What is the Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System?
The government of Ontario called the Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System shortly after Elizabeth Wettlaufer was sentenced to life imprisonment following her guilty pleas to eight counts of first degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. All of these offences were committed while she was working as a registered nurse in Southwestern Ontario.
The Inquiry will investigate the events which led to these offences, the circumstances and contributing factors allowing these events to occur, including the effect, if any, of policies, procedures, practices and oversight mechanisms. The Inquiry also has the ability to consider other relevant matters that the Commissioner considers necessary to avoid similar tragedies.
The Commissioner will report her findings and make recommendations to the Government of Ontario, in the hope of preventing future tragedies of this nature.
What is the purpose of the Community Meetings?
It is important that the Inquiry hear from residents in the communities most directly affected by these tragedies. Understanding the human impact at the outset of the Inquiry will be an important perspective for all Inquiry team members to take throughout the Inquiry process.
At the Community Meetings, members of the communities most directly affected by these tragedies will have the opportunity to learn more about the Inquiry. The Commissioner will introduce the Inquiry team. She will explain the mandate of the Inquiry and discuss the Inquiry’s process.
Individual residents will be given a chance to come forward and speak about the impact these tragedies have had on their lives. They can also ask questions about the Inquiry.
Time will be reserved at the end of the Meetings for questions from the press.
Do I need to let you know in advance if I plan to attend or plan to speak at a Community Meetings?
There is no need to provide advance notice that you plan to attend one of the meetings.
If you do know you would like to speak at a Community Meeting, it would assist us in our planning if you did pre-register.
If you would like to register to speak at one of the Community Meetings, you can do so either by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Inquiry’s office at 1-844-280-9970. It would help us if you can let us know the following: (1) which meeting you plan to attend and (2) whether you would like to register to speak at the meeting.
Are there any restrictions on what I can speak about at the Community Meetings?
You are welcome to speak about how these events have affected you (or your loved ones) and to ask questions about the Inquiry mandate and process.
This is not, however, the appropriate time to speak about the facts specific to the offences – or any events related to the offences – that gave rise to the Inquiry.
The Community Meetings are not part of the Inquiry’s formal “fact-finding” process. Fact-finding is an investigative matter governed by rules and procedures to ensure the process is thorough, accurate and fair. Fact-finding is not the goal of the Community Meetings. Fact-finding will happen at a later stage in the Inquiry process.
What does the Commissioner want to hear about at the Community Meetings?
These meetings are an opportunity for the Commissioner to hear more about the impact of these offences, particularly on those living in the communities most directly affected by these events.
If I am not comfortable speaking in public, can I submit a written statement instead?
Yes, you are welcome to submit a written statement explaining how you have been affected by these events. Your statement will be reviewed by the Inquiry team. Written statements can be sent by email to email@example.com or in writing to the Inquiry’s Toronto office at 400 University Avenue, Suite 1800C, Toronto, ON M7A 2R9.
Will there be time limits placed on those who speak at the Community Meetings?
There will be a moderator in place at each of the Community Meetings. Some limits will be placed on those who speak to ensure that all of those who wish to speak have an opportunity to do so. Those who pre-register to speak will be given first priority in the speaking order at the Community Meetings.
I intend to seek standing to participate in the Public Hearings, does that mean I cannot participate in the Community Meetings?
No. Participating in the Community Meetings does not affect your ability to apply to participate in the more formal Public Hearings.
The Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry
400 University, Suite 1800C
Toronto, ON M7A 2R9
1-844-280-9970 or 416-314-1763
Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday (except holidays),
9 am to 5 pm (Eastern time)