Long-term care homes in London and Sarnia fined for failing to comply with air conditioning law

Ontario has imposed a pair of $1,100 fines on two long-term care homes for failing to provide air conditioning to residents’ rooms.

Legislation passed last year required homes to install air conditioning in all resident bedrooms by June 22 this year.

But as of Thursday, only 554 of the province’s 627 homes met that standard.

Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra said in a statement that 24 more homes are expected to be compliant by September 22, but those two homes have been fined for not working with the department to get full air conditioning.

The government says Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, Ontario has refused to install air conditioning and has no plan in place to do so, while McCormick Home in London, Ontario is debating the definition of air conditioning and does not report temperatures publicly.

A spokesperson for McCormick Home said the operator’s board was reviewing its options for responding to the ministry’s compliance order.

“Our residents’ quality of life is our top priority, and we work diligently every day to ensure their comfort, safety and well-being,” Monica Fleck said in a statement.

Vision Nursing Home said in a statement that it has a cooling system that provides air conditioning to resident rooms.

“We are monitoring temperatures of 26 degrees or less, which meets ministry requirements,” CEO Heather Martin wrote.

“We are preparing a report to submit to the ministry to respond to their injunction.”

The ministry says nearly all outstanding homes have purchased air conditioning equipment and provided receipts to the ministry. Calandra previously said supply chain issues were partly to blame for delays in bringing all homes up to standard.

More than 300 air conditioning units had been held since July at the Montreal Port Authority and were back in the queue, but Calandra told federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra about it and the units were released on August 5, the government said.

The two homes that were fined must now be in compliance by September 16 or face another fine. The ministry could also order a home to stop admissions, suspend a license and take over a long-term care home, or revoke the license and turn the home over to an interim manager.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 25, 2022.

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