Town blamed for delays at Place Mont-Roc

About three quarters of the residents have said they want to return to the Spen- ce Avenue facility. If a permit is awarded soon, renovations may be completed by the end of Novem- ber. Renovations to the home, which em- ploys 32, will include the installation of a sprinkler system. The structure sustained extensive dam- age during the tragedy, the first fatal fire in Hawkesbury since 2008. HAWKESBURY | About 50 Montebello Packaging employees have been laid off for an indefinite period after the Hawkesbury company lost a contract with a major cosmetics firm. The development was cited when workers were handed their notices last week. The firm, which makes containers for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries, told employees that the work force reduction was temporary. However, some employees say they were told the layoffs could last three to six months. About 30 unionized employees, rep- resented by the United Steelworkers, re- main at the Aberdeen Street factory. The affected workers were already par- ticipating in a job-sharing program. A division of the Jim Pattison Group, Montebello Packaging also has opera- tions in Lachine, Québec, as well as Vir- ginia and Kentucky. Man charged after threats made HAWKESBURY | A 60-year-old South Glengarry man has been charged after threats were made during a phone call to the Hawkesbury town hall. John Regimbald, of Concession 5, North Lancaster, was charged with five counts of criminal harassment and four counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. During the arrest, the suspect was found in possession of marijuana, reports the Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Po- lice detachment. He was consequently charged with possession of marijuana. The accused is scheduled to appear in court October 10. The charges were laid after the detachment received a com- plaint from the town of Hawkesbury re- garding a man who had called the town hall making “illogical utterances” about the army, police and local municipalities. The caller would have complained about the Canadian Armed Forces’ presence in the Hawkesbury area and their activities. The man would have threatened to shoot down army helicopters and would have threatened Hawkesbury town hall em- ployees, local and provincial officials. He also allegedly uttered the name of a ter- rorist group during a conversation with a town clerk. An investigation led by Con- stable Eddy Saardi led to the arrest. 50 laid off

complied with every town request in the ten years it has owned Place Mont-Roc, said Delacourt. Since the fire, Putnam Hall has also com- plied with every demand made by the building and fire departments, he said. However, after spending $15,000 on a safety report, the company was told it had to produce a report from an architect and an engineer, said Delacourt. “We have done everything we could at our end. But there is always something new. I don’t understand it. You would think every- one would want to work together so these people could get back into their homes,” he commented. About 85 people were forced to find alternate accommodations in the wake of the blaze that claimed the lives of Marie- Anne Bonin, 84, and her husband, Jean-Paul Bonin, 87.

The facility has been closed since the May 25 fire which claimed the lives of two resi- dents. Since then, the three-storey building has been gutted, but renovations could not begin until the town issued a building per- mit. “We have done everything the town has asked us to do,”Delacourt commented. But, he said, once one requirement was satis- fied, the town presented another demand. An insurance company has served notice to the municipality that the town may be sued for financial losses incurred by Putnam Hall because of the delays. Meanwhile, some displaced Place Mont- Roc residents are considering legal action of their own. Since June, the owner of the building had been awaiting approval of a building per- mit for the renovations. The company has


HAWKESBURY | The town of Hawkesbury faces possible legal action over delays en- countered in re-opening the Place Mont- Roc retirement home, the scene of a fatal fire in May. “We have faced road block after road block after road block,”said a frustrated Paul Delacourt. The managing director of PutnamHall Re- tirement Residences, the Oakville firm that owns the Spence Avenue facility, blames the municipality for stalling renovations, which were scheduled to be completed by September or October. But the town only issued a building per- mit last week.




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