A Centre which provides rehabilitation care for the elderly in Toronto is to enlarge its facilities with a $70 million investment, and will dedicate a number of beds for the use of the Maltese community, which is getting on in years even in Canada. When she visited this facility and spoke with the residents, President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca expressed her appreciation of this health service for the Maltese community in Canada.
Located in an area known as Little Malta, Runnymeade Health Care, a rehabilitation centre for patients needing personalised care, has announced a project to extend the centre and build a new facility, a major portion of which wil be dedicated exclusively for Maltese patients.
Connie Galea Dejak, President and Chief Executive of Runnymede Health Centre, told TVM that the Centre had shown concern that the Maltese population in an area with such a historic link to Malta was ageing, and at the same time no long-term treatment facilities were available for Maltese patients.
Connie Galea Dejak added that “the Ontario Provincial Government allocated and approved the building of a long-term care facility and more specifically that in it there will be cultural beds designated to the Maltese community …. The actual long-term care facility will be 200 beds … Were looking at a $70 million project”.
President Coleiro Preca stated that this investment showed how much Canada believed in the needs of the elderly, addg that she would be returning to Malta with her mind at rest that the Maltese will be given the best treatment at the time when they most need it.
Connie Galea Dejak told TVM that this facility has long been wished for by the Maltese in Toronto, and will take in its first patient in 2022.
This news was welcomed by Maltese residents living in the vicinity, among them Godwin Darmanin, whose mother Vincenza is 101 years old and is looked after at this Centre.
Darmanin stated that “my mother not only wanted to come to this Centre, but now she doesn’t want to leave, as the roots of the Maltese are right here in this hospital.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the President met with representatives of The Speech and Stuttering Institute and The Integrated Services for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, with the aim of exploring opportunities for collaboration between Malta and Canada.
The President also met with the Governor of Ontario, Elisabeth Dowdeswell, and with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Dave Levec. During these meetings the President spoke about how the Maltese-Canadians have retained their identity, whilst at the same time achieving success in Canadian Society.