thumb-2022-05-09
thumb-2022-05-09 This article is more than 1 month old
New

Ontario PC Candidate Bought Shares in Private Long-Term Care Company in the Middle of the Pandemic

Advocates say investments underline cozy relationship between for-profit long-term care industry and Doug Ford’s government

PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization that uncovers and unpacks the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.
Learn more about our journalistic standards ➔
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization that uncovers and unpacks the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.
Learn more about our journalistic standards

Financial disclosures show an Ontario PC candidate Deepak Anand bought shares in one of Ontario’s deadliest private long-term care companies several months after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Filings with Ontario’s integrity commissioner show the Ontario PC candidate for Mississauga-Malton, who previously served as assistant labour minister in Doug Ford’s government, added shares in the private LTC company Sienna Senior Living to his portfolio over the course of the pandemic.

During that same period, Sienna’s facilities accounted for more resident deaths than any other provider in Ontario.

Sienna was the owner of Camilla Care, a long-term care home in Anand’s own community, where 68 residents died of COVID-19. Global News estimated 300 residents died at Sienna facilities in the first three months of the pandemic — management of two separate Sienna facilities, including Camila Care, was taken over by the military.

Since March 2020, Doug Ford’s government has introduced legislation shielding private care homes from liability suits for negligenceand empowered LTC companies to charge extra for private rooms. Earlier this year, Ford’s government also allowed long-term care companies to hike fees for LTC rooms.

At the same time, Sienna has received millions in public tax dollars to upgrade and renovate their private facilities.

“Great question,” Anand replied when asked by PressProgress about why he bought shares in the private long-term care company several months into the pandemic.

Deepak Anand’s financial disclosures (Office of the Integrity Commissioner)

Anand pointed to his wife, an RBC financial advisor with whom he shares a “direct investing account,” explaining that she was the one who bought shares in the controversial long-term care company — not him.

“The account is a joint between me and her,” Anand said. “So, what happens is everything she owns, I own and everything that I own, she owns it.”

According to the Ontario PC candidate, his wife made the decision to buy shares in Sienna based on “what stock is going up and what stock is going down.”

“She does not compare that with my job or job profile,” Anand insisted.

The Integrity Commissioner’s disclosure forms include separate sections for spouses of MPPs. No shares in Sienna are attributed to Anand’s wife in any of the Ontario PC candidate’s disclosures to the integrity commissioner.

Sign Up for Our Labour Newsletter
Newspapers always have a business section – so why not a labour section too?
Sign Up for Our Labour Newsletter
Newspapers always have a business section – so why not a labour section too?

Anand said his portfolio “only” includes 200 shares in Sienna and that he was not even aware that he owned any shares in Sienna until he was contacted by PressProgress: “I actually asked her ‘what have you bought? I didn’t even know about that’.”

According to Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner, MPPs are personally responsible for filling out their own disclosure forms and then reviewing it in-person with integrity commissioner representatives:

“It is the responsibility of each MPP to file their disclosure. Office staff will review the information provided, including statements from financial institutions. As required by the Act, the Commissioner then meets with each MPP individually to review their disclosure.”

Alongside Sienna, Anand also reported shares in mining, energy and pharmaceutical companies, including Cenovus, Kincross Gold and Albireo Pharma Inc.

The Ontario PC candidate said he believes questions about his personal investments reflect the sad reality that “trust is at an all time low.”

“Sometimes we look at something and we think ‘oh my God’ and we look at the information and then attach that to the character of a person without knowing what was the extent.”

“This is another great example,” Anand said.

Public health advocates say Anand’s investments in a private LTC company while it is embroiled in controversy defies common sense.

“On a personal level, how could a person in good conscience knowingly buy shares and take profits from corporations whose residents suffered so egregiously and continue to suffer from inadequate care?” Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra said.

Mehra further noted that Anand’s government has introduced several pieces of legislation that may have helped boost Sienna’s profits.

“After all the death and suffering in those for-profit long-term care homes, how could the Ford government not only fail to hold the companies liable but actually shield them from accountability?” Mehra said.

“How could they allow the incestuous relationship between the for-profit long-term care industry and their government continue?”

Despite holding a personal financial stake in Ontario’s private, for-profit long-term care industry, Anand has repeatedly promoted the Ford government’s policies in support of the private long-term care industry.

Anand has promoted an online tool developed by the Ford government that helps Ontario residents shop for long-term care providers and appeared at photo-ops promoting the Ford government’s subsidies to private long-term care companies.

The Ontario PC Party did not respond to requests for comment from PressProgress.

 

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
Mitchell Thompson
Ontario Reporter
Mitchell Thompson is PressProgress’ Ontario reporter. His reporting has a special focus on workers and communities, and public services and privatization, and public accountability.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-06-015 Analysis

Manitoba Government Gave $50 Million to Companies Linked to Secretive Religious Sect

Related Stories

New

Infrastructure Bank Wants To Let Private Finance ‘Renew’ the ‘Water Sector’

View the post
New

Manitoba Government Gave $50 Million to Companies Linked to Secretive Religious Sect

View the post
NEW

Ontario PC Candidate Advocated Cuts to Number of Teachers and Early Childhood Educators

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.