccinated. We’ll take the steps we need to take to protect our elders.

The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Supplementary question?

Mr. Rick Nicholls: Thank you for that response, Minister. Initially, these experimental drugs, aka vaccines, were coined as the “saving grace” to eliminate COVID. Now people must get up to six booster shots. Is that because the experimental drugs aren’t as great as expected?

Where’s the clinical data and the research proving boosters are safe and effective? I’d like to suggest that our seniors are not human guinea pigs, yet surprisingly there has been no animal testing on these drugs. It appears that corners have been cut in order to rush to get the vaccines and boosters out.

Just to be clear, Minister, I’m not pointing fingers at you regarding the determination of the safety or the efficacy. But now it has been reported that a lawyer at Sunnycrest has threatened staff with dismissals and lawsuits should they talk to anyone about the deaths following the administering of the first round of boosters. That sounds like a cover-up.

So, Minister, will you commit to investigating these allegations of threats and the hiding of any wrongdoings at Sunnycrest and to seek justice for the families affected?

The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): I need to caution the member on his language.

The Minister of Long-Term Care to reply.

Hon. Rod Phillips: Again, each and every death inside or outside our long-term-care homes is a tragedy, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the member not pointing to me as a medical expert, nor would he. But from my perspective, the perspective of our government, the perspective of the science table and the perspective of our medical professionals, the potential for serious illness and disease is reduced by 11 times for those taking the vaccine. We encourage and continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

We will, under the leadership of the Minister of Health, continue to look at the science with regard to further booster shots and where those are necessary. Mr. Speaker, I think the vast majority in this Legislature and the vast majority in our province understand that vaccines are an important part of the solution to ending COVID-19’s challenges on our economy and our health, and we’ll continue to follow the science.

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