About Portage


Cassidy Lake, Friday June 18, 2010 – The efforts of numerous energetic volunteers and a tremendous showing of community support allowed Portage Atlantic to mark the Official Opening of a new treatment facility today on the 165-acre site at Cassidy Lake.

In attendance were more than 300 people including the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, Premier Shawn Graham, Portage Atlantic Chair, Russell H.T. King and fellow Board members, Portage staff and Portage Atlantic youth, graduates and residents.

This event recognised and expressed thanks to Portage Atlantic supporters and celebrated the success of the Making Miracles Happen campaign. Launched in October 2006, the campaign was born to answer a critical need for improved accommodations and work spaces at Cassidy Lake. With increasing demand for their services, Portage Atlantic desperately needed to move its classrooms, meeting rooms and dormitories out of temporary quarters and into bigger, more suitable spaces.

Today, the Portage Atlantic family and its many supporters celebrated the official opening of this new campus-style facility. Portage Atlantic residents will benefit from a therapeutic environment that accommodates their most basic needs while inspiring them in undertaking the hard work leading to Freedom from Addiction. This is a milestone achievement for all and Portage looks forward to accommodating more Atlantic youth in need at the new facility.

The celebration included words of appreciation by Dr. Russell King. “The official opening of this new facility at Cassidy Lake is a major addition to Atlantic Canada. This enormous achievement would not have been possible without support from foundations, service clubs, businesses, banks, the federal and provincial governments and individuals who have reached out to support Portage Atlantic in this endeavour.”

“Today’s event is an example of the importance of the community in the work done by Portage across Canada. Portage at Cassidy Lake is very much a part of this community which identified the need for our services. The collaboration of everyone involved to raise the necessary funds to improve the services offered to young people makes us all very proud and gives us energy to carry on with our mission in Atlantic Canada”, said Peter Howlett, President of Portage.

“Our government’s investment in the completion of the Portage Atlantic multi-purpose community centre will benefit both youth-at-risk from across the region and create new long-term jobs associated with the centre, said Minister Keith Ashfield. “Through ACOA, our government is working with communities and businesses across New Brunswick, supporting initiatives like this that stimulate economic growth for years to come.

“Today’s celebration of the new treatment centre clearly demonstrates that we can all work together to make our community a better place for our youth,” said Premier Graham. Our government will continue to work with community groups such as Portage Atlantic on addiction prevention and treatment for our youth. We are committed to making New Brunswick self-sufficient by 2026, and in order to be truly successful in achieving this goal, we need to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Words of appreciation were spoken by Portage Atlantic resident Liam McCarthy and Geordie Gould, Director of the Portage Atlantic Cassidy Lake center, to recognise the efforts of so many who made the new centre a reality.

Portage Atlantic is a charitable, non-profit organisation dedicated to the reintegration of young substance abusers (aged 14 to 21) into society as positive and productive members of their communities. It is Portage’s mission to foster the strengths and skills of substance dependent persons to enable them through comprehensive and cost-effective interventions based on the therapeutic community approach, to live lives of sobriety, filled with dignity, self-respect, and accomplishment.

With programs and services in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia, Portage represents one of Canada’s major drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Through the application of advanced techniques and therapeutic community best practices, Portage helps users develop self-awareness, confidence and the tools needed to cope with life’s difficult challenges. Respect for the individual is the very foundation of its interventions, and Portage Atlantic residents maintain an environment of unconditional respect for themselves and others. The Portage program is both cost-efficient and highly effective, as is shown in outcome studies as well as client and family member testimonials.

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