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Union renews call to stop closure of Michener Centre

RED DEER — Alberta’s largest union is renewing calls to stop the closure of a care home for the mentally and physically disabled.

It’s been a year since the government announced it was shutting down most of Michener Centre in Red Deer.

The plan called for half of the facility’s 250 residents to be moved into care in the community by this past January.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says only eight residents have been moved so far.

The union also says Premier Alison Redford wrote a letter to the sister of one long-term resident and said the closure has been postponed to year’s end.

The labour group says it all suggests bad planning by the government.

“The deadline change is an indication the Redford government ... has no place to put these individuals if they remove them from their homes,” union spokesman Jason Heistad said Tuesday in a release.

“The closure should not be delayed; it should be stopped.”

Red Deer MLA Mary Anne Jablonski has said she understands why the decision is hard for people to accept, but added that the move would be done with care and consideration.

She also said last fall that talks were being held on a compromise that would allow some of the residents to stay.

A judicial review into the decision to close Michener was to be held this week, but was recently postponed to November.



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