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NDP slams care home closure

Thirty-seven seniors are facing the boot from their Surrey care home over a broken Liberal promise, according to NDP leader Carole James.

MLAs and residents of the Newtown Regency Care Home flanked the opposition leader yesterday in an effort to draw attention to the tenants' plight.

The 37 seniors fought tooth and nail in 2008 to remain in the 138-bed facility instead of being relocated.

On May 22, 2008, the residents received a letter from Fraser Health saying they're "committed to supporting any resident ... to remain at Newtown Regency if that is the resident/family's wish."

But last week, residents were told the temporarily funded beds were being closed and that the seniors had to choose a new home.

"[The Liberals] promised the beds would only be closed by attrition," James said. "What a way to treat seniors in B.C. and what a betrayal of their trust."

The notices outraged Val Barichello, whose frail mother, Lee White, doesn't want to leave.

"She said they can take her out of here over her dead body," Barichello said. "They have no right to push people around like that."

Matt Kieltyka reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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