Nfld. & Labrador

Noisy Paradise residents slam treatment centre

More than 60 people at a Paradise meeting speak out against plans to open a treatment centre for mentally ill youth in their town.
Health officials plan to build a treatment centre for youth on the site of the now-closed Paradise Elementary school. (CBC )

More than 60 people attended a public meeting in Paradise Monday night to stop government plans to put a treatment centre for mentally ill youth in their town.

Health officials want to put the centre at the site of the former Paradise Elementary school. About a dozen young people with complex mental health problems would be served at the facility.

For much of the two-hour meeting, people yelled and cut off health and town officials as they tried to speak.

Many said repeatedly they didn't want the centre in their neighbourhood — nor media coverage of what they had to say at the meeting.

"I appreciate that not on camera," one woman said.

Health officials agreed to have recordings of the meeting halted.

Much of the criticism was directed at Paradise Mayor Ralph Wiseman. Residents accused him and the town council of trying to keep people in the dark.

The site was picked a year ago for the long-planned centre.

Susan MacLeod, who will manage the centre, assured residents they have nothing to worry about.

"All 12 of the young people will be supervised at all times, so we will be hyper-vigilant parents, to put it that way."

Health officials told residents that they would take their concerns into consideration.