Anaya Toelly, Stephanie Kocielski and Betty Yakimenko have family members at Madonna Care Community in Orleans, Ont., which experienced a COVID-19 outbreak early in the pandemic. They recently attended a rally in Ottawa to raise awareness about a number of issues with the long-term care system. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

“There was no real sense of urgency or understanding or acceptance of how critical the situation actually was. And in the case of Madonna, you know, that situation proved to be fatal — not just for workers, but for … several residents as well,” said Candace Rennick, a former PSW and an executive with CUPE Ontario, which represents some of the workers in the affected long-term care facilities.

“The phone investigations, the delays — all of that proves what people have been feeling, which is that the system didn’t have their back.”

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