Province Plans to Close Manitoba Developmental Centre
Jan 29, 2021
Today the Pallister government announced plans to close the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC) by winding down operations over the next three years.
The MDC currently serves approximately 130 clients and employs just over 360 MGEU members, which is why MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky, says the closure will be a big hit to the local economy.
“This is one of the largest employers in the area. The economic impact this closure will have on the community is significant.”
Gawronsky says there are many unknowns that remain in the province’s plan, including the timelines for the centre’s closure and where clients will access the high-level of care they currently receive at MDC.
“The staff at MDC provide a safe, familiar environment and many clients at MDC have complex needs, including 24-hour medical care. How is the province going to ensure they’ll continue to receive this level of care in the community? What additional supports will be in place for them?” she asked.
The future of MDC has been unknown for some time. And that is why the MGEU has been an active voice on the MDC Working Group, which provided the government with several constructive ideas for the future of the facility and its valuable infrastructure. Some ideas have included:
- Expanding the MDC’s Employment Centre for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities;
- Turning the MDC into a training centre for community agency staff, First Nations communities, and/or personal care home staff; and
- Additional infrastructure for the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
“What’s so frustrating about all of this is that this could be an opportunity
to do something innovative and repurpose the facility. But this government just
doesn’t want to listen.”