OTTAWA -- British Columbia Conservative MP Marc Dalton has deleted a tweet asking whether it is time to start reopening businesses if most of the deaths from COVID-19 in this country are older people in long-term care homes.

In a tweet Monday morning, Dalton said the average life expectancy in care homes is two years and 65 per cent usually die in the first year after moving in.

Then he questioned whether it is "time to start moving Canada back to work."

The post was deleted shortly after The Canadian Press began inquiring about it.

Dalton's tweet linked to a story from The Globe and Mail reporting positive signs Canada is starting to flatten the curve in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the notable exception of outbreaks at long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec.

Scott Duvall, the federal NDP's critic for seniors issues, says Dalton's tweet is heartless, disrespectful and unacceptable.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2020.