Get into the rhythm folks. It is one-two, one-two-three when you do the Chartwell Chair cha-cha with former Ontario premier Mike Harris. If you have a mother-in-law you hate, convince your wife that dear-mom should be stowed away at a Chartwell long-term care residence. With Mike Harris in the chair of Chartwell, it is unlikely to be the loving care a dear mom might deserve.
But, to be fair, you had to live through Mike Harris’ common sense revolution in Ontario from 1995 to 2002 to really appreciate his right-wing theories. It is Canada’s Shareholder Association for Research and Education that is calling for Harris’ head over concerns for the safety of Chartwell inmates and the company’s employees. The shareholder protection association is asking Chartwell for a “human capital disclosure” on how it protected its customers and employees through the worst of the pandemic.
The concern is that even as premier of the province, Mike Harris earned a reputation for not being concerned enough about human life. He was famously criticized by the superior court investigation into the killing at Ipperwash Provincial Park of an aboriginal named Dudley George. Harris was reported to have said, “I want the fucking Indians out of the park.”
That matches Harris’ disregard for safety in Walkerton, Ontario where seven died and many more made seriously ill from an e-coli contamination in the water supply. It was just an example of his dismissal of safety measures. He thought safety cost too much.
His record as premier is probably missing the deaths of those welfare recipients who ended up on the streets because of his slashing and then downloading welfare costs on Ontario municipalities.
It is particularly interesting that, as premier, Michael Harris oversaw the deregulation of long-term care facilities in Ontario. After Harris’ conservatives were defeated in 2002, he became Chartwell chair in 2003. He has held the position of chair ever since. As chair of Chartwell, he is reported to have earned $223,000 in director fees in 2020.
Chartwell told the Globe and Mail that 44 per cent of its residence employees responded in a survey last year that they strongly agreed with the statement “I am satisfied with Chartwell as a place to work.” It makes you wonder what the other 56 per cent of employees said.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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