The Minister of Social Services, Paul Merriman, expressed disappointment over the decision by Weyburn City Council Monday to reject a discretionary use application for a care home in the Creeks subdivision. He spoke to media Wednesday afternoon.

“Representing social services, and the Minister responsible for people with disabilities, I am extremely disappointed,” Merriman said. “I’m very disappointed in this as the minister, but also on a personal level I’m disappointed they took this action.”

Merriman pointed out it is a rare occurrence for a city council to strike down an application like this for a care home, but it is the decision of the council. He said he would be willing to come to Weyburn to discuss the matter personally with the mayor and council.

While the province does have some options to force through the construction of the home, Merriman stressed he would rather the province work with the city to a negotiated and reasonable solution.

“I don’t want to get heavy-handed on this; I want to be able to have the conversation and hear their concerns. All I’ve heard so far is through the media, so I’d like to be able to hear their concerns face to face and be able to discuss directly what it is their concerns are,” he added.

Thursday morning, word came the members of Weyburn City Council were meeting with the developers of the Creeks subdivision on what they can do to resolve the situation. The news came out when Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan spoke on the matter in the Legislature.

“Mr. Speaker, I am confident that everyone involved in the new group home proposal is working towards a solution,” Duncan said in his statement.

“Concerns have been voiced about what could be lost when a group home moves into a neighbourhood,” Duncan continued. “Mr. Speaker, in my experience, including attending the opening of the three new group homes in our community, these homes don’t take away, they add.”

Duncan finished his statement by saying any neighbourhood would be lucky to have a group home there, which was met by resounding applause from both sides of the floor.

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