Premier Kathleen Wynne makes unexpected visit to Woodstock, has little to say on Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry

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Premier Kathleen Wynne had little to say about the promised Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry during her short and unexpected visit here Thursday.

The premier told the Sentinel-Review that the details of the inquiry will be made public, but didn’t offer a timeline for it.

“We’re putting (the inquiry) in place,” Wynne said. “We’re committed to doing an inquiry and the terms of reference and all of the details will be made public.”

Demands for a public inquiry have grown since the beginning of June, when Wettlaufer pleaded guilty to murdering eight long-term care home residents with insulin injections and trying to kill four others.

The murders happened between 2007 and 2014 at nursing homes in London and Woodstock. She was criminally charged last fall, after confessing while under psychiatric care.

Since the Liberal government announced it would launch an inquiry, there has been no update, leaving Ontarians in the dark over details of the investigation into the worst serial murderer in Canadian health-care history.

During her time in Woodstock, Wynne visited a number of local businesses along Dundas Street. The Ontario premier was also asked if she had heard any backlash from business owners regarding the $15 minimum-wage hike set for 2019.

“Nobody raised it with me,” she said. “I know that there are small businesses that are worried about the transition and we’ve made a commitment to put in place some supports to help them through that transition and we’ll be bringing those out in the fall.”

Wynne’s visit came as a surprise to local media, with the premier not announcing her intent to visit Woodstock on her official itinerary.

Woodstock Mayor Trevor Birtch walked through the shops with Wynne during her visit and said this was an opportunity for the premier to have a “whistle stop.”

“(She was) here in Woodstock to be able to see some of the local downtown merchants and hear some of the concerns from individuals on the street,” Birtch said.

With files from Sentinel-Review reporter Heather Rivers and Free Press reporter Jennifer Bieman

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