At present, there are many hundreds of vulnerable people living in large and small congregate settings across the province, many with challenging physical and mental health needs. And there are chronic staff shortages being further exacerbated by the pandemic. So how do we go forward?

We believe one of the key ways to do this is to support the people caring for them. We need to recognize the essential role they are playing with our population during these uncertain and frightening Covid-19 times.

“The current government adopted the Roadmap Report and a 10-year time frame for significantly increasing community-based supported living options while decreasing reliance on large institutions. So far, however, the allocation of resources from government needed to create community capacity has been woefully inadequate. Wait lists for services continue to grow – from 1100 in 2015 to 1300 in 2017 to nearly 1500 last year. This is because the badly needed investments by government have not been forthcoming.”

Day two of Community Services deputy minister’s testimony at the human rights enquiry: When it comes to community living, government inaction is the operative word, and that hasn’t substantially changed with the end of the so-called moratorium on small options homes. Individuals continue to languish in large institutions, and parents continue to worry about what will happen to their loved ones when they die.

In an open letter to the Premier a group charges that government isn’t serious about supporting persons with developmental disabilities who are looking for community-based solutions rather than being warehoused in large institutions. he Department of Community Services isn’t even meeting targets it set earlier and that were publicly endorsed by minister Joanne Bernard, the letter states.