Labour & Employment Law Insights

Ontario Issues Orders Relating to Management of Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

June 9, 2020 | By James Jennings

Legislation | Employment

The Ontario Government has recently filed two emergency regulations (O. Reg. 210/20 and O. Reg. 240/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that empower the Ontario Government to issue mandatory “management orders” for long-term care homes and retirement homes that are struggling with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Under the two emergency regulations, the Ontario Government can issue a management order under 156(1) of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and 91(1) of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 for any facility in which at least one resident or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, creating a risk of harm to residents. The Ontario Government’s authority to issue a management order under the two emergency regulations applies despite any restriction that might otherwise exist under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, Retirement Homes Act, 2010, or any other statute, regulation, order or policy.

Although one positive diagnosis of COVID-19 appears to be a low threshold, in practice, the Ontario Government appears to be reserving the use of management orders for severe cases where a facility has been unable to control an outbreak of COVID-19 over a period of time despite receiving hospital assistance. Notwithstanding this practice, these emergency regulations could signal the beginning of a more interventionist approach.

Where a management order is issued, the Ontario Government will assign a new “manager” to assume management of the facility for a fixed period of time to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. Although the new “manager” can be a person, corporation or hospital, the Ontario Government has primarily been appointing hospitals to assume management of facilities.

Need more information?

If you need more information about COVID-19-related management orders for long-term care or retirement homes, please contact James Jennings at 416-408-5503 or your regular lawyer at the firm.

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