Monique Taylor MPP, Hamilton Mountain

Government of Ontario

Worker letters show Grace Villa cannot return to private hands

Published on January 25, 2021

HAMILTON – NDP MPP Monique Taylor and Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare, are calling on Doug Ford’s government to bar APANS Health Services from regaining management of Grace Villa, following dozens of letters from workers in the home outlining the negligence of management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Management clearly failed to take COVID-19 seriously in the home, leading to the worst outbreak in Hamilton,” said Taylor. “There have been dozens of preventable deaths at Grace Villa, and staff are deeply concerned that the home will return to the state of disarray it was in before Hamilton Health Sciences took over. Ford must protect the residents and workers of Grace Villa by ensuring the home is not returned to the private, for-profit corporation that failed to prevent this outbreak.”
Hamilton Health Sciences took over management of Grace Villa in December, in the midst of a devastating COVID-19 outbreak where 144 residents and 88 staff contracted the virus. Letters from workers released today detail the terrible conditions in the home, where understaffing, poor sanitation and poor access to PPE contributed to the virus’ spread.
“Frontline health care workers at Grace Villa spent the last two months terrified for their lives and the lives of their residents as they watched the number of preventable deaths continue to rise,” said SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart. “There must be consequences for nursing home owners who fail to keep residents and staff safe. Immediate changes must be made, including the replacement of management and stricter health and safety measures, to ensure a tragedy like this never occurs at this home again.”
The letters have been anonymized to protect the identity of workers, who are not authorized to speak with media and fear reprisal from management.

 Selection of Letters from Frontline Workers at Grace Villa (PDF)