Ontario rejects long-term care commissioners' appeal for more time for inquiry


The Ontario government says it won't extend an inquiry into COVID-19's deadly spread in long-term care homes after those leading the probe appealed for more time.

Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton says the inquiry's final report and recommendations are still expected by April 30.

The commissioners heading the inquiry had written to Fullerton last month asking for an extension until Dec. 31, 2021 to complete their work.

Their letter, dated Dec. 9, 2020, noted delays in receiving government information relevant to the inquiry and the large amounts of data being collected.

But Fullerton, in a letter dated Dec. 23 and posted on the inquiry's website Monday, replied that there is still a great need for timely information to inform decisions as the pandemic continues.

"The urgency of our situation has not changed,'' she wrote. ``The need for timely and focused advice is even more acute.''