Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Calls News of Alleged Nursing Home Murders 'Extremely Distressing'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Calls News of Alleged Nursing Home Murders 'Extremely Distressing'

Article excerpt

Wynne: alleged murders by nurse 'distressing'

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TORONTO - The alleged murders of eight Ontario nursing home residents by a nurse raise serious questions about government oversight, opposition politicians charged Tuesday, but the government provided few answers.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said she is sure everyone in the legislature agrees it is a "tragic circumstance."

"This is an extremely distressing and tragic, tragic thing for all of the families involved," she said. "It would be inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing police investigation. The police have made it clear there's no threat to safety and we now need to let the police do their job."

Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer, 49, of Woodstock, Ont., has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the killings, which police say took place between 2007 and 2014. She is no longer entitled to practise as a registered nurse. Investigators allege the residents were administered a drug, but police would not speak to a possible motive.

Seven of the alleged victims lived at a Caressant Care facility in Woodstock, Ont., while another resided at a Meadow Park facility in London, Ont.

A New Democrat who represents the London area asked the premier in question period how this allegedly happened under the oversight of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

"How do murders go undetected for nearly 10 years inside any long-term care home in Ontario?" said Teresa Armstrong.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins fielded questions outside the legislature but refused to answer most, citing the investigation.

"I'm going to refrain from answering questions that may be construed as implying certain actions or in any way that could potentially impede or otherwise hinder an active, ongoing police investigation," he said.

"I know you have a lot of questions -- Ontarians have a lot of questions and those questions will be answered, however we're asking for patience and understanding at this extremely difficult moment in time. …

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