standards before the December 31 deadline, they would no longer be eligible for the UCPR tenant subsidy. i8FDBOOPUTVCTJEJ[FUIFQFPQMFXIPMJWF in those residences,” said Comtois-Lalonde, “because they (residences) do not meet the standards.” Back on track Seniors’ home facilities, which were struck off the UCPR list after missing the dea- dline, could still re-qualify. Comtois-Lalonde explained that the owners just needed to get the sprinkler system upgrade done, have the local fire department do an inspection and certify that the facility meets the provincial fire safety standard, and then apply to UCPR social services for reinstatement on the senior tenants’ subsidy list. Almost all of the facilities, which were removed from the list after December 31, are now reinstated after providing the UCPR with their recertifications. As of press time, one facility is waiting for its fire safety ins- pection certification before it applies for reinstatement. One other facility has yet to get its upgrade done. Better public transportation is one of the priorities for the counties this year, with plans underway to develop a Prescott-Russell car pool program. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell’s economic development and tourism depart- ment (UCPR) have applied for a $25,000 Green Municipal Fund grant, to cover almost half the consultant costs for a feasibility study on a proposed car pooling platform app for the Prescott-Russell region. i8FMPPLBUFWFSZJTTVFXFIBWFJOUIF region, which is an issue for both businesses and communities,” said Lavigne, “and we look at things which can help.” She noted that public transportation op- portunities keep cropping up in discussions GREGG CHAMBERLAIN

Almost every senior’s retirement and care facility in Prescott-Russell has a fire-fighting sprinkler system installed now, to meet current provincial safety demands. Anne Comtois-Lalonde, social services director for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) untile her retrirement the end of February, confirmed during a phone interview on February 15, that 28 out of 30 large-scale seniors’ home operations, which her department deals with, meet the provincial fire safety standards now. One more facility is in the process of getting its official fire safety certification while another still needs to get an upgrade done. “There’s only the one that’s really behind,” Comtois-Lalonde said. The situation now is different from what it was last year when a large number of seniors’ retirement homes, which are on the social service department’s tenant subsidy list, did not meet the current provincial fire safety standards. Those new standards had been in place since January 1, 2014, when the previous Liberal provincial government approved legislation for new fire safety pro- tocols for seniors’ residences in Ontario, in the wake of a tragic and fatal fire at a retirement home. The 2004 legislation set a deadline of December 31, 2018, for all seniors’ retire- ment and long-term-care facilities to upgrade their premises to meet the new standards, which included installation of an automated fire-suppression sprinkler system. But Com- tois-Lalonde reported to UCPR council last fall, that many of the residences, which her department dealt with as part of the UCPR tenant subsidy program for seniors’ living accommodations, had not upgraded their facilities yet to meet the new standards or were still in the process. The situation created a potential liability problem for the UCPR. Comtois-Lalonde’s department notified the owner/operators of those facilities that if they did not get their upgrades done to meet the provincial

Presque tous les établissements de retraite et de soins pour personnes âgées de Prescott-Russell répondent maintenant aux normes provinciales actuelles en matière de sécurité incendie. Tous les foyers de soins pour personnes âgées de l’Ontario avaient jusqu’au 31 décembre 2018 pour installer des systèmes de gicleurs afin de respecter les normes provinciales actuelles en matière de sécurité-incendie - archives. UNITED COUNTIES OF PRESCOTT-RUSSELL WORK ON CAR POOL APP

with the business sector, about how to stimulate economic growth in the region. Some employers report that some potential employees always ask what kind of public transit programs are available in the area. The UCPR are now working on a five-year pilot project for a regional public transit program, which can link to existing municipal bus services in Prescott-Russell. Lavigne noted that a car pool app that would be available to anyone through their mobile phone’s Internet link “would be a very good match” with the PR transit project. A car pool app, Lavigne observed, would provide more transportation opportunities, other than Uber or other similar services, for

residents who need to commute to work or need to run errands. It would be useful for seniors who do not have a vehicle or their own and may not have a family member or friend available to provide them with transport. Right now, Lavigne’s department is waiting for a response to the Green Municipal Fund grant application. If that is approved, then UIF6$13DBOIJSFBDPOTVMUBOUUPPSHBOJ[F public consultations as part of a feasibility study for developing the app. The goal would be to have a Prescott-Russell car pool app ready by this autumn, in time for the launch of the Prescott-Russell public transit pilot project.

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