Quebec coroner criticizes fact that no one thought to inform Legault before March about dangers of COVID-19
Coroner Gehane Kamel is criticizing the fact that experts waited until March before informing the Quebec premier about the dangers of COVID-19.
Kamel is investigating the deaths that occurred in long-term care homes during the first wave. She said Wednesday she finds it disturbing that François Legault was left in the dark in January and February.
“What happened between January and March?” she asked. “And then, I'll allow myself to go a little further: (...) it's around March 9 (...) that we end up informing him of the kind of hemorrhage and that worries me.”
The coroner made the comments as she was finishing questioning the assistant deputy minister of seniors, Natalie Rosebush, for the second time.
Rosebush, who Kamel noted appeared “extremely nervous,” said that she knew as early as “late January, early February” that seniors were most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
But at that time, the concerns were mainly about the supply of protective equipment, health network preparations and the protocol for travellers returning home.
“I'm still hungry (for more details)," concluded Kamel. “No one has convinced me that the voice of the elders (...) has been heard. (...) It happened too little, too late.”
The coroner was surprised that they waited until March 12 to call the private long-term care homes to prepare, while the first case of COVID-19 in a CHSLD appeared on March 2.
“There are 10 days between the two!” she said.
LONG DEBATE ON INSPECTIONS
Rosebush was returning to the coroner's office at the coroner's request to clarify some points, including the issue of the CHSLD visits in the spring.
She explained that observers had been visiting the CHSLDs as early as April with a “checklist” in hand, which they annotated before recording the information in a “common tool” online.
Rosebush was forced to admit that her teams had prepared a compilation of information on Nov. 16 specifically for the coroner's inquest.
She added that all the backups of all the visits were eventually found and forwarded to the coroner.
Initially, Rosebush said no written records were kept of the visits.
“We had no indication that we had the whole history," she said Wednesday.
Prosecutor Dave Kimpton asked if the coroner would find the same information in both documents.
“Yes, normally you would find the same information,'' Rosebush replied.
She stated that she had done the matching exercise herself and found only a few “squares.”
She also said that she had found a few reminders, which she did not think should be kept. However, these documents are “very rough,” she said.
In the course of questioning, Rosebush also revealed that there was a national report of long-term care home visits dating “from April or May.” The coroner asked for this document.
NO BATHS OR SNACKS
The facilities and the ministry had access to the findings from the monitoring visits, and follow-ups were done, Rosebush said.
The lawyer representing six families of seniors who died in CHSLDs, Patrick Martin-Ménard, asked her for examples of the ministry's interventions.
“We have had a lot of communication with caregivers," Rosebush offered in response.
Martin-Ménard then turned his attention to the essential care that wasn’t rendered, notably at the CHSLD Ste-Dorothée, where 70 orderlies were missing on April 27.
As of April 16, an observer noted that 263 people had not been dressed in the last three days. Half had not received bed hygiene or snacks.
“Is there a concern at this point in the department for the safety of the residents?” asked the lawyer.
“There certainly is,” replied Rosebush. “There was a lot of action around Ste-Dorothée.”
The coroner asked why it was an observer, and not an employee of the facility, who entered findings into the “common tool.”
“Bathing, snacks, meals, it could have been the person at the facility entering the data. (...) The evaluator, I see him more as an external person who (...) makes sure that people are well,” said Kamel.
TWO NEW WITNESSES IN JANUARY
The coroner's inquest will resume on Jan. 10 with new witnesses: the person in charge of civil security for health, Martin Simard, and his superior, Pierre Lafleur.
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Two people were struck and killed by falling trees during a severe thunderstorm that hit most of southern Ontario Saturday afternoon.
The United Kingdom's former prime minister Tony Blair says Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine is an 'act of madness.' In an interview on CTV's Question Period airing Sunday, Blair said Putin doesn't appear to be the same man he knew in the early 2000s.
The federal government is reporting a sharp rise in influenza in recent months, at a time of the year when detected cases generally start to fall in Canada.
Health officials in Toronto say they are investigating the first suspected case of monkeypox in the city.
As the May long weekend kicked off, a massive thunderstorm in southern Ontario brought strong wind gusts that knocked down trees, took out power and left at least two people dead.
Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of the 10 Black people killed at a Buffalo supermarket, was remembered at her funeral Saturday for her love for family and friends, tenacity 'and most of all, that smile that could light up a room.'
Why does smoke seem to follow you around a campfire? B.C. research scientist Kerry Anderson told CTVNews.ca the answer actually boils down to physics.
Some drivers in Toronto may be feeling on edge as Toronto is dealing with a rash of violent carjackings targeting mostly high-end vehicles.
The nightmares started last May, said Harvey McLeod, chief of the Upper Nicola Indian Band and a survivor of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Marineland has banned a number of people from its premises, some of whom have never visited the Niagara Falls, Ont., tourist attraction, days before the facility was set to open for the season.
A section of Dartmouth's Burnside Industrial Park was shut down Friday after a fire in a scrapyard triggered alerts and air quality warnings.
A few dozen friends, family members, and strangers gathered in Spryfield, N.S., on Saturday to search for a teenager who disappeared three months ago.
Claudia Chender is the unopposed candidate running to be the next leader of Nova Scotia's New Democratic Party.
The first day of the Victoria Day long weekend saw a fast-moving severe thunderstorm roll through London late morning and cause significant damage, including downed trees and power outages.
It was definitely a night to remember for people in attendance at Labatt Park on Friday evening after a reported gas leak forced the evacuation of the park during the season opener.
The flames were so intense from Thursday’s early morning fire in Hanover that Lisa Schnittker started grabbing her things to evacuate, fearing the flames would spread to her home.
With the price of gas rising above $2 per litre and setting new records in Canada this year, CTVNews.ca looks at what goes into the price per litre of gasoline and where the situation could go from here.
The cooling housing market has left some buyers with mortgages that can't cover the full cost of their home following an appraisal. Toronto-based mortgage broker Mary Sialtsis discusses what options these buyers have.
Here are some of the activities you can check out this long holiday weekend in Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.
'Won’t open them until we win': Flames fan hopes to pop Champagne bottles meant for '04 Stanley Cup run
It was almost exactly 18 years ago when Calgary Flames fan Shane Byciuk managed to sneak two bottles of Champagne into the Saddledome for Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he will not be running in the race to pick a new leader of the United Conservative party.
A frost advisory was issued for most of central and southern Alberta by Environment Canada Saturday afternoon.
Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a death in Brant County after a tree fell on a camping trailer on Saturday.
A severe thunderstorm caused extensive damage, fallen trees, downed hydro lines and power outages across Waterloo Region on Saturday.
It’s the first May long weekend since the City of Waterloo made changes to its fireworks bylaw and city staff said some residents are not obeying the new rules.
Vancouver police are investigating an unprovoked bear spray attack on a senior in Chinatown Friday morning that they say was preceded by racist comments.
A man who walked into a Metro Vancouver bank last year and handed the teller a note saying he would "start shooting" unless he was given "at least $10,000" has been sentenced to four years in prison for the robbery.
developing | Man shot in Surrey Saturday morning, RCMP say
Mounties in Surrey are investigating a shooting at a home in the city's Whalley neighbourhood Saturday morning.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he will not be running in the race to pick a new leader of his United Conservative party.
Duncan Keith had been here before.
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is hosting its grand opening for the summer season this weekend.
Every day since the owner of Thanasi's Olympus Greek Restaurant in Windsor, Ont. announced he would be retiring, Nick Pontikis says the place has been packed like it would be on New Year's Eve.
On Friday, the International Union of Operating Engineers ratified a new three-year contract, ending the strike that started in late April.
With the construction season in Saskatchewan getting underway; the provincial government laid out its plans to improve approximately 1,100 km of provincial highways in 2022.
Ten children in Canada were found to be suffering from severe acute hepatitis not caused by known hepatitis viruses over a nearly six-month period recently, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced Friday.
While the May long weekend is known as the unofficial start of summer, oftentimes in Saskatchewan, the holiday weekend comes with cold weather.
Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for Ottawa and parts of eastern Ontario as a powerful storm moves across the province.
OC Transpo says the O-Train Line 1 will be replaced by R1 bus service until further notice between Blair and Tunney’s Pasture stations.
A nine-year-old Quebec boy has started his own business, offering to help clear garden space with the help of a mini pig, who digs up bugs, roots and weeds.
Saskatoon police investigating after reports of shots fired, man found dead behind apartment building
Saskatoon police are investigating after reports of two men being injured, shots fired and one person found dead.