Submission title

The Dorval seniors’ home








Aaron Derfel


Early in the pandemic the Montreal Gazette shocked the country with a story about the horrific conditions inside one private nursing home in Dorval. Residents were found dehydrated, malnourished, soiled in their own feces and abandoned by staff after COVID-19 began spreading through the home. The story began with a tip to the Gazette’s long-time health reporter, Aaron Derfel. Within hours of online publication, some families were moving their loved ones out of the home, and the West Island health authority moved in to take over. Later, by examining death records, Derfel was able to show far more people died in the home during the outbreak than the health authority admitted, and shone a spotlight on the plight of Canada’s institutionalized elderly. The Premier ordered a police investigation of the original managers for what he called “gross negligence” and inspections of 40 privately run long-term care centres in the province.