Canada

Volunteer task force aims to hold Manitoba government to account for Maples care home deaths

A Manitoba woman whose father died at the Maples Personal Care Home is now dedicating her time to creating a volunteer task force to hold the government accountable.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares lost her 88-year-old father Manuel to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the home last year.

The Maples outbreak declared on Oct. 20 claimed 56 lives and lasted nearly three months.

Maples Care Home report shows ‘blame at every level’: advocate – Feb 8, 2021

Calisto-Tavares said she is now forming a volunteer task force to hold the province accountable for the outbreak, and wants to see a public inquiry into the care home as well.

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“We cannot have 56 people die, have their voices and their memories just silenced, and not have anybody accountable for it,” Calisto-Tavares told reporters Wednesday at the Manitoba legislature.

“I will hold this government accountable. There was a breach of trust in so many levels, and I am going to hold Revera and the Maples accountable through a volunteer task force.”

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Maples is run by the for-profit company Revera. Revera also runs several other facilities in Manitoba, including Parkview Place.

The province ordered an external review on the home after a deadly weekend when 18 calls were placed to 911. Paramedics found residents severely dehydrated and in need of immediate care. Within 48 hours, eight people died.

“No one lost their jobs. No one got fired,” she said.

Read more: Province to implement all recommendations in Maples care home review

The incident led the government to conduct an external review which was done by Dr. Lynn Stevenson.

The final report shows a failed system and confusing pandemic planning guides. It found that staff were left short-handed and scrambling to try to keep up, residents were sick and in need of more attention and untrained workers were hired and run off their feet.

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The review, which was released last month, made 17 recommendations for the care home, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and Manitoba’s health incident command structure and health department.

During question period Wednesday, Health Minister Heather Stefanson said the province has committed to implementing the 17 recommendations made in the review.

“We have put together an implementation plan that we will be releasing shortly.”

However, the plan alone was not good enough for the NDP opposition.

Uzoma Asagwara, NDP Health Critic, asked Stefanson if she would revoke the licences of Revera-run facilities Maples and Parkview Place.

But Stefanson rejected the idea.

“It would be dangerous to take an ideological approach to this situation,” she said. “We won’t take that kind of approach.”

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