Government will restore funding for Melaric addiction centre
The provincial government is going to reopen a rehabilitation clinic west of Montreal.
On Wednesday morning Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois, along with Argenteuil MNA Yves St-Denis, said Quebec would restore $6 million in funding for the Melaric Centre in Saint André d'Argenteuil.
"It's not new funding that appears like Loto-Quebec,' said Charlebois. "We worked on it, and we started to work on it before Melaric closed their doors."
When the centre closed in January, administrators blamed government cuts to social aid programs. At the time, Charlebois said her ministry could only afford to give the centre a $100,000 subsidy, while the centre was asking for $350,000 to stay open.
The new funding drew praise from Melaric board president Lise Bourgault.
"Sometimes with a mistake, we are capable of doing great things," she said. "We are a non-profit organization and yes, in the past, Melaric had some problems and we were trying to solve them."
Charlebois said the centre will have to provide a detailed account of how it's using the new funding.
"With the certification, there's some rules that you've got to respect," she said.
Parti Quebecois critic for social services Jean-Francois Lisee called the move just an example of Liberal backtracking.
When it shut its doors, the centre was home to 72 clients and 16 staff members were laid off.
Fourty-three of those clients were at the centre under court order, and so most went back into jail without getting treatment for their addictions. The 30 other clients were able to find other centres to treat their problems.
The Melaric centre expects to reopen in June.