Quebec announces new sprinkler requirements for seniors' residences
Quebec government reacts to L'Isle-Verte coroner's report into tragedy that left 32 dead
The Quebec government is making automatic sprinklers mandatory in most seniors' residences following the coroner's report into the L'Isle-Verte tragedy.
Labour Minister Sam Hamad made the announcement Tuesday in Quebec City.
"After L'Isle-Verte, we had the obligation to act to make sure such a tragedy never happens again," Hamad said.
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Hamad said residences without sprinkler systems will have five years to install them. The province will provide up to $260 million in financial aid to help with the upgrades.
There are some exceptions.
Seniors' homes that accommodate a maximum of nine people and facilities with only one floor that do not include more than eight lodgings will be exempt from the new rules, he said.
The wing of the Résidence du Havre that burned to the ground was not equipped with automatic sprinklers.
Making them mandatory was one of Coroner Cyrille Delâge's key recommendations.
Delâge had strong words last week for some owners of seniors' residences and politicians whom he said might be angry his recommendations will cost money, as retrofitting older homes with sprinklers can be quite costly.
"Let them (be angry) up until the moment that another disaster like this one happens again," he said.
"They'll have to explain to their constituents why they did nothing."
On Monday, the Quebec Association of Fire Chiefs said it agrees with many of the recommendations outlined in the report and urged the province to take swift action.
with files from Canadian Press