A newly-formed senior citizens’ group is taking to the streets to protest new provincial regulations for private seniors’ residences.
The group’s name — the “Carrés Gris” (Grey Squares) — was inspired by the red square symbol worn by Quebec students during the “Maple Spring” tuition-hike protests in 2012.
Its members are also reviving the banging of pots and pans to voice their displeasure with new provincial regulations that, among other things, call on private residences for both autonomous and semi-autonomous seniors to have each resident’s medical history on file.
Grey Squares member Jean-Pierre Martin said that measure goes too far.
“My medical report is something between me, my doctor and my hospital. It shouldn’t be given to the hands of people who are not competent to deal with this, or to manage my health,” Martin told CBC News.
The new measures treat seniors’ like babies, he said.
The changes also require seniors’ residences to install intercoms in each apartment and have at least one staff member on site at all times.
The Quebec government says the new measures are intended to protect residents in the event of a fire like the one that killed 32 people and left more than a dozen injured at a seniors’ home in L'ile Verte in January.
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David Cassidy, head of Seniors Action Quebec, says the new staffing policies are needed.
“Especially if they're semi autonomous or totally dependent, that they need a higher staffing requirement just to get people out of buildings.
Quebec's Minister for Families and Seniors, Francine Charbonneau, said she will listen to the concerns expressed by the Grey Squares.
But her first priority is ensuring the safety of seniors, she said.
The Grey Squares were scheduled to take their protest to the streets of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Wednesday.