Institution Watch Newsletter Volume 11, Issue 1 February 2020

Posted in: Uncategorized

Monitoring the progress toward a vision of full community living for all persons with intellectual disabilities.

A Message From The Task Force | By Norm McLeod and Gordon Fletcher, co-chairs

As co-chairs of the CACL PFC Joint Task Force on Deinstitutionalization we are very pleased to advise that the Task Force has been relaunched and is once again active. Both the Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada have confirmed that continued efforts toward full deinstitutionalization in Canada remains one of their highest priorities, and as such have reestablished the Joint Task Force.

Both the CACL and PFC believe that people with an intellectual disability must have the support they need to live in community, and that people with an intellectual disability have the right to live in community. Confinement to life in an institution is a violation of that fundamental right. As we move forward, this Task Force will undertake activities and efforts that will hopefully lead to the closure of all institutions in Canada that specifically house persons with an intellectual disability.

While there are still large institutions remaining in Canada – most notably Manitoba Developmental Centre (MB) and Michener Centre (AB) – in this edition we wish to focus on the recent successful closure of Valley View Centre in Saskatchewan. The intended closure of Valley View was originally announced by the Government of Saskatchewan in 2012, and in September 2019, the closure was finally achieved. The Task Force extends congratulations to all those involved in this process and commends them for undertaking the person centered planning that is so essential to assisting persons to reclaim their right to live in community. We commend both government and community representatives for having the courage to do the right thing!

The closure process in Saskatchewan was well designed and successfully implemented. We hope the success of the Valley View closure will now serve as an imperative and a model for use in both Manitoba and Alberta.

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