N.B. suddenly suspends licences at two special care homes

N.B. suddenly suspends licences at two special care homes
N.B. suddenly suspends licences at two special care homes

New Brunswick’s Department of Social Development has revoked the operating licences of two special care homes in northeastern New Brunswick.

The province says 29 residents at Villa Neguac and Foyer St. Bernard in Neguac, N.B., will be transferred to other special care homes, but wouldn’t offer details about why the two facilities’ licenses were revoked.

Attempts to contact the owner of both facilities weren’t successful on Wednesday.

Cynthia St-Coeur, a resident attendant at Villa Neguac, says staff haven’t been told why the facility’s operating license was revoked, nor have they received any update from the owner.

“We ask them questions and they never answer the questions,” says St-Couer.

St-Couer says staff were aware of a social development investigation in recent months.

Social development says it will monitor both facilities as resident transfers begin, but did not provide a timeline for how long the process will take. St-Couer says her last day of work is Feb. 17.

“At this moment it’s not us losing our jobs that we’re worried about, it’s the residents,” said St-Couer. “It’s just sad all around.”

“There’s a lot of families affected. I work here, but I have my grandfather who lives here.”

St-Couer is critical of how the news was shared with residents and staff on Tuesday.

“Residents were crying and families got the news after all the damage was done.”

Neguac Mayor Georges Savoie says he was also aware of the investigation at both facilities for several months but was never given an official reason why.

“It’s terrible for all those families and loved ones to have to move in the winter,” says Savoie. “Some of them will be moving about an hour away from the community.”

The provincial government says inspections are done at 455 adult residential facilities every year.

The latest (expired) inspection reports listed on the department’s website show a provincial visit to Villa Neguac on Dec. 21, 2021, and Foyer St. Bernard on Nov. 23, 2021. The province says no inspection was conducted in 2022 due to its investigation.

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Jose S Vanhorne
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