Gordon McNeilly says Deacon House is ‘not appropriately maintained’
Tony Davis · CBC News · Posted: Mar 13, 2021 12:57 PM AT | Last Updated: March 14
A Liberal MLA on P.E.I. says there is government neglect in addiction services in the province.
“I won’t dwell on each one, but I’ll point out one,” said Gordon McNeilly in the legislature Friday. “Absolute neglect of Deacon House. I recently visited Deacon House and had an opportunity to tour the shelter.”
Deacon House is an emergency shelter in Charlottetown for men dealing with addiction.
The shelter is managed by Health PEI, McNeilly said.
He said there are problems in the interior of the building with cracks in the walls and peeling paint. He said the bedding is poor.
“The outside is in complete disrepair,” he added. “This is not an appropriately maintained facility for vulnerable Islanders.”
McNeilly asked P.E.I. Premier Dennis King to apologize in the legislature for the level of neglect at the shelter.
“I think that we all realize in here that Deacon House is at the end of its service life,” King said. “I know the minister and his staff are working toward trying to find a better option.”
King said government is working on finding a solution for the shelter while maintaining services for those still at Deacon House.
McNeilly said he wasn’t sure what that meant.
“When can Deacon House and the Islanders it serves expect the help they so obviously desperately need,” he asked King.
King said he doesn’t believe the building is worth renovating.
He said his government is looking at other options for the shelter.
“At the same time it would serve no purpose to close the building now and move these individuals out. I want the individuals who are there to get the service they need. There’s good provided there despite the facility is at the end of its lifespan.”
McNeilly also asked about a King campaign promise to create a new mental health facility and when Islanders could expect to see it.
“We’re working hard to complete the plans,” King said, adding the mental health campus is just one part of bettering mental health and addiction services.
King said the project is on track to be completed in 2024.