HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s community services minister says an independent body will review the practices of a special-care home where a resident died in May following an altercation in a hallway.
Joanne Bernard told a news conference Friday the province and the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Halifax will find an independent agency to conduct a so-called best-practices review.
The province will cover the cost of a review into what happened at Quest, but an inquiry will not happen.
“A public inquiry is not needed into this,” Bernard said. “The department have done their internal investigation.”
Earlier in the day, police announced they would not be laying any charges following their investigation into the death at Quest, which houses adults with intellectual disabilities.
The RCMP say the 28-year-old man who pushed Gordon Longphee to the floor on May 11 will not be charged because he was not able to form intent.
Police say 56-year-old Longphee, who died in hospital on May 17, had pre-existing conditions that played a part in his death, which was deemed a homicide.
Soon after Longphee’s death, the mothers of four adult children living at Quest called for an independent probe into its operations.
While advocate Brenda Hardiman is glad there are no charges being laid, she said there is too much violence in Quest and other similar institutions.
“There has been two deaths in the past 6 years at quest, we don’t want anymore,” she told Global News.
Hardiman’s daughter Nichele Benn lives at Quest, and her mother says she’s been assaulted five times in the past two years.
The most recent assault allegedly took place less then two weeks ago.
“As a parent, I asked the administration what measures were going to be taken to prevent further resident-to-resident attacks on Nichele and they refused to provide me with any plans they had,” she said.
Quest did not return a request for an interview, but issued a written statement on Friday afternoon.
“Quest continues to monitor all aspects of care, safety and security in regards to the services the agency provides,” executive director Laura Arthurs wrote. “In that regard we will be pursuing additional resources to evaluate and improve our safety and security responses within all Quest services and we will pursue recommendations that arise from those discussions in a timely manner.”
With files from Natasha Pace