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Ontario fines two LTC homes for not complying with air conditioning law

TORONTO — Ontario has levied a pair of $1,100 fines against two long-term care homes for not providing air conditioning in resident rooms.
Ontario Minister for Long Term Care Paul Calandra, walks past healthcare workers after an announcement at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Thursday, August 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — Ontario has levied a pair of $1,100 fines against two long-term care homes for not providing air conditioning in resident rooms.

Legislation passed last year required that homes install air conditioning in all resident rooms by June 22 of this year.

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

Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra said in a statement that another 24 homes are expected to be compliant by Sept. 22, but that these two homes were fined because they were not working with the ministry to achieve full air conditioning.

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

A spokesperson for McCormick Home said the operator's board is reviewing its options for responding to the compliance order from the ministry.

"Our residents’ quality of life is our top priority, and we work diligently every day to ensure their comfort, safety and wellbeing," 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 monitor temperatures which are 26 deg. C or less which meets the Ministry’s requirements," CEO Heather Martin wrote.

"We are in the process of preparing a report for submission to the ministry to respond to their order."

The ministry says nearly every outstanding home has purchased air conditioning equipment and provided the ministry with receipts. Calandra has previously said supply chain issues are partly to blame for the delays in having all homes up to standard.

More than 300 air conditioning units had been held since July at the Port Authority of Montreal and were well back in queue, but Calandra spoke to federal Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra about them and the units were released on Aug. 5, the government said.

The two homes that have been fined have now been ordered to be in compliance by Sept. 16 or face another fine. The ministry could also direct a home to stop admissions, suspend a licence and take over a long-term care home, or revoke the licence and have an interim manager operate the home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press