Despite numerous criticisms targeting seniors’ homes, particularly over the explosion in their construction costs, the minister responsible for seniors and caregivers, Margaret Blaise, is defending her tooth and nail project.
While visiting a home construction site for the elderly in Levis, the minister spoke with TVA Nouvel about the project.
Our Bureau of Investigation revealed at the beginning of June that the average construction cost per room would range from $600,000 to $1.2 million.
An amount justified by the Minister responsible for the elderly by recalling that homes for the elderly are designed for long-term use.
“Yes, but we don’t build for 30 years, we build for 75, 100 years. We build for a long time. Plus, it’s electricity, it’s LEED, we also think about the environment.”
She explained that many changes were also made due to the pandemic.
“We have improved our plans because there has been COVID-19. We have decided to ramp up mechanical ventilation and add several things, specifically in terms of protection and we want more spaces for employees,” says Ms. Place.
But the secretary is not fooled, she knows that overheating in construction complicates matters, increases costs, and delays some projects.
“We will do everything to meet our schedule. We have had to return nine calls for bids due to a lack of bidders or due to excessive costs,” she confirms.
“It’s concerning, but we have strategies,” said Caroline Bourgeois, vice president of project management, Quebec, of Societe Quebec Infrastructure (SQI).
“We can see some projects that have been delayed by a few months and we will try to contain them as much as possible, but those that are still in progress at the moment, for which we have already made contractual construction commitments, we have a good chance that they will be implemented within the stipulated time frame,” continues Ms. .
delay in delivery
Because of the pitfalls she has faced, the minister responsible for seniors has lowered her target of 2,600 seats in September 2021.
Currently in Quebec, 17 homes for seniors are under development and in two to three weeks there will be 12 more homes, 2,400 places. We’re in development, it’s not far from 2600 for September,” says Margaret Bliss.
The minister wants these new places for seniors to look like homes, not hospitals.
“We don’t make luxury homes, they’re homes that will welcome. Here we are in an environment like you’ve dreamed of: a community, there’s life around us, and there are families,” says Margaret Bliss.
The latter also ensures that these houses will not be “large CHSLDs”.
“There is a big difference. Here, each unit is 12 people with a door for only 12 people with a kitchenette for only 12 people. The CHSLD range is between 16 and 32 people per unit. That is the big difference here,” she explains.
Employees will also play a role in creating more family-friendly environments.
“We want employees to spend more time with the residents, and we want to create an environment at the human level,” Ms. Bliss says.
Hear the full interview with Minister for Seniors Margaret Bliss in the video above.