"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."

Update Autumn Lodge, Berwyn

Home > Fatality Inquiries > Update Autumn Lodge, Berwyn

I just wanted to update you as to where we are at with seeking justice for the 33 Seniors that were evicted in the most heinous manner from their home in the Autumn Lodge in Berwyn Alberta, and the answers we have received thus far from our correspondence to the Ministers Office. Right from the time that it was discovered that the CEO of North Peace Housing illegally evicted the Residents as he had not notified the Ministers Office yet, to the heart wrenching pain the Residents were put through, they were treated worse than animals and herded and rushed to facilities without having a chance to get comfortable with the fact they were evicted ,and were not given a proper amount of time to choose a facility that would be suitable for them, we asked for Government intervention, and the reply to us was either there is nothing they can do, or our correspondence has been filed. That is no way to treat people when there are regulations put in place for the protection of vulnerable citizens.

There has been nothing done about our concerns on how the Staff were treating the Residents. The Staff that we asked to be removed for the way they were treating these residents to having them removed from where these Residents we being forced to move remained working and continued on causing mental and emotional stress to these Residents.

Because North Peace Housing ignored the cries of the Seniors we wrote to the Ministers Office and asked them to step in and open an investigation as PPCA would not investigate, again nothing was done shame, shame is all I can say. Since when do we allow a Housing Board that provides housing to our Seniors to treat people in this manner and the Government says there is nothing they can do. These Seniors still have mental and emotional problems from this situation and some of them are still trying to deal with the death of one of their Lodge Family where he stabbed himself numerous times in the Lodge during this eviction and succumbed to his injuries in the Hospital later that evening.
Why were there no intervention workers put in place to help people deal with this, again the Government turned their back on the cries of the Seniors. When the Residents asked for a review as to the handling of the eviction and it was determined that it was allowed to be done, but was not handled properly why did the Government not step in and ask North Peace Housing to slow down the process so that the Seniors could absorb their situation. Would it have been that difficult for the Government to step in and ask The North Peace Housing Board to stop moving people out until all of this mess had been cleared up.

The offer of monies to keep the Lodge open for the remaining 8 Residents for one year was only an offer of a band aid to cover a huge wound. It should have been a Ministerial Order given when the Minister was contacted about what was happening to stop the proceedings until it was determined that the Housing Act was being followed and that there was no unnecessary stress inflicted on the Seniors involved in this instead of being swept under the carpet. So be it if the Housing Board can close a Lodge when they see fit but is it right that the well being of Seniors be put at risk because of money. How must is the life of a Senior worth? That Housing Board still needs to be investigated on why they continued to allow those Seniors to be in a emotionally and mentally toxic Environment caused by their very own Lodge Staff. Would it have been that difficult to switch the staff out of there when it was pointed out to the Board that the Seniors mental health was at risk. Again so many unanswered questions.

It was discovered that the North Peace Housing Board did not follow the Housing Act and there is a letter in the Ministers correspondence pointing out the part of the act we had felt that North Peace Housing was negligent in following, and again nothing was done, that letter was also ignored and filed away, although I spoke with our MLA Marg McQuaig Boyd’s office myself, and her assistant told me that Marg had talked to the Minister of Housing and it was being reviewed by the Government’s legal department. Where is that letter now? What reprimand was given to North Peace Housing for not following the Act. Why are all these questions left unanswered? Thomas Boyce will have copies of all of the correspondence you should be able to access from him if necessary.

These are some of the unanswered questions that we have Ruth, and we still continue to hope that the remaining Seniors involved in this very poorly thought out and executed decision, will someday have answers to what happened to them and why the Government allowed it to continue on the way it did.
They definitely deserve an apology from the North Peace Housing Board and also from the Government, and we The Friends of The Autumn Lodge pray that this will never happen again to Seniors anywhere.

Friends of Autumn Lodge Member

Sue Morrison

Richard Walisser is no longer CEO of North Peace Housing, he has resigned.