It's been revealed that members of the Canadian Armed Forces became whistleblowers and went to the press to reveal multiple shocking cases of mistreatment of seniors in long-term care homes during the coronavirus crisis because of inaction on the part of the Trudeau government.
The reporter who broke the story, Global's Mercedes Stephenson, has disclosed that military personnel who witnessed the mistreatment of senior citizens and the abysmal and unsanitary conditions of the homes did not understand why their report of May 14 was not acted upon.
The report of May 14 was received by senior Trudeau government officials, first by MP Harjit Saijan, and on May 22 by Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.
"If you're wondering why troops became whistle blowers ... they were deeply concerned nothing was going to be done about the conditions they were reporting. They didn't understand why the federal govt had not moved given the May 14th letter," Stephenson tweeted.
"I know the public wants answers," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said when addressing the emerging scandal on Tuesday. "There will be accountability and there will be justice for this families."
Trudeau responded by saying that his "emotions range from anger to sadness to frustration, grief. It is extremely troubling."
Blair's office released a statement on Tuesday that read: "Our greatest responsibility is the safety of all of our communities. Throughout this global pandemic, we know that those in long term care face particular vulnerabilities. We have responded to requests from Ontario and Quebec to send members of our military into long-term care homes to help.
"What they found there is extremely troubling and completely unacceptable, and we are grateful they brought their findings to our attention. Our office received this report from the Department of National Defence on Friday, May 22nd. Minister Blair contacted Ontario’s Solicitor General, as well as their Ministers of Health, Long Term Care and Seniors about this report on Sunday, May 24th.”
Long-term care homes have been the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Canada. Earlier this month, it was reported that 82 percent of Canada's coronavirus deaths occurred in these care homes.
This story has been updated to include comment from Minister Blair and to clarify the date that the May 14 letter was received.