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WATCH: Premier says province will pull licences, shut down long-term care facilities if necessary

Province taking control of five additional long-term care homes, increasing inspections in others

2:42 p.m. update:

Premier Ford says he will appear as witness if called on by the independent commission when it's established in July, and that the commission will have the full cooperation of the provincial government during its investigation. 

"Absolutely I'd appear. And they the full authority to investigate our government, my office, the ministry's office," he told reporters. 

2:23 p.m. update:

Premier Doug Ford says that won't be asking for the resignation of Ontario Long-Term Care Minister Melanie Fullerton as a result of the damning military report into five of the hardest hit long-term care homes in the province. 

"Absolutely not. I stand behind my minister 100 per cent," Ford told reporters Wednesday. "When it comes to long-term care, probably the most knowledgable person down here at Queens Park."


Ontario will take over management of five additional long-term care facilities in southern Ontario as the province plans on turning the results of its investigation over to police.

On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said the province is deploying six teams to conduct "rigorous" inspections of nearly 20 long-term care homes in Ontario, along with random spot checks of high-risk facilities. 

"What we saw yesterday is the worst of the worst, and let me be clear - we're looking at all options," Ford said. "We're fully prepared to take over more homes if necessary. We are fully prepared to pull licences, shut down facilities if necessary."

"We will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes." 

Ford says an independent commission will be established in July. 

"The commission will be in dependent of the government. It will be open and transparent," Ford said. "There will be public hearings. They will call witnesses. The reports will be made public and we'll get answers, because our seniors deserve nothing less. Their families deserve nothing less."  

Original story: 

Premier Doug Ford is slated to provide an update on COVID-19 to Ontarians at 1:45 p.m. outside Queen's Park today.

Village Media will carry the livestream, so stay tuned.