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N.W.T. MLA critical of treatment centre closure

A Northwest Territories MLA is calling the decision to close the territory's only addictions treatment centre irresponsible.

Range Lake's Daryl Dolynny says decision was not properly discussed

A Northwest Territories MLA is calling the decision to close the territory's only addictions treatment centre irresponsible.

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced last week it plans to close the Nats'ejee K'eh Treatment Centre in Hay River.

Range Lake MLA Daryl Dolynny is calling the decision to close the N.W.T.'s only addictions treatment centre irresponsible. (CBC)

Range Lake MLA Daryl Dolynny said that decision was not properly discussed, and the Department of Health and Social Services acted unilaterally.

"This is the sole residential addictions centre we have in the Northwest Territories, and so to have an announcement of that magnitude, a change of direction, really went against the guiding principles of consensus government because we really didn’t have a chance to talk about it," he said.

The government said it will instead focus on creating more on-the-land programming and mobile treatment programs. It hopes to have those programs up and running by the end of the summer.

Dolynny said that time frame isn't feasible.

For now, patients will have to go B.C. and Alberta to receive treatment.

Dolynny said the government needs to come up with a better transition plan, and should have consulted with regular MLAs and the public on how to do that.

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