The Township of Russell responded recently to a situation at an unlicensed residential care home in Embrun, which has resulted in the closure of the facility. 

According to a statement issued by Mayor Pierre Leroux on June 16, the township received a complaint from the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA) which led municipal staff to conduct an immediate investigation at Villa Fleur-Ange on St-Jacques Road. The fire department and municipal building department determined there was “an immediate threat to life,” within the premises and the township began coordinating with partner agencies to relocate the residents and ensure their safety. 

According to RHRA Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations and Research Farrah Bourre, Villa Fleur-Ange is outside of the agency’s jurisdiction because it is not a licensed retirement home, as defined by the Retirement Homes Act. Due to the facility not being under RHRA jurisdiction, it referred the complaint to the fire department, because there were fire safety concerns regarding the home.

Leroux is grateful that the revelation of the situation at Villa Fleur-Ange was only an inconvenience and did not result in a tragic loss of life. He is pleased that township staff and other agencies mobilized their resources quickly once the situation was discovered. 

“Cases such as this raise many questions and concerns, and the Township will cooperate with the various agencies responsible for investigating this situation within their respective legislative mandates,” Leroux wrote. 

Leroux will be looking for Russell Township council’s support in writing a letter to the Ontario government asking for assurance situations like these do no occur again. He also plans to request an explanation and/or investigation into why the facility was operating under those conditions without proper approvals. Leroux would also like to know what could be done to implement, streamline, and facilitate processes to ensure the situation does not happen again in the community. 

On April 11, 2022, Villa Fleur-Ange was inspected for institutional food safety by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the premises was found to be in compliance with regulations and given a green pass approval.

As of the evening of June 16, the Facebook account for Villa Fleur-Ange had been removed.