Four of the five Ontario long-term care homes that were the subject of a Canadian Armed Forces report detailing cockroach infestations, aggressive feeding and bleeding infections are being taken over by the provincial government.
Premier Doug Ford said there will be rigorous government inspections of those homes, as well as 13 others facing challenges managing COVID-19. Random spot checks will also be done across the province.
Ford said Ontario is also fully prepared to pull operating licenses and shut down facilities if necessary, or take over management at more homes.
NDP political leader Jagmeet Singh said the cases of neglect that the military catalogued sound a lot like criminal negligence. He wants the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will discuss the situation with the premiers on a conference call Thursday.
The long-term care report comes as Ontario is reporting fewer than 300 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row. The province said there were 292 new cases as of Wednesday and another 32 deaths.
Ford's government also announced Ontarians will not be allowed to dine in bars and restaurants, gather in groups larger than five or use playground equipment until at least the ninth of next month. The province of Ontario has extended its emergency orders until June 9. It had been set to expire Friday.