An interesting and perhaps ominous turn of events in the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services’ investigation of Talbot House.
Talbot House, founded in 1959, is closing its doors. Alternate arrangements are said to be being made for the current residents.
Meanwhile police are investigating allegations against Father Paul Abbas, the former Executive Director of Talbot House. Abbass resigned in February of this year after complaints were filed against him. One allegation is of a sexual nature.
I have been hunting for further news on the closure of Talbot House. There really isn’t too much as yet, but there are bits and pieces scattered throughout the latest media reports. We know that in December of last year the Department of Community Services launched an operational review of Talbot House. We know the review will not be made public and that, according to spokesperson Amanda Pelham, “The review is prepared for the board of directors and they will develop a response and operational plan,”
It was in the midst of that review that complaints were received regarding Father Paul Abbass. Abbass was placed on leave as Executive Director. Shortly thereafter a press release from the Antigonish announced that Abbas, former Vicar general and spokesman for the diocese, Police are now investigating the allegations against Abbass.
No reason has been given for the Board’s decision to close Talbot House, but, and I may be mistaken, I believe it is logical to conclude that the board has received and is acting on information from Community Services review. The latter is apparently continuing its review.
The Board of Directors met last night. I imagine there will be more news in the offing. The place can’t just be shut down without explanation.
The other thing that we do know is that Talbot House received $420,000 from the Department of Community Services last year.
I have been looking at the Talbot House returns filed with Canada Revenue since 2000 and must admit that I am lost. In the 2011 return there is $425,815 is listed under “Other Revenues” with a further note (see line 4655) that these revenues are those “generated by the Board.” There is nothing listed under Revenue from the Provincial or Federal Government.
The situation is similar with the 2010 return, but in this instance the “Revenue generated by the board” is $ 442,202. Again, there is no revenue listed from the provincial government.
From 2000 to 2009 there was revenue listed under provincial government, and from 2000 to 2005 there was also revenue from the federal government.
So, I don’t understand. If Talbot House received $420,000 from the Department of Social Services is that not revenue from the provincial government?
And, note that the 2003 Talbot House return showed $ 13,702 received from the federal and $ 129,930 from the provincial governments.
In 2005 it was $9,000 provincial and $186,428 federal.
Anyway, it’s all a bit strange to me. If anyone can make sense of it please do 🙂
So, here are the latest postings regarding the current situation re Talbot House:
07 March 2012: Report says Talbot House to shut down
07 March 2012: C.B. addiction centre to close, report says
06 March 2012: Talbot House closing its doors
06 March 2012: Talbot House residents to be removed by board
I also saved and posted several pages from the Talbot House website. I think it will be gone within the next few weeks:
(I see that the whoever is running the website has removed all of Father Paul’s Recovery Reflections. )
As an aside, as I was searching I came across this – a stark reminder of the dire financial straits which already exist within the Diocese of Antigonish:
It seems that my blogsite problems are probably related to the size of the drop-down menus. He suggested cutting the sub-menus, but, as yet I don’t know how to do that 🙁 I will have to find a way to address this. The site will continue to grow so the problem is not going to go away unless I find a way to resolve it. So, if things go a little whacky from tiem to time I may be trying to change the way the drop-down menus function. Bear with me.
Enough for now,