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Mcguinty wants fire safety in seniors\’ homes improved faster
Premier Dalton McGuinty says he wants to speed up a review of firesafety improvements in seniors\’ homes following the death of anelderly couple. The review is expected to take a year, but McGuinty said Mondaythat he\’s not sure it should take that long. \”I have a concern about the length of time devoted to thisconsultation process,\” McGuinty said in the legislature. \”I\’m going to be speaking to the minister to see what we can do toaccelerate that ..
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The issue is not whether but when we move aheadand, in fact, what kind of retirement homes we put those sprinklersin.\” Pressure is mounting on the Liberals to take action after thecouple, who were in their 80s, died Friday after a fire broke out at a retirement home in Hawkesbury, Ont. The facility didn\’t have sprinklers. An elderly couple were killed Friday in a fire at a Hawkesburyseniors\’ home that was not equipped with sprinklers. (CBC) The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs renewed its call for urgentaction in the wake of the fatal fire, saying 48 seniors have diedsince 1980 under similar circumstances.
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There\’s no need for consultations on whether sprinklers should beinstalled when four inquests into other blazes at seniors\’ homeshave recommended that sprinklers be installed in facilities forvulnerable people, the group argues. NDP critic Paul Miller, who has introduced a second privatemember\’s bill that would require all seniors\’ homes to havesprinklers, agrees. \”There\’s been four inquests, the firefighters are on board, thecoroner\’s on board … everyone\’s on board, saying this should gonow, not a year from now,\” Miller said.
\”How many more people have to die before this premier stands up anddoes something?\” The Liberals should support his bill on sprinklers, he said. Private member\’s bills rarely become law without the support of thegovernment. \”For two years now, I\’ve been calling on this government to pass mybill to require sprinklers in retirement homes,\” Miller said in thelegislature. \”Why won\’t this government listen to the experts, act now to savelives and require automatic sprinklers in all retirement homes?\” Any nursing or retirement home built after 1997 must havesprinklers, but those built before that year aren\’t required toinstall them. There are about 4,000 such homes in Ontario,according to the association.
Friday\’s fire at the Place Mont-Roc home, about 100 kilometres eastof Ottawa, forced nearly 90 residents to evacuate. The cause of the blaze, which broke out on the third floor of thefacility, is unknown and the Ontario Fire Marshal has been calledin. That day, a coroner\’s inquest into a fatal 2009 fire at an Orilliaretirement home which didn\’t have sprinklers either releasedits recommendations. The report called for retroactive installation of sprinklers infacilities for vulnerable people, such as retirement homes. The June 2009 blaze at Orillia\’s Muskoka Heights RetirementResidence killed four people and left six elderly residentscritically injured a toll fire officials called needless.
lton McGuinty says he wants to speed up a review of firesafety improvements in seniors\’ ho