In 2013, the current government committed to closing institutions and providing community-based living supports for all persons with disabilities within 10 years—by the end of 2023. It was all set out in the Roadmap—a plan to community inclusion drafted jointly by the Province and disability rights advocates, and endorsed by then Premier Stephen McNeil and his government.
The eight provincially-funded facilities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities in Nova Scotia are grappling with the effects of the latest wave of COVID-19, the head of a care group said Thursday.
Joyce d’Entremont, CEO for Mountains and Meadows Care Group, said the coronavirus is currently in all facilities to some degree, ranging from a few confirmed cases among staff or residents to full-blown outbreaks. (photo: Shaina Luck/CBC)
An outbreak of COVID-19 at a large facility for people with physical and intellectual disabilities in Nova Scotia wasn’t disclosed to the public, because the province says it wants to protect the privacy of residents. (photo: Natasha Pace, Global News)
Global News (CP): N.S. government to top court: housing choice for people with disabilities not a right
Global News (CP): “The Nova Scotia government is arguing receiving timely access to appropriate housing is not a human right for people with disabilities and is asking Canada’s top court to overturn a decision that found its current practices are discriminatory.
In an argument seeking leave to appeal to the top court, two government lawyers warn that if the province’s Court of Appeal decision is allowed to stand, human rights legislation would be taking on too much power.”
Globe & Mail: Al Etmanski, who has spent decades advocating for disabled people’s rights to housing, livelihoods and autonomy, now has a major part to play in crafting the Canadian Disability Benefit. If implemented, it would make Canada the first country to guarantee disabled people an income above the poverty line.
Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Advisory Board calls for the Province to drop its appeal and take action on systemic discrimination
“Please Premier, don’t listen to all the excuses, rationalizations and restraints that stand in the way of a better future for our citizens with disabilities. Create a Nova Scotia where “Everybody is somebody!” and worthy of a dignified place in our communities.” -Jeff Moore, Founder of L’Arche Homefires
There has been much confusion over the past week over what the rules are for people living in long-term care facilities. This has made it very hard for residents to plan for the holiday season. But today (Dec 22nd ) at 6:00am, we were told that we are not allowed to leave the building except for medical appointments.
Claire McNeil: “I first met Marty in the Kings gym where Vince and I occasionally played basketball on Sunday mornings in the mid 1980s before Marty gave up basketball for golf. Years later we met again – this time on the same side – working on behalf of people whose voices were ignored, in advocating to meet their basic needs for supports and services to live in the community. …”
A day after the Court of Appeal released its ruling regarding decades-long systemic discrimination against people with disabilities in their access to social assistance, the Premier announced that he would “not fight people with disabilities in court” and that he would not appeal.
Fast forward to one week ago – a complete reversal by the Premier with the announcement that Province is appealing – all the while the discriminatory treatment continues unchecked.
When Nova Scotia’s top court ruled the province discriminated against people with disabilities — by housing them in institutions like nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals — Vicky Levack felt relief and hope for the future. The Oct. 6 ruling found systemic discrimination in how the provincial government placed Nova Scotians with disabilities in institutions, even though they could have lived in the community with support. But last week the province announced it intends to appeal. We hear from Levack, as well as Lawyer Claire McNeil, who’s a part of the Disability Rights Coalition that launched the appeal.