May 27, 2021
By Jane Brown
Last Summer during a heatwave, Ontario’s Premier made a promise, after it went public that many long term care homes in the province did not have air conditioning.
“We’re going to move forward rapidly, we’re going to make sure that the common areas within the buildings are air conditioned,” Doug Ford said in July of 2020, “Just imagine sitting up in a third story room, and I can’t imagine sitting there in 27 or 28 degrees of heat in a room, and it’s just unacceptable. We’ll support this, we’ll look into funds to support this as well, but we’re bringing this forward immediately,” Doug Ford committed last July.
Wednesday evening, embattled Long Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said it will take the next four years for all long term care residents to have air conditioning.
Now on Thursday morning, we are learning that Ontario’s long term care homes were mandated by the governing PCs at Queens Park to provide air conditioning in so called “designated cooling areas” by May 15th of this year.
Merrilee Fullerton held a news conference Thursday morning to announce 105-million dollars has been provided by Ontario taxpayers to help nursing homes not only meet the regulations but to exceed the new rules and where possible provide cooling throughout the building, including in residents’ rooms.
Fullerton did not say whether independent inspections have verified this claim.
She says last year, 79 long term care homes had no air conditioning at all.