About 400 people gathered in Summerside on Thursday night to protest the end of in-patient detox services in Kings and Prince counties.

The province has centralized all in-patient addictions services at a new centre in Mount Herbert. Beds in Souris and Summerside will close when the new centre opens next week.

After protesting for a year, people stood at a meeting again on Thursday night telling how the detox services in their own communities helped them. Keir Bernard went to the meeting. "I'd just like to ask the government what price they put on an alcoholic -- what's it worth to them?" he asked. "Are they figuring that the two or three that they might lose in a year through suicide or whatever, that's going to save them some money, I guess. I don't think they understand one bit."

Liberal Leader Wayne Carew cancelled a nominating convention in Charlottetown to be at the meeting in Summerside. Carew told the crowd if the Liberals win the next provincial election, the beds won't remain closed.

Health Minister Mildred Dover did not attend the meeting. But speaking on CBC radio, the minister reiterated her commitment to opening the new centre, beginning new alcohol recovery programs and closing in-patient beds in Summerside and Souris.