DEADLY CARBON MONOXIDE LINK IN SASKATCHEWAN SENIORS' HOME RESULTS IN CHARGES AGAINST LOCAL HEALTH REGION

Jan 15, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Ontario MPP Ernie Hardeman has been trying for 3 years to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in this province.  He’s trying to prevent what happened 2 years ago in Saskatoon when 3 elderly people died at a seniors’ home in a carbon monoxide leak.  The local Saskatoon Health Region has been charged with 11 offences related to a gas leak from a boiler at St. Mary’s Villa.  Spokesperson Bonnie Blakely says the region knew charges were a possibility, “but because we’ve responded to all the contraventions as of October of last year and we’ve been working with labour.  And we’ve not had a signal from labour that they were moving in this direction.  I guess we might’ve thought we would’ve received some sort of nod or heads up that this was coming down given that we’ve been working so well together.”

Staff at St. Mary’s Villa initially thought residents were getting sick because of a stomach virus, exhaustion due to the Christmas season, food poisoning or tuberculosis.   Even as some workers got splitting headaches and double vision, they never thought gas poisoning was a possibility.

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