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September 10, 2007 - Manitoba Update
Honourable Gord Macintosh, Minister of Family Services and Housing has announced that planning and financial resources are in place to enable 20 people to leave MDC during 2007- 2008.  This was announced prior to the Provincial Election in May and during April – September 2007, four people have returned to the community and planning is advancing for the remaining 16 people in this commitment.  Six people are scheduled to leave MDC by the end of October 2007.

Val Surbey, President of Community Living – Manitoba said “We acknowledge this as progress by the Manitoba Government and clearly this is a ‘hooray’ moment for the 20 people who will leave."  “However," Surbey continued, “We still need to address the planning options for 340 people who haven’t been selected yet. We will continue to pursue this issue with Government," Surbey concluded.

On September 8, 2007 the Manitoba Government advertised for a ‘Project Director’ who will ‘be working with the Project Specialist in developing transition plans for Manitoba Development Centre (MDC) residents who are being transitioned into community settings.  With the team, the incumbent must be able to identify and develop the least restrictive and least intrusive behavioral plan in collaboration with the community’.

In other news, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission has appointed Paula Hamilton as the Human Rights Investigator for the complaint filed against the Manitoba Government and Public Trustee of Manitoba.  The complaint filed on September 28, 2006 (one year ago), was made on behalf of the 380 people with an intellectual disability who live at the Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.  The complaint comes after many attempts over the past 18 months by Community Living - Manitoba to negotiate with the Manitoba Government for the development of community living alternatives. The complaint outlines that Manitoba Government has taken the wrong direction on services for people with intellectual disabilities. It is filed on behalf of those people living at MDC and with support of the many agencies Community Living-Manitoba works and plans with throughout the province: service agencies, People First of Manitoba, People First of Canada, coalitions of social justice groups and families.

Over the next several months, the HRC Investigator will proceed with an investigation of facts of the case and prepare a report for the Human Rights Commission.  Currently 350 people remain at MDC.

February 1, 2004 - Manitoba Update
Manitoba closed Pelican Lake Training Centre in 2000, a facility that housed 75 people with intellectual disabilities.  Manitoba still has two institutions which have approximately 650 people living in them. Although there are no definite plans for closure, 10 – 15 people per year do leave for community options and 10 -15 people die each year. There are very few admissions to this facility. Recently People First of Manitoba met with the new Minister of Family Services and urged the government to plan for further closures and support the establishment of a federal Community Transition Fund.