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Sask. NDP calls for public inquiry into COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Parkside

The Saskatchewan government said any investigation into the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Parkside should be headed by the provincial ombudsman. File / Global News

A motion by the Saskatchewan NDP calling for the provincial auditor to hold a special investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Parkside in Regina has been defeated.

The NDP says 41 people have died at the long-term care home since the outbreak was declared on Nov. 20, 2020.

More than 200 residents and staff have tested positive.

Read more: Saskatchewan nurses union calls for public inquiry into Parkside Extendicare COVID-19 outbreak

NDP MLA Aleana Young, who introduced the motion at the standing committee on public accounts, said families deserve answers as to what transpired.

“They can’t get those answers if no one is asking the questions. If there is no investigation the same tragedies are going to happen again,” Young said Thursday in a statement.

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“Why does the government refuse to get to the bottom of this?”

The Saskatchewan Party government said there will be an investigation.

“Our government agrees that the outbreak should be investigated by an independent office of the legislative assembly, but that such a review fits within the mandate of the provincial ombudsman,” Everett Hindley, the minister responsible for seniors, said in a statement.

Matt Love, the Opposition critic for seniors, joined the call for a public inquiry.

“Since the committee members refused to do the right thing and vote for accountability, it’s now up to Premier Scott Moe and his cabinet to finally show leadership and call a full public inquiry into what happened at Parkside Extendicare, which is what registered nurses and other health-care workers have been calling for weeks,” Love said.

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Read more: Daughter shares story after mom dies of COVID-19 at Regina’s Parkside Extendicare

Hindley said that will happen in the coming days.

“(We) will be formally asking the provincial ombudsman to undertake an investigation into the outbreak and subsequent events that occurred at Extendicare Parkside,” Hindley said.

“It is our expectation that Extendicare, the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Ministry of Health fully comply with the provincial ombudsman’s investigation, and we commit to releasing the investigation report following its conclusion.”