Family of people who live at the Michener Centre held a rally Friday outside the Red Deer hotel where the governing Progressive Conservatives are holding a convention.

The protesters, including staff represented by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, want the government to reverse the decision to close the centre,

The Michener is home to 125 people with developmental and physical disabilities. The province wants to move them into group homes.

Lee Kvern’s sister Jody has lived at Michener for more than 40 years

“Michener has not been an institution for about 20 years so that argument -- it’s old school,” she said.

“And my sister in particular, we’re sort of in a special situation because she lived in the community for eight years, after being at Michener for 41 years, and -- absolute disaster.”

Some residents have lived at the Michener for decades and family members oppose having their loved ones moved.

Local Tory MLA Mary Anne Jablonski has stated publicly that the centre should stay open because that’s what the government promised to do five years ago.