Health Minister Responds To Chief’s Rebuke

Friday, March 02, 2007 at 15:19



Saskatchewan’s health minister says the provincial government has not yet made a final decision on whether to fund a special care home on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.


Len Taylor is responding to statements made by Muskeg Lake Chief Gilbert Ledoux earlier this week.


Ledoux has said the band hasn’t been able to convince the provincial government to help pay for a $2.5-million centre for long-term elder care and special needs clients, which is slated to open on the reserve on Monday.


But Taylor says the province is still thinking it over.


Taylor says the government has to carefully weigh the implications of funding a service that has traditionally been a federal responsibility.


He says the province needs to ensure that federal responsibility for this type of facility won’t be eroded by provincial help.


Taylor also says if the provincial government approves this request, it will have to be prepared to fund similar centres in other reserves — and that will affect cost estimates.


However, he refuses to give a timetable as to when the province might arrive at a final decision.