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

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

A Comox Valley 55+ baseball team isa being organized for the 2021 season. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
18U AAA Carstar Braves start season strong

The Red Deer Carstar 18U AAA Carstar Braves started the Baseball Alberta… Continue reading

(Contributed image).
Online poetry reading to benefit Red Deer women experiencing period poverty

The Period Promise Poetry Powerhouse is a central Alberta collective of some… Continue reading

Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan leaves the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Bill to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clears Senate

OTTAWA — A landmark piece of Liberal legislation aimed at harmonizing Canada’s… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) flips a shot on New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Russian goalies highlight Lightning-Islanders series

NEW YORK — Semyon Varlamov is the wily veteran, coming off a… Continue reading

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his ATP Tour Singles, Men, Round of 16 tennis match against Switzerland's Roger Federer in Halle, Germany, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Friso Gentsch-dpa via AP
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Roger Federer in second round of Noventi Open

HALLE, Germany — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime earned one of the biggest victories… Continue reading

A course official keeps out of the sun on the seventh green during a practice round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A different US Open than imagined at Torrey Pines

The spectacular ocean vistas will fill TV screens as usual, along with… Continue reading

A commuter pumps gas into their vehicle at a Esso gas station in Toronto on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Statistics Canada will say this morning how fast prices rose in May compared to the same month one year earlier amid expectations of a hot inflation figure for the second month in a row. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Annual inflation rate climbs to 3.6 per cent in May, highest in a decade

OTTAWA — Prices across the country rose at their fastest annual rate… Continue reading

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

OTTAWA — Better protections for the rights of air travellers, immediate refunds… Continue reading

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson speaks to media during the Liberal cabinet retreat at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. Wilkinson says Ottawa will step in to conduct assessments of new coal mines that could release the contaminant selenium.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Sudoma
Ottawa to review new steelmaking coal projects in Alberta’s foothills for selenium

The federal government will step in to conduct an environmental review of… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file)
‘A poor choice’: Alberta lawyer reprimanded for allowing nude photos in custody case

EDMONTON — A hearing committee of the Law Society of Alberta says… Continue reading

Most Read