Sask. Party Blocks Independent Review of Parkside Extendicare

NDP motion seeking answers on care home deaths defeated 

Today, Sask. Party MLAs voted against a motion at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that called on the Provincial Auditor to do a special investigation of the COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Parkside in Regina.

“It’s shameful to see the Sask Party committee members vote against this motion,” said Regina University MLA Aleana Young.m“People have died. The families who have lost loved ones deserve answers. They can’t get those answers if no one is asking the questions. If there is no investigation the same tragedies are going to happen again. Why does the government refuse to get to the bottom of this?”  

“Since the fall, more than 200 residents and staff have tested positive with COVID-19, and at least 41 residents have died. 41 deaths in one care home is horrifying. What’s happening at Parkside Extendicare is a disaster,” said NDP Seniors Critic Matt Love. “Since the committee members refused to do the right thing and vote for accountability, it’s now up to Premier Scott Moe and his cabinet to finally show leadership and call a full public inquiry into what happened at Parkside Extendicare, which is what registered nurses and other healthcare workers have been calling for for weeks.”

The motion proposed by Aleana Young was provided to all committee members in advance of the meeting, and the full text can be found below:

That, pursuant to section 16 of The Provincial Auditor Act, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts requests that the Provincial Auditor perform a special assignment to examine the following:

  1. Whether Extendicare, the Ministry of Health, and/or the Saskatchewan Health Authority took appropriate steps to ensure that residents in Extendicare Parkside were receiving the levels of care outlined under The Housing and Special-care Homes Regulations and that residents were adequately protected from COVID-19,
  2. Whether Extendicare, the Ministry of Health, and/or the Saskatchewan Health Authority had appropriate measures in place to ensure adequate levels of staffing at Extendicare Parkside to address the risk of COVID-19,
  3. Whether Extendicare, the Ministry of Health, and/or the Saskatchewan Health Authority had appropriate measures in place to ensure staff at Extendicare Parkside had access to appropriate personal protective equipment,
  4. Whether Extendicare, the Ministry of Health, and/or the Saskatchewan Health Authority had appropriate policies and procedures in place to address heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and other infrastructure issues identified in numerous reports at Extendicare Parkside,
  5. Whether the Ministry of Health and/or the Saskatchewan Health Authority had adequate procedures and processes in place to ensure that Extendicare was fulfilling all its obligations under the affiliate agreement between Extendicare and the Saskatchewan Health Authority.