Friday, March 15th Commentary
It was just over 24-hours ago when a 72-year old woman was beaten to death, a 91-year old woman assaulted in their separate rooms, one floor apart at the Wexford Residences long-term care facility in the east end.
Another resident, a 72-year old man was arrested and charged with murder and assault.
Management and the company lawyer are saying nothing to the media but some of the residents are talking and so is the union, CUPE, which represents some of the staff.
The picture emerging is disturbing but I suspect this situation is quite common in long-term care facilities everywhere, an unruly resident and only a skeleton staff on duty late at night.
The Star quotes some residents as saying the accused has demonstrated violent behaviour before. The union says staff complained to management about him just last week. The indication is he was moved off one floor to another. The adult child of one resident says people were afraid of him.
Some of the residents point out that there used to be a security guard at the front desk 24-7 but now there's no security guard after 8 p.m. The Star was also told there are only 2 nurses per floor late at night and usually they have too much paperwork to adequately supervise the hallways.
The CEO of Wexford Residences did issue a written statement which says in part "we want to reassure all family members that our residents, tenants and staff are safe and secure."
That there is sporadic violence in long-term care facilities is certainly not new. Often people with forms of dementia can get mean. You can't tie people to their beds or lock them in their rooms so the only solution seems to be more staffing. Over to you Health Minister Deb Mathews.
CLOSE CALL AT PEARSON
If the consequences weren't so obviously horrendous this next story would be laughable, a comedy of errors.
It unfolded Monday night at Pearson International.
Out of nowhere it seemed, a driverless van rolled out across a runway where an Air Canada jet was on approach.
This is what the preliminary investigation shows. The van belonged to Sun Wing, the charter airline. An employee had driven it to a Sunwing aircraft at one of the gates. He got out and went into the plane. When he came back out, the van was gone. Apparently he hadn't turned off the ignition and, perhaps forgot to the put it in park, because off it went. Why he wouldn't have seen that as he got out of the van? I don't know.
So the driverless vehicle is rolling across the runway. Air Traffic Control was told and they told the pilots on the approaching Air Canada flight from Edmonton to abort. Twice they were told to abort and they didn't. They came in and landed. The van, by that time, was off in the grass.
The explanation we've been given is that the pilots heard the abort messages but they thought this was for another jet.
From Sun Wing to Air Canada I suspect, I hope heads roll on this one.