Court action pending if governments continue to deny visitors to long-term care homes

Jun 24th, 2020

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is extremely grateful for the many families and concerned family members who have entrusted us with the stories of their loved ones’ experiences in extended care facilities and nursing homes. We have read every one of your stories, and are sharing them as widely as possible to raise public awareness regarding the results of ill-considered, inconsistent, and indifferent government lockdown policies. We hear your justified anxiety, fear and anger.

The Justice Centre is analyzing an enormous amount of data from provinces across Canada, regarding visitation rights in Long Term Care Homes. Throughout our country, our most vulnerable citizens are being denied the comfort, assistance and support of their own sons, daughters, grandchildren, friends, and other family members. When visitation is permitted, it is often entirely inadequate or under conditions that are more stressful for elderly residents. Within the last few weeks, some provinces have made some improvements, however many serious problems still remain unaddressed. We are working with family members to see how these changes have been implemented within individual facilities, and to ensure we have the most up-to-date information in each jurisdiction across the country

The Justice Centre understands that this is a matter of urgency, and our legal team is actively and tirelessly working on navigating the legal issues presented to us, so that any action taken will have the greatest positive effect.  Preparing a proper court application, including the preparation of sworn affidavits from family members outlining what they have seen and experienced first-hand, is no small task. Further, many court houses across Canada remain under extremely limited operations, which contributes to things moving slowly.

Any provincial government which does not act expeditiously to remedy the current crisis can be served with a court application to secure the Charter right to life, liberty and security of the person. While we sincerely hope that provincial governments will move quickly to allow family visits, court action is on the table as an option.