ACTUALITÉ / NEWS
Hawkesbury tragedy renews home safety debate
said Dubuc, adding that it was possible the
the nearby Prescott-Russell Residence,
Under Ontario law, the facility, which
investigation could be completed thisweek.
which does not have sprinklers.
was built in the 1980s and passed a
However, he and Fire Chief Ghislain
The united counties of Prescott-Russell,
Hawkesbury Fire Department inspection
Pigeon stressed that Place Mont-Roc
which own the home for the aged, have
in March, was not required to have such a
The tragedy at Place Mont-Roc in
residents would have to be patient.
committed to installing a sprinkler system
system. It is not clear whether sprinklers
Hawkesbury last Friday gained national
Although the fire was confined to the
at the Cartier Boulevard residence. The
would have saved the lives of the couple
attention and reinforced calls for
third floor, the interior of the building
absence of the devices is one of several
mandatory sprinkler systems inOntario’s
sustained “extensive damage,” said
defects that have prompted the regional
floor of the building, said Jeff Minten of the
government to begin plans for the
Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office.
The privately-owned Spence Avenue
There is water and smoke damage
replacement of the facility.
However, the deaths have bolstered the
where Marie-Anne Bonin, 84, and her
throughout the building. “We do not want
campaign for obligatory sprinkler systems
husband, Jean-Paul Bonin, 87, died May
people to have expectations that they may
deaths inOntario’s long-term care facilities.
in homes for the aged in the province.
25 did not have a sprinkler system.
Premier DaltonMcGuinty says he wants
Ironically, many of the 87 Place Mont-
This was the first fatal fire in
the fire chief. Dubuc added that there is a
to speed up a review of home for the aged
Roc residents were temporarily housed at
Hawkesbury since 2008.
possibility the building is contaminated.
Meanwhile, New Democratic Party
with residents present.
M.P.P. Paul Miller renewed calls on the
No way of telling if
Most of the displaced residents have
government to pass legislation requiring
found alternate accommodation.
automatic sprinklers in Ontario’s
sprinklers could have
“The safety of our seniors
“This is a question of public safety and
protecting ourmost vulnerable seniors. The
and vulnerable citizens in
saved couple: investigators
time for political games and stall tactics is
care and treatment
over. The government needs to act now,”
said Miller. “How many more families will
facilities is of theutmost
lose loved ones before automatic sprinkler
systems are made mandatory in retirement
importance to our
homes?” he asked.
Miller first introduced a bill to mandate
As M.P.P. for Glengarry-Prescott-
sprinklers in retirement homes in 2010.
Russell and on behalf of all residents of
The Hawkesbury tragedy came on the
this riding I would like to offermy deepest
same day that a coroner’s inquest into the
condolences to the family and friends of
2009 deaths of four seniors at an Orillia
the two victims of the Place Mont-Roc
retirement home recommended a
Residence fire in Hawkesbury.
requirement for automatic sprinklers. This
is the fourth inquest in Ontario to make this
and complete recovery to the two fire
fighters who were injured while fighting
“Until mandatory automatic sprinkler
the fire. There is an investigation into the
systems are introduced then we are putting
our seniors at an unacceptable risk.
This past Friday, the Ministry of
Ministers have a responsibility to act and
Community Safety and Correctional
Services received the recommendations
its duty to make public safety its first
from the coroner’s inquest of theMuskoka
priority,” added Miller.
Heights Retirement Home. The Ministry
Miller’s Private Member’s Bill, Fire
is in the process of reviewing the
Protection and PreventionAmendment Act
recommendations. They will provide
(Retrofitting of Retirement Homes with
valuable information that can be used in
Automatic Sprinklers), 2012 would ensure
the technical consultations we have
that all retirement homes are fitted with
Photo Richard Mahoney
launched. The safety of our seniors and
vulnerable citizens in care and treatment
built after 1997 are subject to these
facilities is of the utmost importance to our
The consultations will examine annual
Dubuc and Minten said last Saturday
inspections, staff training and additional
retrofit requirements, including
of the fire were being explored.
sprinklers. The first consultation meeting
Dubuc noted that some witnesses said
is scheduled for June 13, 2012.
that they had seen lightning prior to the fire.
We know that we can’t approach this
The investigation includes an inspection
issue thinking that a one size fits all
of the roof to determine if a lightning strike
solution will work across Ontario. For
may have sparked the blaze.
Résidence pour personnes retraitées, Lachute QC
example, the needs of urban versus rural
Such a probe typically looks at weather
residences differ greatly. We also have to
conditions, the electrical system, the
consider factors like the size of the facility,
performance of the building and human
Appartements 1 1/2, 2 1/2 , 3 1/4 , 4 1/2 . Maisonnées, studios avec services. Convalescences. Produits substituts pour personnes plus autonomes, sécurité et service à domicile.
whether it has access to a municipal water
system or is on a well.
“There are several things to examine,”
We want to do this quickly, but we
want to ensure that we do this right and in
a way as to avoid another such tragedy.
G RANT C RACK , M.P.P.
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