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Listen to Albertans and halt Michener closure: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB (March 27, 2013): The PC government’s ongoing mismanagement in the closure of the Michener Centre continues to negatively impact families and vulnerable patients, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. The government recently announced the sudden closure of the Michener Centre in Red Deer without consulting with the 125 patients and their families who will be impacted by the move. 

Rallies opposing the move by citizens concerned about the closure are planned tonight in Calgary at 6:30 p.m. at the Acadia Recreation Centre and tomorrow in Edmonton at 7:15 p.m. at the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre. To date, the government has yet to provide any real details about how and where the patients will be moved and what the government’s plan is to create extra bed space in the Red Deer community. “This government failed to consult with the families and patients who will be dramatically impacted by the closure of the Michener Centre and are now trying to download the costs of care into the community without any plan to pay for it,” Wildrose Human Services Critic Jeff Wilson said. “This is just another example of a government that is out-of-touch by targeting front-line care to our must vulnerable for savings instead of cutting a bloated bureaucracy managing the system.” Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle, who attended a rally hosted by the Friends of Michener Centre in Red Deer last night, said it’s disappointing that the PC MLAs representing the Albertans impacted by the closure have failed to speak out against the closure that leaves vulnerable Albertans at risk. “This closure will have a negative impact on the families and patients who are being forced to move from their homes, but instead of representing the interests of the constituents who voted for them, PC MLAs continue to toe the party line,” Towle said. Towle added that this is just another incident similar to the closure of the Little Bow Continuing Care Centre that ripped vulnerable patients away from their homes and care workers with no legitimate reason. “Moving vulnerable Albertans away from their homes and careworkers into the already overburdened not-for profit community is not responsible, it’s mismanagement,” Towle said.  “This government owes an apology and an explanation to this community.”