Stealing off into the night

The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services, which was unceremoniously stripped of responsibility for addiction recovery centres earlier this month, has quietly removed from its website its much criticized review of Cape Breton’s Talbot House Recovery Centre.

An electronic search failed to turn up a copy of the “report” — hatchet job would be a more accurate descriptor — anywhere on the website. Removal of the error-riddled document, and publication of the Talbot Board’s point-by-point refutation, had been persistently sought by the beleaguered recovery center.

As recently as July, Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse insisted she stood by the review, saying it  it “followed the standard and appropriate processes.”

Talbot has been closed since last March, after Peterson-Rafuse’s officials began furtively promoting false allegations of sexual misconduct against the centre’s executive director. Police found no evidence to support the rumors—nothing that would even warrant opening a formal investigation.

The Department of Health and Wellness, which became the new government home for recovery centres following the Community Services misadventure, is currently evaluating Talbot’s response to a request for proposals (RFP) for the very services it had provided to widespread acclaim for 53 years. The are no other bidders vying to help Cape Breton addicts seeking a residential recovery program.

That this vindictive RFP should never have been issued is by now obvious to everyone. As a face-saving exercise, the current evaluation is an ill-fitting fig leaf. The sooner it’s completed, and Talbot House refunded and reopened, the better.