Joey Delaney, the Nova Scotia citizen who suffered terribly as a consequence of being inappropriately warehoused at the NS Hospital, was awarded a mere $100,000 by NS Human Rights inquiry chair J. Walter Thompson. After all, he found Joey Delaney “so disabled that payment to him of a very large sum will not have a greater impact on his life than a moderate sum.” Such ableist reasoning makes Warren (Gus) Reed very angry.
At present, there are many hundreds of vulnerable people living in large and small congregate settings across the province, many with challenging physical and mental health needs. And there are chronic staff shortages being further exacerbated by the pandemic. So how do we go forward?
We believe one of the key ways to do this is to support the people caring for them. We need to recognize the essential role they are playing with our population during these uncertain and frightening Covid-19 times.
“Dear Sam, this is the story of how your mom got lost, where I went, who I’ve been, and who I am.” Check out this week’s weekend video about Heather, a young mother who lives with mental health issues, who, unable to find help, ends up in a forensic hospital after being found ‘Not Criminally Responsible on account of Mental Disorder’. It’s really nice.
Pressure has been mounting throughout the country for the release of prisoners and migrant detainees. While federal officials have delayed action, COVID-19 infections continue to spread like wildfire throughout Canada’s prison system. Stacey Gomez reports.
Warren (Gus) Reed: “I’m gonna go ‘way out on a limb here and venture to say that none of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commissioners is a person with a transformative disability. The odds are in my favor. Very few people with disabilities are appointed to Nova Scotia’s 135 Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs).”
As of March 2020, twenty people who have been deemed ready for discharge are detained at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. They are needlessly placed at an elevated risk for acquiring COVID-19 in addition to being exposed to numerous other ethical, legal, social, and health issues.
PSA: On Tuesday April 14 please join a twitter storm and email campaign to demand the release of as many prisoners as possible from federal custody. Delaying release places us all in danger.
Facing the same threat of coronavirus, a new order issued by Dr. Strang institutes more accountability for nursing homes than for institutions for people with developmental disabilities. That leaves Community Services off the hook, and that is wrong, says human rights lawyer Claire McNeil. As well, protocols around isolation of infected residents need to be revisited.
KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – During this horrible pandemic people who live with disabilities face unique challenges. Maybe you are self isolating but you can no longer rely on your homecare worker visiting regularly. Or maybe you are institutionalized, non-verbal and no longer able to communicate with staff because a caregiver you rely on is no longer allowed to visit. We talk with Sherry Costa, provincial coordinator for the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (NSLEO) about these and other issues.
Warren (Gus) Reed; “I wonder when Strang got hand washing religion. Four years ago, wheelchair users asked Strang to weigh in on enforcement of the province’s food safety regulation requiring “washroom facilities for staff and washroom facilities for the public available in a convenient location” in restaurants. He was indifferent:”