Professor Archie Kaiser’s moving tribute to Dave Kent, one-time People First Nova Scotia president and tireless activist on behalf of people labelled with intellectual disabilities and others who have been marginalized and stigmatized.
Very sad news. Dave Kent, a much beloved People First Nova Scotia activist and spokesperson, passed away suddenly yesterday of a heart attack.
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.
The wonderful activists of People First Nova Scotia are fundraising to attend an important self-advocacy conference in Florida. The Nova Scotia Advocate believes these excellent folks deserve our support, and here is why.
Gerianne Hull, who has cerebral palsy, is fighting to get additional home care supports so that she can continue to live an independent life in the community. Leo Glavine, the minister of Health and Wellness, says no, rules are rules. It appears that one of those rules is that you can’t appeal those rules with an independent arbitrator.