MORRISBURG – A Morrisburg-based funeral home and funeral director have had their licences revoked.
Bonnie Parker, who owns Parker Funeral Home, and McArthur Brothers and MacNeil Funeral Home and Chapel in Cornwall, have had their licences revoked by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario.
The licences of Parker, and the two funeral homes, were suspended on December 17, 2020 by the BAO. All three licence suspensions were being appealed by Parker, however those appeals have now been abandoned. The BAO revoked the licences on March 31st.
BAO spokesperson David Brazeau provided more detail on the nature of the complaints against Parker and the two funeral homes.
“The funeral director had breached her conditions of licensure and COVID-19 protocols including mask wearing, contact tracing, and other related matters,” he explained to The Leader.
Among the issues, the BAO said that Parker and the two funeral homes failed to comply with licencing conditions and failed to properly maintain embalming and holding rooms. Both are requirements by the Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Services Act.
COVID-19 pandemic related directives from public health and the FBCSA registrar were also not complied with.
Revoking the licence of a funeral home or a funeral home director is not taken lightly by the BAO. Brazeau said that the BAO has a compliance process and works with operators to address issues.
“We give the operators the opportunity to correct compliance issues that have been identified,” Brazeau explained. “The BAO educates licensees on how to become compliant with the law.”
In more severe cases, the BAO will suspend, or in some cases revoke licenes to protect families, which is its mandate.
“We are here to protect consumers at the most vulnerable times in their lives,” he said.
The BAO regulates thousands of licensees across Ontario.
“Revocations occur only a handful of times a year,” Brazeau said, adding: “The majority of our licensees are caring professionals who strictly adhere to provincial law and BAO Registrar’s Directives.”
Customers of Parker Funeral Home and McArthur and MacNeil Funeral Home and Chapel, who have prepaid funeral service contracts, are being contacted by the BAO.
Prepaid funeral contracts are protected in a trust-like arrangement and can be transferred to other funeral service providers, or refunded.
The Leader made several attempts to contact Parker and the two funeral homes for comment. The company’s voice mail greetings remains unchanged and does not state that the company is no longer a funeral service provider. The company’s website also has not been updated to reflect the loss of licences and still appears as if the two funeral homes are operating as normal. The last funeral listing at the Parker Funeral Home was October 28, 2020.
According to the company’s website, Parker started the funeral home in Morrisburg in 1997.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader