Foundation for disabled says closing of Michener Centre mishandled

RED DEER — A not-for-profit group that works with people with developmental disabilities says the Alberta government is mishandling the closure of Michener Centre in Red Deer.

RED DEER — A not-for-profit group that works with people with developmental disabilities says the Alberta government is mishandling the closure of Michener Centre in Red Deer.

The province has earmarked $10 million to move 125 residents from the centre for the mentally and physically disabled into community-based living arrangements.

The Lo-Se-Ca Foundation is trying to move three residents to a new home in St. Albert.

Foundation director Marie Renaud says getting answers on how the transition will work and how the money is being spent is very difficult.

According to the province, some of the money is going to severance costs at the Michener Centre.

Naresh Bhardwaj, Alberta’s associate minister of services for persons with disabilities, says the money is also going toward new facilities and training.

But Renaud says the needs of the people being moved are not being addressed.

“These men have lived their lives at Michener,” she says. “They were put in that institution as children and they’ve been there ever since. So they get $1,000 and likely their bedroom furniture to move out and to start again.”

Bhardwaj says it’s important the communities are well-equipped to provide services for the residents as they move out.

“As they grow older their needs are going to change and we know that, and are we going to be able to provide the needs with the new capacity we are building?”

So far, 14 people have moved out of Michener Centre; another 18 are expected to make the move over the next month or so.

Bhardwaj says the government’s goal is to make sure each person receives equal or better care than they’re already receiving.

“We are absolutely committed that no one will move until an appropriate home has been found for them,” Bhardwaj says.

It’s a goal the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation is onboard with, but says is difficult to reach without clear guidelines on the process.

“The way that this is being managed is just another example of building Alberta in an incorrect manner,” Renaud says.

Just Posted

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

Human waste ‘backlog’ from Red Deer to be spread on farmers’ fields this spring

Council approved $1 million to compensate for loss of crops

Red Deer city council tries to find more cost-savings

Many spending proposals are queried, discussed

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Red Deer man sentenced for child porn

Man sentenced to one year in prison after being arrested in major anti-child pornography operation

Replay Red Deer Jan. 14: Watch news highlights in pictures

Stories mentioned: Red Deer RCMP seize large quantity of cocaine: Read more… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Photo: Chilly work in Veterans’ Park

What a chilly job but somebody has to do it.… Continue reading

Boy, 15, one of three hit in Vancouver shooting

Police believe a man in his 20s was the target of the shooting

UBCO psychology professor placed under supervision with focus on “boundary issues”

Dr. Stephen Porter has stepped aside from his teaching duties

Alberta elementary school teacher arrested on child porn charges

Investigators charged a 44-year-old Pincher Creek man with possessing, accessing, and distributing child pornography

Report: Health problems could arise as Alaska warms

Climate change in Alaska has the potential to create serious physical and… Continue reading

U.S. cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Consider this cold comfort: A quick study of the brutal American cold… Continue reading

Canadian Kennel Club seeking to add 12 more dogs to its pack

2018’s incoming class could include the Portuguese sheepdog, Tibetan mastiff, rat terrier and Spanish water dog

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month