Toronto, Ontario, March 11, 2013 – Today, the Alberta government announced the closure of the North and South facilities at Michener Centre, a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities located in Red Deer and operated by the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Central Region Community Board.

 Today’s announcement by the Honourable Frank Oberle, Associate Minister of Services for Persons with Disabilities, confirms recognition by the government of Alberta that all people, including those with developmental disabilities, have a right to live and be included in community. It is an announcement applauded by the Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada. This announcement will witness the remaining 125 individuals at Michener Centre take their rightful place within community.

“The closure of Michener Centre brings this country one step closer to ensuring that all people are supported to exercise their right to live in community,” stated Shane Haddad, President of People First of Canada (PFC). “I commend the Alberta government for doing the right thing. People belong in community – not institutions!”

 “Efforts have long been underway to move away from an institutional model in this country,” said Laurie Larson, President of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL). “With this announcement, we have moved closer to the reality promised within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – especially Article 19, the Right to Live in Community.”

 “As a member, and former Co-chair, of the CACL PFC Task Force on the Right to Live in Community, I congratulate the government of Alberta for this decision,” said Norm McLeod. “Further, as an Albertan, I am very proud that we, as a province, have finally indicated that institutions will no longer play a role in the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities.”

People First of Canada is the national voice of people who have been labelled with an intellectual disability. The vision of People First is to see all citizens living equally in the community. For further information contact Shelley Fletcher Rattai, Executive Director for People First of Canada Phone: 204-784-7362 or by Email: Find out more at

 The Canadian Association for Community Living is a Canada-wide association of family members and others working to advance the human rights and inclusion of persons of all ages who have an intellectual disability. Founded in 1958 by parents of children with intellectual disabilities who wanted supports and services within the community instead of in institutions, CACL has become one of Canada’s ten largest charitable organizations, and has grown into a federation of 10 provincial and three territorial associations comprising of 420 local associations and over 40,000 members.

 For more information, please contact:

Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, 416.209.7942,

Click on Link for PDF of this Article:  Closure Announcement From Alberta