Hamilton

Retirement homes regulator plans to issue licences to reopen 3 sites, including Rosslyn

Ontario's retirement homes regulator says it intends to issue licences to reopen three retirement residences — including the Rosslyn — on the condition that their former owners are not given any decision-making authority when it comes to the finances or operation of the homes.

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Rosslyn infected 64 residents and 22 staff, and 16 people died

The Rosslyn Retirement Residence was evacuated on May 15 following a massive COVID-19 outbreak. Now the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority says it plans to issue a licence to reopen the facility. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Ontario's retirement homes regulator says it intends to issue licences to reopen three retirement residences — including the Rosslyn — on the condition that their former owners are not given any decision-making authority when it comes to the finances or operation of the homes.

The Rosslyn was evacuated on May 15, 2020, amid a massive outbreak that one Hamilton official described as a crisis of care. Sixty-four residents and 22 staff members tested positive for the virus. Sixteen residents died.

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) revoked its licence, along with six other homes connected to the Martino families, which owned the Royal Crest Lifecare chain of nursing homes that went bankrupt in 2003.

A lawyer representing the Martinos did not immediately respond to questions about the sites and conditions.

Now the RHRA says it plans to issue licences to operate three of those homes again — Cathmar Manor, Greycliff Manor and the Rosslyn.

The regulator's database shows an applicant named Laura Philp has applied to run the three facilities.

"The registrar intends to issue licences to operate these homes as retirement homes with certain conditions imposed to ensure residents have the protection they need to live in a safe environment with confidence and dignity," RHRA spokesperson Phil Norris said in an email to CBC News.

The RHRA outlined five conditions each for Cathmar and Greycliff, and six for Rosslyn.

All three homes must employ a manager with experience directing a retirement home in Ontario, and who will be charged with ensuring compliance with the Retirement Homes Act. The licensee must also notify the RHRA immediately if the homes hire a new manager.

The new licensee also cannot permit anyone who previously held a licence or acted as an officer or director of Cathmar, Greycliff, Rosslyn, Northview Senior's Residence, Sheridan Lodge, Dundas Retirement Place or Montgomery Retirement Home to have any decision-making authority when it comes to the operation, finances or business of running the home.

The regulator does state that the licensee may employ someone who previously worked at the homes listed above, or held their licences, but only in an advisory capacity, for a maximum of three months. Again, the RHRA states, if that happens, the person hired on cannot have any decision-making authority.

The fourth and fifth conditions dictate that the new licensee not permit anyone who was an officer or director of Royal Crest Lifecare Group Inc. or a shareholder in Ultracare Management Inc. to have any decision-making authority for the homes.

A paramedic pushes a stretcher into the Rosslyn Retirement Residence on May 15, 2020. Health-care staff spent the next eight hours transferring residents from the home to hospital amid a COVID-19 outbreak. (Dan Taekema/CBC)


The sixth condition, which is only in place for Rosslyn, states that no residents can live there until the licensee has satisfied the RHRA that the home is "clean and sanitary, and well-maintained," that appropriate staff are in place and that policies have been set up to protect residents from COVID-19.

The registrar retains the ability to change his decision if "relevant information" is raised, according to the conditions.

Norris said a licence to operate each facility will only be granted when the RHRA receives confirmation that the sale of each home has been finalized.

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