Monday, 16 December 2019

The news of the death of Joshua Evans, a young man who lived with developmental disabilities and committed suicide while on remand in the Burnside Jail, is devastating. The CBC reports that Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey now wants an investigation into Joshua’s death, including  “whether he should have been there in the first place.” That’s quite the statement, given that In Nova Scotia we lock up people like Joshua all the time. Often in prison, where health care and  mental health care needs are not sufficiently addressed. Even more frequently in prison-like institutions. And the province is just fine with that.

Dave Kent, president of People First Nova Scotia and Korey Earle, president of the national People First, feel devastated that the issues they raised around the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act (Bill 16) at Law Amendments were not taken seriously at all. “The presentations ended at 10:30 am. By 12:20 pm, the first article about it was written and online stating that the Bill had passed second reading as is.”

Abuse at institutions for people living with intellectual disabilities continues to affect way too many many residents, a recent Freedom of Information request reveals. The institutions are regulated by the Department of Community Services.
Meanwhile, legislation to ensure that vulnerable residents are protected against abuse and incidents properly investigated is not effective, advocates say.