Coroner’s Inquest Begins Into Montreal Area Care Home Where Dozens Died of COVID 19

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
September 7, 2021 Updated: September 7, 2021

MONTREAL—An inquest into a Montreal-area long-term care home where dozens died during the first wave of COVID-19 began today with coroner Géhane Kamel promising to search for the truth of what happened.

In her opening remarks, Kamel said it is not her job to determine criminal or civil responsibility but rather to “shed a light” on the 47 deaths that occurred at the Residence Herron.

Kamel is investigating the deaths at seven Quebec seniors residences and long−term care homes, but the portion of the hearings addressing Herron was suspended earlier this year while prosecutors decided whether to lay charges against the former owners.

The Quebec prosecutor’s office announced last month that the evidence in the case did not meet the bar for criminal charges.

A report commissioned by the provincial government accused the owners of “organizational negligence’’ that resulted in a failure to meet residents’ needs as the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020.

The hearings into Herron will hear from dozens of witnesses, beginning this morning with a police officer and the head of Montreal’s public health department.