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

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

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