A MESSAGE TO PREMIER FORD
AND THE ONTARIO CABINET –
WITHDRAW BILL 7 NOW!
To: Premier Ford and the Cabinet
August 30, 2022
You cannot silence Ontario citizens who wish to speak to your government’s introduction of Bill 7.
August 25, 2022
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Dear Ms DeGuire,
For too long, ageism has been seen as a lesser form of discrimination. Society’s grandparents and great grandparents have been pushed to the margins of society and shown, in word and deed, that they do not matter. The strong message – they are old and will die soon anyway – ever present.
Older adults are the only group in society besides prisoners who are still mass institutionalized in a socially acceptable act of systemic marginalization........
August 23, 2022
SENIORS FOR SOCIAL ACTION ONTARIO SENDS OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTERS OF HEALTH, LONG-TERM CARE, AND
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ONTARIO.
THIS LETTER HAS ALSO BEEN COPIED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA AND TO THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
In a strongly worded letter released yesterday, Seniors for Social Action Ontario has advised the Ontario government that Bill 7 violates older adults' fundamental human and constitutional rights. Citing Superior and Supreme Court Decisions in Canada, as well as provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which Canada is a signatory, SSAO took issue with the Ontario government's plan to allow older adults and people with disabilities to be arbitrarily admitted to long-term care facilities without their consent and to share their personal health information with those facilities, also without their consent.
Citing a range of alternative actions that the Ontario government could have taken to support older adults and people with disabilities in their own homes and communities, we call on the provincial government to immediately withdraw Bill 7.
Please feel free to share this letter with your MPPs, your federal MPs, and any groups of which you are a member, as well as on social media. This letter needs to be widely distributed.
As always thank you for your support of our advocacy initiatives.
"An institution is neither a home nor a place of care. An institution is a closed system where problems of human deprivation and indignity are quietly managed, where societal failings are hidden, and where people, individually or, as we now know, by tens of thousands, can die without
Dr. Catherine Frazee
Professor Emerita, Ryerson,
former Chief Commissioner of the
Ontario Human Rights Commission
"Without legal avenues to challenge their situation, persons with disabilities deprived of their liberty become invisible and forgotten by the wider community. Indeed, due to the mistaken belief that those practices are well intentioned and beneficial, their situation and well-being is hardly monitored by national preventive mechanisms or human rights institutions."
Office of the High Commissioner,
Rest in Peace Sparky (Terri) Johnson
SSAO is devastated at the tragic loss of another of our core members - Sparky (Terri) Johnson. Sparky was a kind, compassionate woman for whom the fight for social justice for older adults in long-term care facilities was her life's work. She was determined to advocate for alternatives to these institutions, and to stop the neglect and abuse occurring in them. Her dedication will be forever remembered by all of us.
Sparky, an Indigenous woman, had strong spiritual beliefs about her path in life that required defense of those who suffered. A stroke survivor herself, she was a role model for many.
Sparky was the victim of a homicide and was found in North Pickering. Her room mate has confessed to her murder. It is heartbreaking that she died so tragically.
Rest In Peace Don Weitz, 1930 - 2021
We are all saddened today as we mourn the loss of another co-founder of Seniors For Social Action Ontario (SSAO), Don Weitz.
Don was a long time activist for the rights of psychiatric survivors, and was often seen at demonstrations protesting everything from racism to supporting the Mother's Day March for people with developmental disabilities.
He was an eloquent writer and street poet as well as a significant support to many people struggling with homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues.
With SSAO he offered an important voice concerning the over use of psychotropic medications in long term care facilities, and the treatment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities living there. He was a strong advocate against institutionalization because of his first hand knowledge of institutional abuses and his own mistreatment.
Don's was not an easy life. His own personal experience of tragedy, discrimination, and oppression may have overwhelmed someone with a lesser spirit, but Don pressed on, speaking out about the things that mattered to his last days.
His strong, unwavering voice and kind heart will be greatly missed by those of us who knew him for decades.
Rest in peace, Don. Yours was a meaningful life well lived.