An open letter to the NS Government

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes the equal rights of all persons with disabilities to live good lives in inclusive communities. It is time for Nova Scotia to also commit fully to meeting that goal.


Please read this open letter from our partner, Community Homes Action Group (CHAG) to Nova Scotia's Minister of Finance. 

Institutions in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia was one of the first provinces in Canada to begin closing institutions but now has the shameful distinction of being one of the last provinces in Canada to close all of their institutions. There are over 500 people with disabilities being held in 8 institutions across Nova Scotia.


People First of Canada (PFC) and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) define an institution as follows:


“An institution is any place in which people who have been labelled as having an intellectual disability are isolated, segregated and/or congregated. An institution is any place in which people do not have, or are not allowed to exercise control over their lives and their day to day decisions. An institution is not defined merely by its size.”


The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services defines the largest of their institutions as:


Adult Residential Centres ("ARC"): provide long-term structured supports and services, typically to twenty or more adults with disabilities, to enhance their development of interpersonal, and activities of daily living skills. Approved staffing is provided at all times by onsite professional staff. There are 7 ARCs in Nova Scotia providing 368 spaces.1


Regional Rehabilitation Centres ("RRC"): provide both rehabilitation and developmental programs, typically to twenty or more adults with disabilities, who require an intensive level of support and supervision related to complex behavioural challenges and skill development needs. Approved staffing is always provided by onsite, professional staff. There are 3 RRCs in Nova Scotia providing 180 spaces. 2

Map Insti.PNG

1. Breton Ability – Sydney Nova Scotia

  • ARC – 53 Beds

  • RRC – 53 Beds


2. Harbourside Lodge Adult Residential Centre – Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

  • ARC – 32    Scheduled for Closure

3. Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre – Waterville, Nova Scotia

  • ARC - 70

  • RRC - 103


4. Riverview Home Corporation – Stellarton, Nova Scotia

  • ARC – 50


5. Riverview Enhanced Living – Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

  • ARC - 64


6. Sunset Residential and Rehabilitation Services – Pugwash, Nova Scotia

  • ARC – 66 Beds


7. The Meadow Adult Residential Centre – Bridgetown, Nova Scotia

  • ARC – 33


8. Quest – Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • RRC - 24


Table 1 shows the number of residential spaces in Nova Scotia. ARC and RRC spaces account for over 30% of the all the available spaces. Table 1: Facility Types and Residential Spaces in Nova Scotia as of January 2019

Table Institi NS.PNG