Human Rights Case

Human rights complaint alleges N.S. fails to provide suitable housing

https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20180202002

 The Human Rights Commission Hearing on the Human Rights complaint put forward by Nova Scotia Legal Aid (over the province’s failure to provide community-based supportive housing for two women and one man with intellectual disabilities who have been living in locked wards of institutions for decades because no other options have been provided for them) begins with opening statements Monday, February 5, at 9:30 am at the Chocolate Lake Best Western Hotel, Saint Margaret’s Bay Road (up from Armdale Rotary).   Please try to attend.

The complaint is based on the premise that these people have been incarcerated because they are economically disadvantaged and have a mental disability.  If the only issue facing them was economic disadvantage, they would be eligible for social assistance as a right  and would be able to make lives for themselves in their communities.

 The complainants (including the Disability Rights Coalition of which PEOPLE FIRST NOVA SCOTIA is a member) make the case that the introduction of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act in 1986 prohibited discrimination against people with physical and mental disabilities, yet the province has continued to discriminate against persons with developmental disabilities in need and in receipt of social assistance. That they have failed to provide adequate, community based supportive housing for persons with disabilities which has led to unnecessary detention in institutional settings and harm to individuals through loss of life choices, exclusions, segregation, mental, psychological and at times physical harm.

 This case is central to all of our efforts to advance the quality of life and human rights of people with disabilities.   Please spread the word and try to attend.  Media will be present and it could provide us with opportunity to speak out about “where’s the hope?” in light of this systemic discrimination and in the face of the critical lack of community based supportive housing for our loved ones with disabilities.

Venue:

Best Western PLUS Chocolate Lake Hotel

20 St. Margaret’s Bay Road

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3N 1J4

2018 Dates:

  • Feb 5
  • Feb 13-14
  • Feb 20-21
  • Feb 26-28
  • March 1-2
  • March 5-8
  • March 12, 13+14
  • June 4-7
  • June 11-15

 For more context  see the following articles from 2014 when the human rights complaint began.

 http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1189376-human-rights-complaint-alleges-ns-fails-to-provide-suitable-housing

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1280063-rights-commission-investigates-complaint-over-lack-of-housing-for-disabled

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1287083-alleged-wrongful-institutionalization-goes-to-inquiry

https://nsadvocate.org/2017/06/01/community-services-dragging-its-feet-in-emerald-hall-human-rights-case-says-community-living-advocate/

https://nsadvocate.org/2017/06/01/community-services-dragging-its-feet-in-emerald-hall-human-rights-case-says-community-living-advocate/

 http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/community-services-transition-roadmap-hits-speed-b/22373

 Nova Scotia Budget Talks

The Minister of Finance, Karen Casey, has sent out a public notice soliciting feedback by February 23, 2018 on where to “make investments in quality health care, in the classroom, to make communities stronger, and to grow the economy.”

 This is a perfect opportunity for people to write letters, tweet, Facebook or email their concerns about growing waitlists for community based housing, the lack of progress on implementing the Roadmap for Transforming the Nova Scotia Services to Persons with Disabilities program, the sense of hopelessness families and individuals are feeling that their rights to community based supportive housing are being denied.  The key message is – Implement the Roadmap, make the necessary and overdue investments needed in community based supportive housing capacity to make our communities truly stronger and inclusive and give hope to the hundreds of individuals and thousands of their family members in Nova Scotia waiting for choice, equality and good lives in inclusive communities.

 In your letters, tweets, emails feel free to share personal stories as well. The more input from our community, the better!   Write, tweet, Facebook, email the Minister of Finance by February 23.

Facebook. (http://facebook.com/nsgov)

Email (mailto: budget@novascotia.ca)

Twitter (http://twitter.com/nsfinance) (@nsfinance)

Letters:  Send a submission to Karen Casey,  Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. Please address it to Budget Talks,  Department of Finance and Treasury Board, P.O. 187, Halifax, Nova Scotia,  B3J 2N3

To learn about the Roadmap click on this link of an interview with NSACL Executive Director, Jean Coleman, from September 2013, when she was filled with hope about the Roadmap.

 http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/fresh-hope-people-disabilities/18887