The special nursing home Neguac, which has issued a temporary operating license, remains open

Villa Neguac, which was due to close on February 17, remains open and residents have been allowed to remain at the facility.  (Michèle Brideau/Radio-Canada - photo credit)

Villa Neguac, which was due to close on February 17, remains open and residents have been allowed to remain at the facility. (Michèle Brideau/Radio-Canada – photo credit)

The Department of Social Development has granted a temporary operating license to a nursing home in Neguac that was threatened with closure.

This will allow Villa Neguac, a 30-bed home in the northeastern village of New Brunswick, to remain operational until title transfer papers are completed, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

Marc-André Vienneau, a carer from Caraquet, recently struck an agreement to purchase Villa Neguac, due to close on February 17, along with nearby specialty care home Foyer St. Bernard, after the department revoked its license to operate in mid-January to “protect the well-being” of the 29 residents.

“We are pleased to see that these vital services are now being maintained in this region thanks to the temporary operating license that has been allocated to a new operator,” Minister Dorothy Shephard said in a statement on Villa Neguac on Monday.

According to a ministry press release, all legal requirements and standards set by law were met before the temporary license was granted.

Not a word about the future of Foyer Saint-Bernard

The owner of Foyer Saint-Bernard is “still considering options for the future of the facility,” the press release said.

Former residents of Foyer Saint-Bernard may request accommodation at Villa Neguac according to their needs and at the discretion of the operator.

Neguac Mayor Georges Savoie said there should be enough space for them.

Residents at Villa Neguac will be allowed to remain at the facility pending the completion of the ownership transfer, which Vienneau took over on February 1.

The parties expect the transaction to close by June.

Michèle Brideau/Radio Canada

Michèle Brideau/Radio Canada

Vienneau, who also works as the director of care at Résidence Inkerman, a nursing home in Inkerman, has worked in long-term care since 2008 and described it as “very fond of it [his] Heart.”

The Department of Social Development will continue to monitor the situation closely until the ownership transfer is complete, the release said.

No information has been released as to why the department abruptly revoked the two homes’ operating licenses, only that an investigation was conducted and “violations” were found.

Grocery and utility bills went unpaid, employees say

But according to former and current employees of the homes and a caraquet company, the homes have failed to pay service providers in recent months, resulting in food not being delivered, rubbish not being taken out and fears the power would be cut.

dr Amarjeet Singh Jatana was incorporated as the sole director of both homes in the New Brunswick business register.

The allegations come amid multiple lawsuits against Jatana alleging he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars related to his other business ventures.

Jatana previously declined an interview.

“The decision leading to the closure of a long-term care facility is not taken lightly and is a last resort,” the minister said.


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