Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Faith Cronin calls on Stephen McNeil to finally address the lack of community living opportunities for people with disabilities. “To our great shame, Nova Scotia has continued to profoundly exclude and discriminate against persons with disabilities. I call on you to immediately take the bold and ethical actions necessary to end this shameful Nova Scotian legacy.”

A Nova Scotia Human Rights enquiry reached a crucial stage last Wednesday after closing statements were delivered by the Province of Nova Scotia, the respondent in the case. If the enquiry chair finds that the way government deals with housing needs of people with disabilities is indeed discriminatory, then, and only then, will there be a second phase, to determine  to what extent the Province must make changes in its policies and activities.

Day two of Community Services deputy minister’s testimony at the human rights enquiry: When it comes to community living, government inaction is the operative word, and that hasn’t substantially changed with the end of the so-called moratorium on small options homes. Individuals continue to languish in large institutions, and parents continue to worry about what will happen to their loved ones when they die.

Community Services deputy minister Lynn Hartwell testified all day today at the human rights inquiry into the lack of community living options for people living with disabilities. We learned that very little has been accomplished since the department published its disability roadmap some four years ago. She’ll be back at it tomorrow, and so will the NS Advocate.

The mother of a man who lives at Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville told a human rights tribunal today that the institution is the right place for her son, who lives with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. “Joey is happy at Quest. He has a beautiful room, a beautiful yard. It’s quiet. He goes on outings,” said Betty Rich. “Small option homes aren’t a good solution for Joey. It may well be that small options works for others, but I am the mother, and I must make my own calls.”

Alex Kronstein on the unspoken assumption that caregivers, parents, etc. always have the best of intentions for those they are responsible for, no questions asked. Also how this manifests, and what to do about it. A great article with lots to think about. We’re so pleased to have Alex write for us and offer us his unique perspectives on these matters.

For me, the testimony by Louise Bradley, CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, was one of the highlights of this week’s proceedings at the human rights inquiry. That’s why I was pleased when she was willing to be interviewed. We talk about mental health, the harm of living in an institution, stigma, and the benefits of community living. Louise was at one time heavily involved in the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth, and we also talk about the folks there who have been conditionally discharged but can’t get the supportive housing they need. So they just stick around, sometimes for many years.