Owners of privately owned retirement homes will have an extra two years to meet a sprinkler requirement set by the province in the wake of a major fire in January 2014 that claimed the lives of 32 seniors in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec.
Seniors’ Minister Marguerite Blais said at a press conference that a program put in place in 2015 has failed and measures needed to be taken to accelerate the pace.
There are 1,791 such private residences in Quebec, and just 799 are equipped with sprinklers.
Blais explained that there were a number of irritants in the previous government’s program — particularly in terms of financial assistance — which led some owners to shut down rather than make the costly change.
Owners of the residences will now have until December 2022 — instead of December 2020 — to install sprinkler systems which can cost as much as $300,000.
The Quebec government also announced they’ll provide quicker and better financial help to owners to get the work completed.