Friday, 20 February 2015

Lessons learned from tragedy

A year after that devastating fire in a Quebec seniors' home that killed 32 seniors, the coroner has made recommendations. The one that made the news: mandatory sprinklers. I am wondering why it took a year to come up with that recommendation?  Why did their government not immediately legislate something around sprinklers in the wake of the tragedy? And how long will it take to institute this and other recommendations across the province of Quebec?

This is not the first time that fire in a seniors residence caused the loss of life. The 2009 fire in an Orillia home resulted in legislation in Ontario and as of 2014, automatic sprinklers are mandatory in all retirement homes. I suppose because senior care is under each province, legislation specific to retirement homes and long-term care, depends on the province and it seems, depends on what each learns from their own mistakes and tragedies. I am wondering why there are some things that are just not National and why, when avoidable deaths occur, we don't do things to prevent more of them, even if the disaster happened in another part of Canada. There are always more questions than answers when I read news items like this and in fairness, there may be far more to this and the need to go through an inquest in order to create necessary legislation, then the general public realizes.

I am very glad that there were significant lessons learned from such a horrible ordeal - I only wish so many didn't have to die, in order to protect others in the future. For the families and community that lost loved ones, I am certain that inquest findings do not lessen their grief . And I wonder how many other tragedies have to occur before every province recognizes that we as a country, have to do a better job of protecting our seniors.

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