Every politician wants to deflect the blame for the Corona virus crisis we are in to someone other than themselves. It is no secret that approximately half of the deaths from Corona virus occurred in homes of facilities for senior citizens in Ontario. The premier of Quebec has labelled a horrible number of deaths at a seniors home as criminal.
The police are in no rush to enter these infected facilities, but the police will be coming because of the immense political pressure and the large number of senior’s deaths. The families of the deceased will demand it. The number of charges being laid by the police in Ontario are down 60 to 65% in many jurisdictions because of the lockdown. This void will be filled in the near future and the seniors residences are the obvious target
For example, if you are an owner, a president or operator of a senior’s home where corona virus deaths have occurred and you receive a call from a friendly police officer who asks how you are? Innocently, you tell the officer I have not been home in five months. I spent the winter in Florida. The weather was wonderful and I spent a lot of time playing golf. My game improved immensely. Next question by the officer. Your seniors home has a beautiful view from the dining room overlooking the hills, were you up there in the Fall when the leaves were the best I have ever seen. Answer, I usually go up in October on Thanksgiving weekend but we planned my daughters’s wedding on that weekend so I have not been at the home since the year before. I leave the responsibility of the operation to my manager. I have not spoken to her while I was in Florida, until she called last week (the middle of April) where she informed me of the unfortunate deaths at my nursing home. I just got off the phone with my accountant who told me we may have to apply for a government grant because our revenues are down 40% because of all the deaths in March and April. I feel so badly for these poor people. Next Question by the officer, I noticed on your corporate documents filed in Ontario that your wife is listed as the Vice President of Operations. Is she also a shareholder in the company ? I will not go any further but you can rest assured the officer will continue his questioning and try and implicate the president’s wife as well.
The President thinks he can hide behind the corporate entity that he owns. The president also thinks the distance between himself and his nursing home and his lack of involvement in the day to day operations of the home will exempt him from criminal liability. It is the manager’s job.
Our firm successfully defended employees from one of Ontario’s largest corporations where deaths occurred from a major industrial accident. The Crown and the police would have liked to have charged the executives in a major city miles from the accident. The case was one of the major reasons the Criminal Code was amended to make prosecutions against the people at the head office much easier. Criminal negligence causing death is the first charge the police will consider in this situation. This charges carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and lengthy jail sentences are the norm.
The police are trained to think differently than you are. They have gathered a lot of evidence from this short conversation and I know they would have been far more questions. They know you have been in Florida for five months and are too busy golfing to check on the lives of your vulnerable seniors. The police further know you have not checked on your seniors residence for the last 18 months or looked at your accountant’s monthly income summary which would have alerted you or any responsible business man to the problem.
It is often too late once these initial conversations have occurred. If you are in the situation described in this article from care taker to the president, you need to speak to a very experienced criminal lawyer with over 40 years of defending the rights and freedoms of Canadians, it is well worth an hour of your time to avoid a charge under s.219 of the Criminal Code, Criminal Negligence Causing Death. Section 219 says: “If you are meant to do anything that is his or her duty to do.” Further criminal negligence does not require proof of intention or deliberation, indifference being sufficient. Do not let an omission ruin your life.
CS – Certified Criminal Specialist