Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Many Nova Scotians with intellectual and physical disabilities continue to live in large institutions against their will, while others are being taken care of by ageing and senior parents. Affected people are saying enough is enough. We went to today’s press conference at Province House, and transcribed in full the powerful statements by Jeannie Whidden of People First Nova Scotia, and Jen Powley, of No More Warehousing.

Joint media release by People First Canada and People First Nova Scotia tackles the decision in the recent Human Rights tribunal on warehousing of people with intellectual disabilities. “To completely dismiss the idea that people with disabilities are discriminated against in most every system in our society is not someone being ‘un-woke’ – this is someone who is completely unaware and obviously not paying attention.”

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.”

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.