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Bill Kelly: Budget cuts have consequences

Coronavirus outbreak: Ford calls military report on Ontario long-term care homes “gut-wrenching”
WATCH: Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed a report from the Canadian military that detailed concerns found in Ontario's long-term care homes. Ford called the findings "appalling, disgusting and disturbing" and the "worst report" he's ever read.

I don’t doubt Doug Ford‘s sincerity in trying to address the abhorrent conditions in so many of Ontario’s long-term care facilities.

The damning report released Tuesday from the Canadian military, which has been assisting in caring for the residents of some of those establishments, shines the light on horrific conditions that have existed for far too long.

READ MORE: Military teams raise concerns about conditions at Ontario care homes

Now, the premier has announced that the government will take over operation of some of those underperforming facilities, but before we pin a gold star on the premier for riding to the rescue of the victims of this broken system, Ford needs to acknowledge that although his government didn’t create this crisis in long-term care, it must accept culpability for exacerbating this tragic circumstance.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Ford says they ‘will fix the system’ when asked about accountability over long-term care
Coronavirus outbreak: Ford says they ‘will fix the system’ when asked about accountability over long-term care

Ford’s wrong-headed directive to “find efficiencies” in government budgets included significant cuts to oversight and inspection of those very same long-term care facilities.

There are more than 600 such facilities in Ontario, yet last year, there were only nine resident-quality inspections done by the government.

READ MORE: Ontario to hold independent commission into long-term care home system

Let that sink in: only nine of more than 600 facilities were inspected to ensure that standards of care were being met.

Fast-food restaurants have more scrutiny than the facilities that are supposed to care for our seniors.

Families react to allegations at 5 Ontario care homes
Families react to allegations at 5 Ontario care homes

The premier needs to understand that there are consequences to his cost-cutting mantra.

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Slashing the budget for oversight of long-term care might have saved a few bucks off the bottom line, but it also contributed to making a bad situation even worse.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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