Opponents hope petition will stop relocation of CLSC day centre in Rivière-des-Prairies

Click to play video: 'RDP CLSC closes' RDP CLSC closes
WATCH ABOVE: Residents in Rivière-des-Prairies are fighting back after they found out their CLSC is slated to be closed. Global's Anne Leclair reports – Jan 27, 2016

MONTREAL – Close to 800 people have signed a petition to stop the closing of the CLSC’s day centre in Rivière-des-Prairies (RDP).

The regional health board claims the move is necessary to increase accessibility, but the day centre’s transfer to a facility seven kilometres away has many residents worried.

“If no one uses the service, fine, close it down, but there are people who use it,” said Melissa Di Lena, who started the petition.

Di Lena calls the move devastating for many Italian-Montrealers in the community, including her great-grandmother and disabled aunt who rely on having services so close to home.

“What are they going to look forward to? Where are they going to go?” she asked.

Relocating the CLSC’s day centre will affect approximately 100 people living in RDP.

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While administrators expected a backlash, they’re hoping residents will understand that it’s not about budget cuts, but rather improving services.

“We need more adequate installations. We’re on the second floor here,” said Denise Fortin, director of the Montreal-East regional health board.

“The new location is on the ground floor and much brighter for our clientèle.”

The CLSC’s day centre is scheduled to move sometime in February, but some are hoping the petition will be enough for politicians to step in.

“The fact that they’re moving it to a location where elderly people can’t get to themselves is unacceptable,” Di Lena told Global News.

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