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The Board of the Batshaw Youth Centres, north of Montreal, has rejected a demand from the Regional Health and Social Services Board to cut spending by $2.5 million. Their decision a precedent in Quebec averts the loss of 65 full-time jobs and the closure of three group homes.

“We’re thrilled that common sense has prevailed,” said Serge Lalonde, spokesperson for a coalition of users, foster families and staff that was initiated by Local 3350 which represents the Batshaw workers.

“We’ve been living with cutbacks for ten years. We’ve lost almost 50 beds in the past two years alone. It was time that someone put their foot down and acted on behalf of the youngsters rather than the bean-counters.” said Lalonde.

The coalition will now take its case to the Regional Board, demanding that they restore sufficient funds to protect staff and assure quality services.