09/24/2014 07:13 EDT | Updated 11/24/2014 05:59 EST

Laval CSSS cracks down on surveillance cameras

A woman says the staff of Laval's local Health and Social Services Centre (CSSS) refused to care for her elderly mother after learning her apartment was equipped with a surveillance camera.

Sylvie Marchand’s mother, who has dementia, lives in a care centre in Laval.  Marchand and her siblings installed a surveillance camera in her apartment, so they could keep an eye on their mother's daily treatments from their cell phones.

“If there’s any problem, we all live close by,” Marchand said.

The system worked well until recently.

Marchand and her siblings needed the help of workers from the local CSSS to bring their mother medication — but the employees wouldn't come.

The CSSS recently introduced new rules allowing workers the right to refuse service in homes equipped with cameras.

Also, anyone staying in the agency's long-term care homes must get permission from the home's management to have cameras installed.

Lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard represents several families who used security cameras in long-term care facilities.

“It’s unfortunate to see a rule that is essentially designed to protect the staff and not the users,” Ménard said.

Marchand says she's worried her mother won't be able to get care after her scheduled surgery.

“I think it’s a shame. The cameras that were installed were not to monitor an employee. The purpose was to give my mother a little autonomy.”