The fact that Alison Redford has never visited Michener Centre is one of the most often mentioned by those caregivers of residents who are leading the fight against her government’s edict that the centre is to close.
The collective advocating for the centre continues to invite the premier to tour the home for the developmentally disabled in the hopes that walking its halls might convince her to reverse the government’s decision to relocate 123 of the centre’s current residents into community group and seniors homes, announced in March. And now they are inviting three of her provincial party leader counterparts to take a look around as well.
Lee Kvern, whose sister lives at Michener, said the goal of inviting the leaders is “to show them that it’s not an institution anymore,” while pointing out the centre’s recent record, which includes eight Premier’s Awards of Excellence since 1999, displayed in the Roland Michener Recreation Centre.
NDP leader Brian Mason toured the recreation centre and two of the residential facilities on Tuesday. He said he was “moved” by the level of care he saw exhibited there.
“I saw people that were very comfortable and happy and I met staff members who are very very compassionate and wonderful caregivers and advocates for the people that live there,” said Mason.
“I really don’t know what has gone sideways with this premier, but something clearly has.”
Kvern said Wildrose leader Danielle Smith will tour in November, while the plan is to invite Liberal leader Raj Sherman and reinvite the premier for tours.
“I hope that (Redford) would have the good grace at least to come and see Michener to make an informed decision about whether or not Michener plays a key role in the care of disabled people before she shuts down something that is a great place,” said Kvern.
Mason said he too hopes all leaders will make visits.
“I particularly think it would be useful if the premier would tour the facility. I think she’d find it a real eye-opener,” he said.