“There is no justice without disability justice.” Some 100 people gathered at Province House earlier today to remind the government (and voters) that the Liberal government did not meet its commitment to stop warehousing people who live with physical or developmental disabilities in institutionalized settings.
DIsabilities activist Vicky Levack gave Liberal leader Iain Rankin a piece of her mind last Sunday. There’s a stark contrast between what a video shows happened, and how the Liberals tweeted about it.
Judy Haiven about a Liberal announcement on its health platform. “While Rankin had about 12 people in his camp, including his manager, a campaign team and a van with several men, there were also two women in wheelchairs and about a 15 people holding homemade signs demanding action on housing for people with disabilities.”
A new report by the Disability Rights Coalition shows that earlier commitments to do away with large institutions and provide supports for community-based living are being abandoned. It’s not too late to turn things around though.
Media release: In 2013, the current government committed to closing institutions and providing community based living supports for all persons with disabilities within 10 years—by the end of 2023. With just over two years left, today’s DRC report makes clear that not only has progress toward inclusion been glacial but, in several respects, there has been serious back-sliding on the Province’s commitment.
When Vicky Levack went searching for a census form she assumed missing she discovered Stats Can wants management of the nursing home where she resides to fill out the form on her behalf. “But I’m a citizen,” Levack told the census operator.“You don’t need to worry about it,” they replied.
PSA: Equity Watch webinar, 15 December 4:30 pm Atlantic: People with disabilities fight segregation and demand inclusion
Legal arguments in the appeal of a Nova Scotia human rights board decision about the institutionalization of people with physical or intellectual disabilities continued today. Intervenors in the case argued that the systemic nature of the discrimination must be acknowledged. There is no discrimination, lawyer Kevin Kindred countered for the province.
A Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry was wrong when it denied the systemic causes underlying the institutionalization of people with disabilities in Nova Scotia. It was also wrong in how it determined the damages it awarded to three individual complainants. That, in a nutshell, is the case against the province being argued in front of Nova Scotia Court of Appeal judges today and tomorrow. This is what happened on day one.
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.