EDMONTON – Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski, who represents residents at Michener Centre, tabled 15,744 Keep Michener Open petition signatures recently in the Alberta legislature.
The total number of Keep Michener Open petition signatures tabled now stands at an incredible 24,244. Most signatures have come from the Red Deer community. The petition has been circulating since April.
Recently, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees released a short documentary, “Evicting Our Most Vulnerable,” which highlights the need for Michener Centre to remain in the community. The film has been viewed more than 2,100 times in just two days.
In March, the Redford government abruptly announced it would close the home for 125 developmentally disabled adults and seniors, breaking a promise to residents and families that Michener would stay open.
That promise was made in 2008 by the Progressive Conservative government. The promise states in writing that individuals currently living in Michener would never be forced out.
The closure of Michener Centre, which has won eight Premier’s awards of excellence for the services it provides, was made without consultation of residents, families, guardians or staff.
More than 4,000 letters have been sent to Premier Redford, Hon. Frank Oberle, Mary Anne Jablonski, Hon. Cal Dallas, Danielle Smith, Dr. Raj Sherman and Brian Mason urging the government to keep Michener open.
Red Deer City Council, the Red Deer Public School Division, the town of Innisfail, the town of Springbrook, the town of Penhold, the town of Bowden, the town of Blackfalds, local 054 (Edmonton Catholic Teachers) and local 80 (Red Deer Catholic Teachers) of the Alberta Teachers Association, the Society of Parents and Friends of Michener Centre, all Alberta opposition parties and many more organizations have come out against the closure of Michener.
This spring, 8,500 Keep Michener Open petition signatures were tabled by the three opposition parties. The petition will become an official record of opposition to the Michener Centre closure.