Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia
[Contact Us at Disability Rights Coalition Nova Scotia]
MEDIA RELEASE: (July 25, 2022)
DRC salutes the Premier for ‘doing the right thing’
On the eve of the anniversary of the all-party endorsement of the “Roadmap” on equality for persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia, the Disability Rights Coalition (DRC) applauds the Premier for his government’s decision to abandon any attempt to justify the systemic discrimination found by this Province’s highest Court in October of 2021 against persons with disabilities.
The day after the Court of Appeal released its decision last October, the Premier spoke honestly in saying that he would not fight the Court’s ruling:
…we have to do what’s right by Nova Scotians, so I think we have to revisit that and look at what the Roadmap kind of laid out….We’re going to do that work … The overriding goal is we want to make sure the supports are in place. And that’s the directive that the courts have given. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the human thing to do. And that’s what we’ll do.
Nine months later, now that the Province has abandoned its bid to justify the discrimination, the next step is a collaborative process to craft an effective and meaningful remedy that fixes the discriminatory government system.
“The disability community now has hope that the Premier will continue to do the right thing as he promised to fix the injustices”, said Vicky Levack, DRC spokesperson.
But with just one year remaining to make good on the all-party promise of equality for persons with disabilities in the 2013 Roadmap, time is running out. There is an urgent need to take a collaborative approach to end the discrimination and make good on its promise not to continue to fight people with disabilities:
“Now that the government recognizes its wrongdoing and what it has tried in the past has not worked, they must agree to look to other places where persons with disabilities are supported in an inclusive and non-discriminatory way in order to change our system to make it work for the disabled community” Vicky Levack, DRC spokesperson
The next step is to craft an effective remedy to the decades long record of systemic discrimination against persons with disabilities – a discriminatory system that according to the NS Court of Court of Appeal includes the segregation of person with disabilities in institutions, endless wait times, the practice of effectively forcing people to far from their community to get a ‘bed’, and ignoring their right to social assistance that meets their different needs.
The DRC recognizes the historic step taken by Premier Houston’s government in abandoning its attempt to justify the discrimination and looks forward to the Premier’s continued leadership on the Roadmap goals to ensure that the decades long discrimination is resolved in a collaborative and thoughtful way that results in full inclusion and equality for persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia.