Sadly, three people interviewed in this film have died since its release: Cathy Grant, beloved self-advocate, in 2019; Paul’s father Jutvaldis in 2014; and Paul’s mother Eileen, in 2019.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority CEO Dr. David Ostrow retired in 2013.
Disabled Canadians continue to have their freedom and dignity violated with impunity across their own country.
April 2020, the media reported the case of Jonathan Marchand, a computer network engineer with muscular dystrophy in his early 40s, who has been trapped in a Quebec nursing home. For eight years Jonathan has fought to convince his provincial government to give him community supports that exist in BC and Ontario.
April 2020, the media reported the tragic death of Ariis Knight, a 40 year old woman with cerebral palsy, in a BC hospital. Ariis communicated using non-verbal methods. Her unique communications took months, if not years, to learn to understand. However, the BC government denied Ariis the presence of an essential support person who knew and understood her methods of communication. She died alone and unable to effectively communicate with her health care providers.
May 6, 2020, the media reported that Bill Salhany, an ex-RCMP officer with a spinal cord injury, and other residents in George Pearson Centre, a nursing home featured in this film, had been bullied for at least six months by drug dealers and their customers who live in Pearson. No one in authority put a stop to the bullying.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed many disabled Canadians trapped in group and nursing homes in Ontario and Quebec and the rest of Canada. Many Canadians are shocked at the conditions in nursing homes revealed by the pandemic. They wouldn’t have been shocked if the knew the history of their own country. As George Orwell wrote in 1945: “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
Disabled Canadians don’t need Hallmark cards or hugs from politicians wearing pink t-shirts. Disabled Canadians don’t want to live for their care, they want care to live. Some disabled Canadians commit physician-assisted suicide because they want to die with dignity. Some disabled Canadians commit physician-assisted suicide because their country will not enable them to live in freedom and dignity. Disabled Canadians want health care, housing and education that enables their freedom and dignity. They want to fully enjoy the blessings of a free and democratic society.
But hope will not enforce the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Why?
Because hope is not a plan.