Life is better outside Michener Centre

Re: Support for the closure of Michener Centre

Re: Support for the closure of Michener Centre

Our family supports the closure of Michener Centre! Everyone can live in community!

Our uncle lived most of his childhood and adult life in Michener Centre and his life was much better once he moved into community! For almost 50 years, he was denied that opportunity — the same opportunity that most of us take for granted. And now, we have an adult son with developmental disabilities, living a great life in community with his family and friends, being fully included in school, work, post-secondary and community clubs.

There are thousands of families who have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles living in community who can help those who are anxious about the closure.

To remain open for 125 individuals who could be moved and live in community, just like our uncle, is morally unjust.

To remain open, requiring a significantly disproportionate share of government funds in comparison to other Albertans with developmental disabilities and their families living in community, many of whom are as vulnerable and complex, is economically unjust.

We are dismayed by a union that creates fear for families and misinforms the public to protect jobs over and above the interests of the very individuals they claim to serve — individuals with developmental disabilities who will never thrive in an institution as they will in community, where their needs can be so much better met.

Those opposing the closure are willing to risk future lives by acting with such little understanding and regard for how keeping the institution open will impact the thousands of other Albertans with developmental disabilities who do not want to be torn from their families and communities to keep the institution open. The only way Michener Centre can continue to exist is to fill beds and we never ever want another bed filled with another family member, friend, neighbour, colleague or community member with developmental disabilities.

We are thankful for this government’s leadership in closing this institution. It is the right thing to do and truly demonstrates the promise to care for our most vulnerable citizens.

Please support our family and the thousands of Albertans with developmental disabilities and their families so we can stop living in fear of our loved ones ever being sent to an institution. Send the message to the premier and your MLA that you support the decision to close Michener Centre.

Barb and Russ MacIntyre

Slave Lake