Update 2020

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 2014.

In 2014 Paul Caune, in part for his work on this film, was one of the recipients of that year’s Courage To Come Back Awards. Here’s Paul’s acceptance speech.

In 2015 the BC government sold most of the Pearson Dogwood lands to the Onni Group. Here is VCH’s plan to replace George Pearson Centre.

A BC Seniors Advocate report in 2016 report revealed that during 2014-2015 49% of the residents of GPC had “Taken antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychosis “.

(In 2019 the percent had dropped to 24.7%).

For an 2019 update on the 2012 BC Ombudsperson report quoted in the film go to here.

As of January 2016 GPC allows its residents to have pets.

Since this film was released in April 2013 the Accessible Canada Act was made law on June 21, 2019. It applies to only federal jurisdiction and will not solve the problems described in this film.

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 7, 2020, NEWS1130’s Ash Kelly 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.

On May 26, 2020 Global News reported on the shocking conditions discovered by the Canadian Armed Forces in five Ontario nursing homes.

On May 30, 2020 the Vancouver Sun published on the front page of its paper edition a column by Daphne Bramham about bullying of Mr. Salhany and others at GPC.

In the spring of 2020, VCH told disabled voters using the CSIL program that their contracts must include this clause:

23. Acting Reasonable and Approvals

 Where this agreement permits, allows or requires us to make a decision, provides us with an option to act or refrain from acting, approve or reject any request, submission or other item or any variation of those requirements, that decision, option or other action will be undertaken at our sole discretion and will not require us to act reasonably.”

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.