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Horrific Abuse of Seniors Detailed by Auditor General Report Requires Full Public Inquiry

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba -

Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberals are calling for a full and independent public inquiry into the decisions of the Protection for Persons in Care Office (PPCO), whose director repeatedly ruled that instances of vulnerable Manitobans being punched, beaten, or sexually assaulted were "unfounded for abuse."

The Auditor General (AG) report released today includes sickening descriptions of abuse and assaults including patients with dementia being kicked, being deliberately hurt, and enduring death threats from workers.

The AG's report notes that problems with the PPCO date back more than a decade, covering both PC and NDP Governments. Investigations took years and often ignored abuse.

Lamont said the PC's solution, a commission to recommend a new office for complaints in two years from now, is inadequate.

Lamont called for an independent inquiry into the abuse and the PPCO, as well as the immediate creation of an Independent Seniors' Advocate, which MLA Cindy Lamoureux and the Manitoba Liberals first called for in 2016.

"The incidents detailed in this report are horrific and the government was repeatedly warned about them. If anyone treated a senior like that at home, they would be arrested. It is incredibly shameful that the PPCO was giving them a free pass. The PCs and the Auditor General's report both say these problems have been known for over a decade, but no one saw fit to do anything until today," said Lamont. "This is total and utter neglect, and the only way to address it and make Manitoba safe for seniors is with an Independent Seniors Advocate and a full public inquiry."

Lamont said the inquiry should also probe the deaths in Personal Care Homes during the pandemic, like the Maples, which the PPCO was tasked with doing.

In their January 2021 report, "Standing Up for Seniors: 40+ Years of Neglect in Manitoba" the Manitoba Liberals flagged issues with the PPCO, which stopped posting any updates to its website in 2016, other than the number of cases reported and education sessions delivered.

The report noted, PPCO "has been ineffective in identifying at-fault cases and only investigating complaints by calling the LTC facility and asking if everything is okay - and not reporting anything back to the reporter of the complaint."



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