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Manitoba Liberals, victims’ families call for better protections in wake of care home abuse scandal

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Liberals, victims’ families call for better protections in wake of care home abuse scandal' Manitoba Liberals, victims’ families call for better protections in wake of care home abuse scandal
Manitoba’s Liberal Party is calling on the province for better protections for seniors living in personal care homes, in the wake of an abuse investigation into the Extendicare Oakview Care Home in Winnipeg. Marney Blunt reports – Jul 12, 2022

Manitoba’s Liberal Party is calling on the province for better protections for seniors living in personal care homes, in the wake of an abuse investigation into the Extendicare Oakview Care Home in Winnipeg.

Liberal leader Dougald Lamont said Tuesday that the scandal — in which 15 residents are alleged to have been abused by two staff members at the care home — is completely unacceptable.

“We need to call this what it is — corruption and a cover-up of elder abuse, and it shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Lamont.

“We expect the government to invite people to come forward with what they know, and provide them with assurances they won’t face retaliation or blacklisting for having the courage to call out wrongdoing.”

Lamont said a ‘culture of neglect’ has been in place in Manitoba for years, despite the efforts of good people doing the best work they can, as well as the whistleblowers who spoke up in this instance.

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Read more: Abuse allegations push calls for review of Extendicare operations in Manitoba

Click to play video: 'WRHA, police investigating alleged abuse at Oakview Place personal care home in Winnipeg' WRHA, police investigating alleged abuse at Oakview Place personal care home in Winnipeg
WRHA, police investigating alleged abuse at Oakview Place personal care home in Winnipeg – Jun 21, 2022

Dianna Klassen’s father died in January at 92 after living in Oakview Place for about four years. She said the family received a devastating call the day after Father’s Day, letting them know he was one of the 15 residents who had been allegedly abused.

“Imagine our family’s shock to find out that a man who passed away in January had been being abused prior to his passing away. So this has clearly been going on for some time.

“These are our elders — they are the people who raised us, who loved us and who have supported us, and we w ere there trying to support them, only to find out that after the fact they were suffering horrific abuse.”

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Klassen said she knows there are many caring staff members at Extendicare, and doesn’t want to paint all home care workers with the same brush, but the company and the accused need to be held accountable.

The Liberals are also calling for a review of the license at Oakview Place, and that the province implements whistleblower protection so more people will feel safe coming forward in situations like this.

In an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon, a provincial spokesperson said they take the wellbeing of Manitoba seniors seriously.

“Our government is committed to full cooperation with all investigations related to the appalling allegations raised at the Oakview Place personal care home and will take action on any recommendations rising from these investigations to protect seniors in care. WHRA immediately contacted the Winnipeg Police Service upon learning of the allegations, who launched a criminal investigation,” the spokesperson said.

“As that investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for our government to comment further. The Protection for Persons in Care office has also been notified and will conduct it’s own investigation upon the conclusion of the criminal investigation.”

Click to play video: '‘It’s a huge coverup overall’ : Family Oakview Place Resident speaks up following allegations of abuse, suspension of employees' ‘It’s a huge coverup overall’ : Family Oakview Place Resident speaks up following allegations of abuse, suspension of employees
‘It’s a huge coverup overall’ : Family Oakview Place Resident speaks up following allegations of abuse, suspension of employees – Jun 22, 2022

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