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Halifax Mentally and physically disabled adults do not deserve the treatment they are getting from the Hamm government says a representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Residents of the Adult Residential Centre at Scotia Nursing Home are getting the shaft and have no one to turn to, says CUPE national rep Linda Clancy. This is just one more example of how this uncompassionate government preys on the weakest members of this province in the name of paying down the debt. Some of these people have no where to go, and quite frankly, they are very frightened.

Clancy says a request by Scotia Homes for government assistance to help renovate the aging centre was turned down. The centre is scheduled to close November of 2002, but there is no plan in place to accommodate the residents.

Small options homes are not viable for many of these people, says Clancy. These are clients who need close supervision and very intense, specialized care.

Clancy is also worried that closing the residential centre will jeopardize the 45-bed nursing home attached to the centre.

Will the nursing home be able to stand on its own? Clancy questions. There is already a shortage of nursing home beds in this province can we afford to lose more?

Clancy says the government needs to ensure there is a plan in place to deal with persons with specials needs before tearing down existing support systems.

If you take into account the closure of the Halifax County rehab centre, we will need to find places for about 225 persons with special needs over the next year and a half, says Clancy. Yet the government is not planning to increase funding or create any new residences. Where are these people going to go?

CUPE Local 3618 represents residential counsellors at Scotia Nursing Homes as well as dietary, housekeeping, laundry and other support staff.

For more information contact Linda Clancy at 455-4180 or 835-2766.