MONTREAL -- Air-conditioner suppliers are extremely busy this week, which is no surprise.

But what should be surprising, they say, is that many of their customers are long-term care homes.

Those installs should have been finished well before now, not requested in the middle of a serious heat wave, says Luc Despatie of Loue Froid in Laval, a company that rents out and maintains air conditioners, among other appliances.

“I think they have to get a lot better organized,” he said Friday, the third day after temperatures rose to around 30 degrees in Montreal.

“We should have been finished these installs in all these centres the first of June.”

It’s even more worrying to see this lack of planning in homes that have been so hard-hit over the last few months by COVID-19, at a time when the health system is supposedly focused on improving conditions in them. Despatie first tried to raise the alarm about the care homes’ needs years ago, he said. Yet little has changed.

“This has been going on for years and years and years,” he said.

His staff has been working an average of 90 hours a week trying to meet the rush, a situation that’s “absolutely nuts,” he said.

This week’s heat wave is highlighting some other planning problems, say people in other fields. 

At the Welcome Hall Mission, a homeless shelter, director Sam Watts says Montreal’s COVID-19 emergency measures for the homeless are set to expire partway through the summer, even though the pandemic isn’t over and the heat will be punishing.

The temporary shelters that were set up to give people a place to stay are scheduled to close in the next month, Watts said, leaving people to go back to seeking shelter outside.