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Quest ordeal continues for woman who says she was assaulted by staff

by Robert Devet

Celese Boudreau, who says she was assaulted by staff,  wants to leave the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville sooner rather  than later. But now her plans to do so  have been thwarted.  (Photo submitted by Adam Boudreau)
Celese Boudreau, who says she was assaulted by staff, wants to leave the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville sooner rather than later. But now her plans to do so have been thwarted. (Photo submitted by Adam Boudreau)
Bruises on arms and legs were caused by male Quest staff, says Celese Boudreau.  Police decided not to pursue the matter. (Photo submitted by Adam Boudreau)
Bruises on arms and legs were caused by male Quest staff, says Celese Boudreau. Police decided not to pursue the matter. (Photo submitted by Adam Boudreau)

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) - Earlier this month Celese Boudreau, a resident of the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville, made the news because of her claims that she was assaulted by staff.

Boudreau told the CBC that after what she considered a bit of harmless horseplay with another resident she was forcefully escorted to a room by male staff and security. So forcefully in fact that she had bruises on her arm and leg to show for it.

Celese’s father insisted that police look into the matter, but no charges were laid. Celese’s father was told by Quest management that he could not view security tape of the incident because of privacy concerns.

Judy Howe is Celese’s grandmother. She worries about Celese living at Quest, she tells the Halifax Media Co-op, especially because a planned and court-approved exit from the institution appears to have been halted.

“I know it's not the first time this kind of thing happened to Celese,” says Howe. “There is psychological abuse inflicted on her, there is verbal abuse. Another staff member just two weeks earlier screamed at her, and cursed and swore at her.”

An adult protection order against Celese  was recently lifted, says Howe, on the condition that a sound support plan be put in place.  

Celese and her family thought they had such a plan.

Celese was set to leave Quest on November 30th to move in with her grandmother. She enrolled in an educational program that starts early in the new year.

But now these plans are off, says Howe, because Celese was told by a caseworker for the Department of Health and Wellness  that if she were to leave Quest under those conditions a new protection order would be put in place.

This concerns Howe.

“She does come out and spends weekends with me, and has to return by 9 AM on Monday.  When she knows she has to go back she's shaking like a leaf,” Howe says.

“They say she will be exposed to all kinds of risks if she leaves Quest,” says Howe. “But that is bullshit. The only risk in her life is Quest.”

A recent independent review of Quest, ordered by Community Services minister Joanne Bernard after Gordon James Longphee died at the hands of another resident, found many problems at the institution.

Residents that live in a semi-permanent state of boredom and staff that is insufficiently trained were just some of the issues identified in the report.

Quest also repeatedly made the news because of staff that lay charges against residents such as Nichelle Ben and others.

“I am concerned for my granddaughter and for everybody who is in  there,” says Howe.”If they do this to my granddaughter, you really wonder what they do to ones that cannot speak for themselves.”

Celese’s family has contacted the ministers of Community Services and Health and Wellness, but to no avail.

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

For more coverage of Quest by the Halifax Media Co-op, click here.  

 


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