Official Opposition backs Public Inquiry: CEO tour reports show Extendicare Parkside tragedy “years in the making”

REGINA - Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Critic for Seniors Matt Love reiterated the New Democratic Party’s support for a public inquiry into the tragic loss of life at Extendicare Parkside in Regina today, as called for by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses. They pointed to the history of failure by the Sask. Party government to address the urgent needs in long-term care - as documented in the government CEO Tour reports -  as a major factor in the outbreak that has cost so many lives over the past weeks.

“The picture these reports paint is damning and demands accountability. The outbreak at Extendicare Parkside in Regina, and the outbreaks we have seen in several long-term care facilities since the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19, are years in the making,” said Meili. “The government refused to take needed action, including the recent refusal to call on the Canadian military for assistance, and now Saskatchewan families are paying a heavy price. Any public inquiry must include an investigation into how we got to this point in the first place.”

Introduced in 2013, The CEO tour reports are the only public mechanism Saskatchewan families have to assess the conditions loved ones face in long-term care facilities. Meili noted that the main cause of the recent outbreak identified by staff, the SHA and experts in the field mirror what was found in multiple CEO reports from Extendicare Parkside since 2013:

  • Short staffing
  • Ventilation and infrastructure failures
  • Overcrowding and four-bed rooms

“These issues have been on the government’s radar for a very long time, and began with the government’s move to eliminate minimum care standards in 2011,” said Love. “The government owes the families of those who have been lost in this tragedy an apology. But an apology will not bring loved ones back. A public inquiry is needed into why they ignored serious warnings about this home going back years, leaving vulnerable residents at risk.”



Staffing, capacity, and facility issues at Extendicare Parkside







(pg 130)

More staffing would be better.” 


1:30 staff/resident ratio at night.


“Large part of population is in 4-bed ward” leading to “increase in behaviours from residents”

“The age of our building is not resident-friendly”


Questions about air quality

“No room for lifts for residents to use the toilets - need to use commodes instead”


(pg 6)

Care staff ratios are a concern, especially due to a significant number of admissions to first available bed.”

Four bed wards and the associated

issues with infection control in this environment” an ‘area for improvement.’

“Infrastructure is the main issue facing this home”


(pg 162)

“Sometimes staff seem hurried to get their tasks done.”

Issues include “Ward beds, lack of lounge spaces and private spaces, lack of storage”

One resident asked “when are we going to get a new building?”

Infrastructure... is the most significant issue facing Parkside.”


(pg 159)

“This constant change makes it challenging for residents and staff” regarding 200 new admissions/year

“Numerous internal moves required to fill empty beds.” 


Large number of 4-bed rooms does not meet current standards of care”

The facility is old and in need of replacement due to pending infrastructure and large system (HVAC) failures” 


*2014-2016 - no Parkside-specific CEO tour reporting has been made available.

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