Man chains himself to tree outside of hard-hit Mississauga long-term care home to demand change


Published May 28, 2020 at 2:57 pm


The same day that the Ontario government announced it would be taking over operations at a Mississauga long-term care home that’s lost 61 residents to COVID-19, a man announced he would be chaining himself to a tree outside of the facility. 

On May 27, Innis Ingram took to Facebook to announce that he would be staging his #thisisCANADAltc protest next to the memorial at Camilla Care Community–the nursing home that houses his mother. 

Ingram with an art installation at the site, contributed by local artist Matthew Douglas

Camilla Care, which is not mentioned in a damning report on long-term care home conditions written by members of the Canadian Armed Forces, remains one of Ontario’s hardest-hit homes. 

On May 26, Camilla Care announced that while the cases of 92 residents and 47 staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 and are now considered resolved, 29 residents are still battling the virus. 

The home also said there are 13 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 who are self-isolating.

In a Facebook post, Ingram said he is going on a hunger strike until a provincial inspection is done. He’s been broadcasting his protest, which continues today (May 28), on Facebook Live.

The province has launched an investigation into long-term care homes following disturbing allegations made by the military. The CAF report alleges that residents at at least five homes are being neglected and abused, sometimes being left in dirty diapers, forced-fed and aggressively moved despite crying out in pain. 

The report also noted improper use of personal protective equipment, poor infection containment practices, insect infestations and unsanitary conditions. 

At a May 27 press conference, the province announced that starting today, long-term care inspectors will be assessing six homes including those captured in the CAF reports and Camilla Care. The five other homes being inspected include Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Orchard Villa, Altamont Care Community, and Holland Christian Homes Inc.

Six teams of two long-term care inspectors will go into each of the homes to do an expanded, stringent inspection process over a two-week period. 

The province says the inspections will include record and chart reviews; in-depth interviews with staff and residents; and observations in order to determine the extent of the issues. The province says that after an inspection is completed, the ministry will set up regular status calls, monitoring, and regular, unannounced in-person follow up inspections with the home. 

Results of these and all other inspections will be posted publicly on the ministry website.

The government is also inspecting other long-term care homes that are currently considered high-risk over the next 21 days. Additionally, working with hospital and other partners, each of these homes will be required to submit a plan for the ministry that details how they intend to return to acceptable levels of care immediately.

In a Facebook post, Ingram said he’s received a great deal of support from the community. 

“The outpouring of support has blown my mind. You are all AMAZING people! Whether you are an old friend that I’ve reconnected with through this ordeal, or a new friend that has reached out to help, I am truly blessed to have you in my life,” he wrote. 

“Together we WILL make a difference. I have absolute faith that with you behind the residents and their families, change will come!

Photos courtesy of Ingram’s Facebook page

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