EDMONTON –The PCs have proven that safety for Alberta seniors is not a priority under the Prentice government, New Democrat Seniors critic David Eggen said today.
“Internal government documents show it will cost $250 million to get sprinklers into senior’s facilities. The $70 million dollars the PCs committed today falls far short and leaves thousands of seniors without protection,” Eggen said.
The PCs announced today that they’re committing to upgrade fire safety measures in government-owned seniors facilities across the province. Prentice couldn’t say how many facilities would be upgraded or what the timeline for completion would look like.
“The tragedy in Quebec earlier this year brought this issue into the spotlight. We’ve been calling on this government to install sprinklers and adequately staff all care facilities, not just in government-owned facilities,” said Eggen.
In January a deadly fire ripped through a senior’s home in L’Isle- Verte, Quebec, killing 32 seniors. Ontario has enacted legislation requiring sprinklers and retrofits in all facilities.
“Sadly, it seems it will take a tragedy here at home to convince this government to take action. The time is now. We need to be proactive and require sprinklers and retrofits in all seniors’ facilities in the province,” said Eggen.
Roughly 42,000 seniors are currently living in lodges, assisted living and long term care facilities in Alberta.
69% of seniors facilities don’t have sprinklers. 32% of seniors lodges don’t have sprinklers.