Could Long-Term Care Home Managers Receive Criminal Charges

Nov 5, 2020 By Matthew Friedberg
The feds plan to amend the Criminal Code to “penalize those who neglect seniors

Two long-term care home staff face criminal charges in the U.S. for their pandemic response and although the same could happen in Canada, lawyers say proposed Criminal Code changes could make a bigger difference in holding managers accountable.  

Over 2,000 residents have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic in Ontario alone, and long-term care deaths have accounted for 80 per cent of Canada’s total. 

There are numerous proposed class actions against long-term care operators and individual homes in Canada and Ontario has a commission to evaluate the response of the provincial government, long-term care homes and other actors.

Although other Criminal Code provisions aim to protect seniors, there’s currently no mention of elder or senior abuse in Canada’s Criminal Code — but that could change.

In the Sept. 2020 throne speech, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette said the federal government will work with Parliament on Criminal Code amendments “to explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care, putting them in danger.” She also said the government will create new, national long-term care standards.

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