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Established by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020, the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19. 

The Task Force established a series of Working Groups to rapidly develop Policy Briefings, with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions. 

Executive Summary
Full Report

Overview of "Repair and Recovery in Long-Term Care: Restoring Trust in the Aftermath of COVID-19 (2020-2023)"

Three and a half years after the World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and the disease first appeared in a Canadian long-term care (LTC) home, older adults in LTC still die every week from COVID-19. The LTC workforce emergency continues and remaining staff work short-handed, some without benefits. Despite new cash injections, LTC homes remain deeply under-resourced. 

At the time of this report the federal government is in the process of public engagement preceding a new Safe Long-Term Care Act. This legislation, if it is more than aspirational, could close many of the gaps. Particularly with implementation of the LTC standards, it could even be a game changer – maybe. The months ahead are important. The need for federal and provincial action and leadership is urgent. 

In this report we have updated where Canada’s LTC reform stands now, using publicly available sources. We make 8 recommendations, some of them repetitions of the ones we made in our 2020 report for the Royal Society of Canada, Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and the Future of Long-Term Care. We have deliberated and reviewed what has been written about Canada and other countries’ performance during the pandemic. We scanned scientific papers and reputable reports from global agencies, such as the work from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the Australian Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety. The United Nations Decade of Healthy Aging initiative (2021–2030) places a strong focus on the social and moral determinants of health – and a stronger focus on values and human rights. As with all major disasters, natural or communicable, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significantly disproportionate impact on older people, women, and other equity-deserving people. All people were not treated fairly. 

Authors of the Report

Carole Estabrooks, FRSC (Chair), University of Alberta

Pat Armstrong, FRSC, York University

Anne Bourbonnais, Université de Montréal

Gail Donner, University of Toronto

Colleen Flood, FRSC, Queens University

Janice Keefe, Mount Saint Vincent University

Dorothy Pringle, University of Toronto 

James Silvius, University of Calgary

Sharon Straus, FRSC, University of Toronto

Michael Wolfson, University of Ottawa

Peer Review Monitor

Jeremy McNeil, FRSC, Western University

Peer Reviewers

Naomi Black, York University

Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, FRSC, Université de Moncton

Ian Graham, FRSC, University of Ottawa


For further information or media requests, contact Paige Beveridge, Communications Manager, at (613) 991-6990 /

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