Quebec seniors minister won’t appear at inquest into COVID long-term care deaths due to illness

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WATCH: Because residents of long-term care homes experience waning antibodies to COVID-19 much faster than younger, healthier adults, researchers are looking at ways to better protect them against the virus. Global’s Andrea Howick has the details – Nov 1, 2021

Quebec’s seniors minister will not appear before a coroner’s inquest investigating deaths in the long-term care system during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marguerite Blais is on medical leave and will be replaced at the hearings on Nov. 17 by Danielle McCann, the province’s former health minister who is serving as minister of higher education.

Read more: Marguerite Blais 2nd minister in Legault cabinet to announce sick leave this week

The Canadian Press reported on Friday that Blais’s appearance was the subject of discussions between attorneys for the coroner’s office and the attorney general.

Blais has been on sick leave since Oct. 29 due to burnout and her responsibilities have been taken over temporarily by Health Minister Christian Dubé.

Read more: No ‘euthanasia’ in Quebec care homes during COVID-19, expert tells coroner’s inquest

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Opposition parties have said her testimony is essential for the families of those who lost loved ones in the province’s long-term care network during the first wave of COVID-19.

Coroner Géhane Kamel agreed today to cancel Blais’s scheduled appearance.

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