FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 24, 2019

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA – Today, the last two residents of Valley View Centre moved into community. With their departure, the Government of Saskatchewan fulfills its commitment to close Valley View Centre, a commitment made nearly 7 years ago.

Valley View Centre, an institution near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, has housed hundreds of people with intellectual disabilities over the past 60 years. Its closure is celebrated by Inclusion Saskatchewan, the Valley View Centre Legacy Group, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), People First of Canada (PFC), and all of the families, staff, and former residents of Valley View who worked to ensure the transition was a success.

“The closure of Valley View Centre is a historic step forward for individuals with intellectual disabilities,” said Gloria Mahussier, President of Inclusion Saskatchewan, “Thanks to our Saskatchewan-made person-centered approach, all of the centre’s former residents are now living healthy, happy, and secure lives in the communities of their choice. I’d like to thank our partners on the transition team for their thoughtfulness, dedication, and passion over the years.”

“The people of the VVFLN, which includes the residents and their families, are beyond excited about the success of the closure,” says Doug Conn, Co-Chair of the Valley View Family Legacy Network. “When the closure was first announced, a lot of families and residents were scared of what would happen and where they’d end up. Those fears, however, were ultimately put to rest as the staff, residents, and families worked tirelessly to ensure that there was a plan for every person and that every transition into community would become a success. Today, I am thanking the residents and their families for their trust, faith, and hard work. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”

“Although this has taken a long time, we know it’s important to have safe, person-centered plans for everyone leaving the institution and that takes time” stated Kory Earle, President of PFC. “We do commend the Saskatchewan government for their commitment to this closure, a closure that gives former residents the right to live in and be included in the community.”

“It is important that persons with an intellectual disability have their rightful place in community,” said Joy Bacon, President of the CACL. The Executive Director of PFC, Shelley Fletcher, stated, “This is a good day for all citizens of Saskatchewan, and we thank the Saskatchewan government and their partners for making this closure possible.”

“Today represents a major milestone for human rights in our country,” commented Krista Carr, Executive Vice President (CACL). “Saskatchewan, through this announcement, affirms its commitment to ensuring the rights of all its citizens. As a country, we are moving closer to the reality promised within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Marc Muschler, Senior Communications Officer, Canadian Association for Community Living. Ph: 416-661-9611 ext. 232 or Email: mmuschler@cacl.ca,

Travis Neufeld, Communications & Marketing Manager, Inclusion Saskatchewan. Ph: 306-955-3344 ext. 120 or Email: travisn@inclusionsk.com

Shelley Fletcher Rattai, Executive Director for People First of Canada. Ph: 204-784-7362 or Email: srattai@peoplefirstofcanada.ca

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 400 local associations and over 40,000 members. Find out more at www.cacl.ca.

Inclusion Saskatchewan supports over 2,900 individuals experiencing disabilities and families throughout the province, and impacts thousands more through its work on The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disabilities program and Self-Directed Funding. It works on a wide array of initiatives, projects, and priorities that include: employment support, education and transition support, public education, youth programming, self-advocacy and social activities, family network and workshops,  and the Valley View Centre transition.

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. Find out more at www.peoplefirstofcanada.ca