The Nova Scotia government has extended an application deadline so a closed-down Cape Breton drug rehabilitation centre has more time to apply for funding.
Former Talbot House residents and supporters held a protest at the Sydney offices of MLAs Frank Corbett and Gordy Gosse. The purpose of Monday's protest was to have the house reopened.
The addiction recovery centre closed this spring following an operational review by the Department of Community Services.
The department has put out a request for proposals for groups and organizations that may want to provide the service.
The Talbot House board decided not to apply, saying the application process was complex and beyond what a volunteer board could do.
Talbot House was the subject of a damning report by the Department of Community Services last spring. It closed not long afterward.
Premier Darrell Dexter says it's time to resolve the conflict between the board and the department so people who need help can get it.
"What we want to do is try to find a way to resolve what seems to be an impasse with respect to Talbot House and its ability to continue to deliver addiction services in Cape Breton and we hope we have found that," he says.
Dexter says the government has arranged for Talbot House to have the assistance of Wayne Yorke, an addictions service expert, if it prepares a response to the requests for proposals (RFPs).
Dexter says it's important for the group that delivered the service in the past to have a fair opportunity to deliver it in the future.
"When the board decided that they are not going to apply and they set out the reasons for that, then it seemed to me that this was a reasonable thing to do for a facility, that for the better part of 50 years, had been supplying services to the community of Cape Breton," Dexter says, "and I believe having as many proposals as possible in an RFP process is the best result."
The premier says he has spoken with Talbot House board officials who have told him they will take his offer to a board meeting for further discussion.