The non-profit association Maison de soins palliatifs Sault-Saint-Louis had raised almost half of the 5 million needed for the hospice center on LaSalle’s scenic waterfront and hoped to break ground soon. The group behind the project includes borough business owners, community leaders, and local politicians. Once the center is up and running, it will include eight private rooms and the medical equipment needed to allow terminally-ill patients in LaSalle and adjoining areas to receive end-of-life care in their own neighbourhood.
Father John Walsh is on the planning committee for the new palliative care center for residents of LaSalle, Lachine, and Verdun. “It is meant for the people from these three communities,” Walsh says, ”although anyone from outside will be accepted.” There are no palliative care centers between the east end and west Pointe Claire for people in the last days of dying so it was necessary to fill the gap. For Walsh, it is all about caring and sharing. Palliative care says, ”Let’s live life to the last moment and let’s live it well. Let’s live it within the community and with support from the community.”
The fundraising campaign got underway last fall with a gala catered by Buffet Il Gabbiano. It raised an initial $70,000 and more than 300 people attended. Canada’s Justice Minister and Attorney-General David Lametti, the current MP for LaSalle-Ville-Émard-Verdun and former Prime Minister Paul Martin who also represented the riding were present as local ambassadors. Corporate sponsors include Desjardins, Quorum, and Melatti Construction. Joe Cacchione of Italian Bad Boyz of Comedy was to do a benefit show for the Sault-Saint-Louis Palliative Care Center at Théâtre Desjardins on March 22nd but the show has been postponed until October. Quebec has canceled all public gatherings until further notice in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19.