PRESS RELEASE: MANITOBA DEVELOPMENT CENTRE CLOSES AND RESIDENTS TO TAKE RIGHT PLACE IN COMMUNITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2021
WINNIPEG, MB - Today, the Province of Manitoba announced the closure of the Manitoba Development Centre, an institutional care setting for people with disabilities. This highly anticipated announcement means that people can move out of the isolation and segregation of the institution and into communities where they have a right be be living according to Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and where they can be included and valued as full citizens.
The Manitoba Development Centre in Portage la Prairie houses 133 residents. All residents will be transitioned to homes in the community over the next 3 years. One of the last large institutions in Canada, this closure brings the entire country one step closer to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community.
"Today, we congratulate the Province of Manitoba for having the courage to do the right thing for people with intellectual disabilities living in institutions," says Janet Forbes, Executive Director of Inclusion Winnipeg, "Together with provinces across the country, we have before created well-designed plans, and successfully implemented strategies to ensure people enjoy their new homes and fulfilling lives in community. As a society we must guarantee future generations of people with intellectual disabilities, and their families, that we will never create institutions again."
"It is essential that people with a disability have a rightful place in the community," said Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada, "We applaud the government of Manitoba for making this closure possible and recognizing the inherent value of all people with a disability."
"Today is a important milestone in Canada's fight to end institutionalization," commented Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada, "Manitoba, through this announcement, affirms its commitment to ensuring the rights of all citizens. The closure of the Manitoba Development Centre moves us one step closer to the reality promised in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.
Inclusion Winnipeg Inc. is a Registered Charity and a member of the Inclusion Canada federation. We exist to help people with intellectual disabilities to be fully included in the community and the typical activities that other people engage in. We also support families and friends as they help to ensure equal citizenship for loved ones. Our role with the Manitoba government is to hold them accountable through our advocacy work. In order for people's voices to be heard, we provide individuals and their networks with the best and most current information we have about government policy and programs. We pay close attention to what is happening in other provinces and to information from experts across the country and the world.