Fact Check: Who’s in charge?

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TORONTO – Today, Doug Ford hid behind doctors in misrepresenting the powers of the Premier of Ontario. Twice under questioning, Ford said he did not have the power to take action and that the authority was with the Chief Medical Officer.

While the Chief Medical Officer has certain powers, most decisions are made by order in council by cabinet.

Laura Stone of the Globe & Mail asked the following question:

“Hi, Premier, on the military aid piece, what has led you to this point where you’re now looking to call in the military to five homes? How much aid are you looking for? How many people – what kind of personnel do you need and why does it seem like your government has resisted every step of the way these proactive calls for more testing, for limiting staff to one home – now military aid, which I asked your government about on April 11th? So if you can please answer those questions as to why now and why you didn’t do this earlier.”

Here are the facts on who’s in charge:

Calling in the Military
This is not a decision for the Chief Medical Officer, this rests solely with the Premier and cabinet.

Testing Criteria
While the Chief Medical Officer can make recommendations, this is set by the Premier through the Ministry of Health. The Premier has and always had the power to set the testing criteria.

Limiting Staff to One Home in Long Term Care
While the Chief Medical Officer made a recommendation on this it was not binding. The authority to make a binding decision rests solely with the Premier and cabinet. One month after BC took action, the Premier issued an order in council which took effect today.

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