05/28/2013 01:46 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Michener Centre Petition Hits 11,000: Union

RED DEER, Alta. - A petition urging the government to reconsider a decision to close a central Alberta care home for the developmentally disabled has hit 11,000 signatures.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says it's a milestone in the fight to keep the Michener Centre in Red Deer open

The province announced in March that it plans to move 125 of the centre's residents to community group homes or seniors facilities.

Friends and family say Michener Centre is the only home many of their loved ones have ever known.

They say there aren't adequate services in the community and people moved out of the centre won't do well.

Red Deer MLA Mary Anne Jablonski has said she understands why the decision is hard for people to accept, but has added that the move will be done with care and consideration.

Union vice-president Jason Heistad says the signature drive will continue through the summer. About 8,500 of the petition's signatures have already been tabled by opposition parties in the legislature.

“The Redford government must address the concerns over its decision to close Michener,” Heistad said in a news release Tuesday.

“There is no shame in listening to the public. There is no shame in turning a wrong into a right. Keeping Michener open for the residents who currently reside there is the right thing to do.”

Also on HuffPost

Top 10 Broken Promises of the 2013 Alberta Budget