Click here to view the poster as a pdf – Scope of Eugenics p
Click here to view the poster as a pdf – Scope of Eugenics p
The Scope of Eugenics
Call for Submissions
Eugenics Archives (eugenicsarchive.ca) is pleased to announce a four-day workshop at the Banff Centre, May 22nd-25th, 2015, in Banff, Alberta. To acknowledge the significant contributions made by students to the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada project over the past four years, we invite submissions from early career scholars—students and those within three years of completing their doctorates—from any discipline on topics related to eugenics and its contemporary significance.
Submissions should consist of a single document that includes a (i) summary abstract (<150 words), (ii) longer description (<750 words) outlining the presentation and explaining the relevance of the topic to eugenics, (iii) short biographical statement (<100 words), and (iv) CV. Possible topics include, but are in no way restricted to, the following :
Apologies to eugenics survivors Child welfare
Collective memory Human diversity
Nationalism Quality of life
Queer sexuality Roma peoples
Schizophrenia World Health Organization
Whiteness Particular Countries / Geographic Regions
The project director is happy to provide feedback to potential participants on these and other suggestions (e.g., on particular countries or regions of the world). Participants are expected to attend the whole workshop and to contribute a short article to eugenicsarchive.ca, ideally based on their presentation, within one month of the workshop. Articles accessible via the Encyc or Around the World modules at the site indicate the type of article we have in mind.
Accommodation and meals for all workshop participants will be covered by Eugenics Archives. Participants will also be notified upon acceptance if we are able to cover in full, or contribute to in part, additional travel expenses. The workshop will allow for substantial opportunities to enjoy the Banff surrounds and will encourage networking, mentoring, and informal discussion between junior scholars interested in eugenics and Eugenics Archives team members.
Scope of Eugenics Poster with Mountains
Deadline for submissions : February 15th, 2015 EXTENDED to March 1, 2015 Acceptances : March 15th, 2015
Questions and submissions to the project director, Professor Rob Wilson : email@example.com
Apologies to eugenics survivors / Child welfare /
Collective memory / Human diversity /
Nationalism / Quality of life /
Queer sexuality / Roma peoples /
Schizophrenia / World Health Organization /
Whiteness / Particular Countries / Geographic Regions
Deadline for submissions : February 15th, 2015 Acceptances : March 15th, 2015
Questions and submissions to the project director, Professor Rob Wilson : firstname.lastname@example.org
Less than half of working-age Canadians with physical and mental disabilities have a job, a significantly lower percentage than the general population, according to Statistics Canada.
A data agency report released Wednesday coincides with International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a UN sanctioned day to raise awareness. The report covers data from 2011 and indicates 49 per cent of Canadians between ages 25 and 64 who said they have a disability could find employment. That compares with a 79 per cent employment rate among the general working-age population.
“Canadians with disabilities include those with a physical or mental disability related to seeing, hearing, mobility, flexibility, dexterity, pain, learning, development, psychological/mental disorders or memory,” the agency says.
About two million people across Canada self-identify in that category — about 11 per cent of Canada’s entire population for that age group. Out of those more than two million people, only about a million of them have some sort of job.
Within the group of individuals who consider themselves to have some sort of disability, the agency divides disabilities into four categories, with these job rates:
Mild disability — 68 per cent employment rate.
Moderate disability — 54 per cent.
Severe disability — 42 per cent.
Very severe — 26 per cent.
Generally speaking, the more severe the disability, the less likely an individual will get work.
Diane Bergeron is the national director for government relations and advocacy with the CNIB. She says the main problem that people with vision issues face in terms of employability isn’t a lack of skills — it’s a perception and an assumption that they can’t do the job, or that the workplace will have to accommodate them in some onerous way.
“People think ‘if I was to close my eyes, I couldn’t do any of the work I do, like use the computer or read files’ [so they assume a blind person can’t either],” she said in an interview. “But what they don’t think about is there are talking computers — technology has opened up the world to have us participate.”
According to the Statistics Canada report, having a university degree seems to increase the odds of finding employment, for both Canadians with disabilities and without.
Education pays off
Employment rates for university graduates with mild, moderate and severe disabilities weren’t that far off from the rate for those without any disability — the rates for all the categories ranged between 77 and 83 per cent.
But the employment rate of university graduates with a very severe disability was lower, at 59 per cent.
A bias against disabled people with the appropriate level of education is a big problem, Bergeron says, because people with vision issues often face disproportionate difficulties in getting a job, even after they’ve gone out and obtained the necessary level of education.
“Employers always tell me that their ideal employee has skills like strategic thinking, problem solving, drive and passion,” she says. Those are the types of skills that blind people have in abundance, as they need to use them to do countless daily tasked that sighted people — the “retinally dependent,” she quips — aren’t even aware of, such as getting into work in the first place.
“All the skills you want in an employee are abundant in an employee who you have decided isn’t ideal,” Bergeron says.
Statistics Canada’s numbers show education is clearly a factor in employability across all groups, and the numbers suggest that’s especially true for Canadians with disabilities.
Among those with a severe or very severe disability and less than a high school diploma, the employment rate was only 20 per cent. That compares to a 65 per cent employment rate for the population at large of Canadians who didn’t finish high school.
Perhaps most troublingly, people with disabilities often earn far less than other Canadians without a disability — even when doing similar work.
Men with disabilities and who have university degrees and full-year, full-time work earned an average of $69,200 in 2011, compared to $92,700 for men with no disability.
The numbers showed the same trend for women, although the gap was smaller.
Among women university graduates working full time, employment income for those with disabilities averaged $64,500, compared with $68,000 for those without a disability.
It’s a story that Bergeron hears often — the right person for the job is passed over because society has decided they might be “disruptive” to the workplace and not worth the cost of accommodating.
“That’s the perception,” Bergeron says, “that they wouldn’t have the skills.”
“I decided to come out with my story so that it doesn’t happen to other women, to our children, to our grandchildren. So that they never find themselves in the situation I am in today.”
Elena Gorolova, victim of forced sterilization, interview for Romedia’s I’m a Roma Woman campaign
Between 1971 and 1991 in Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic and Slovakia, the “reduction of the Roma population” through surgical sterilization, performed without the knowledge of the women themselves, was a widespread governmental practice. The sterilization would be performed on Romani women without their knowledge during Caesarean sections or abortions. Some of the victims claim that they were made to sign documents without understanding their content. By signing these documents, they involuntarily authorized the hospital to sterilize them. In exchange, they sometimes were offered financial compensation or material benefits like furniture from Social Services – though it was not explicitly stated what this compensation was for. The justification for sterilization practices according to the stakeholders was “high, unhealthy” reproduction.
They sterilized thousands of Roma women in this way. The Czech ombudsman estimated that more than 90,000 women from former Czechoslovakia became infertile as a consequence of such interventions. If the evidence for such treatments performed in the past is not alarming enough, there seems to be proof that this practice was not only common during the Communist era: there are women reporting the same crime in post-Communist times as well, even after Czechoslovakia split into Czech Republic and Slovakia. In what is today Slovakia, 1000 Roma women and girls were sterilized annually in the 1980s. Unfortunately, the practice of forced sterilization in this region of Europe seems to persist to some extent, with cases emerging in other countries as well.
The European Roma Rights Centre pointed at two cases of Romani women who were sterilized in Hungary without their consent. One of them relates back to 2001, when a young woman, A.S. accused a hospital for sterilizing her without her knowledge. Following eight years of intensive lobbying, with several organizations started pressuring the government, in 2009 the Hungarian state compensated A.S. The court acknowledged that the surgery was performed without her knowledge, but it also claimed that the surgery did not harm A.S.’s reproductive capacity as the sterilization was purportedly “reversible”. The second case taken up by ERRC is still in process, as it was rejected in the first instance by the Hungarian Court.
The victims of forced sterilization have begun to speak out against these crimes by creating a movement to stop forced sterilization and bring justice to the victims in the Czech Republic as well. Czech Romani activist Elena Gorolova was one of those who started the movement by founding Group of Women Harmed by Forced Sterilization. She is a victim too, sterilized while having her second child in 1990. Mrs Gorolova, like many other Romani women, was not able to file a civil lawsuit because the deadline for seeking legal action had already expired. Nevertheless, she tried to pursue legal justice with other women, moving her case from the local to the national and international level. They organized demonstrations, such as the one in Ostrava in front of the hospital infamous for sterilizing Romani women in large numbers. Elena is one of the eighty-seven women who sent their complaints to the Czech ombudsman, reporting forced sterilization. In December 2005, in his final statement on the issue, the ombudsman declared that sterilizations performed on Romani women are illegal.
The story of Elena and the others is not the first policy of compulsory sterilization in history. The first was documented in the US in the beginning of the 20th century. African-American women were sterilized against their will, many of them without their knowledge, while they were in a hospital for other reasons or sometimes even while serving a prison sentence. More than 65,000 individuals were sterilized in 33 states in the framework of compulsory sterilization programs. This US policy was followed by several other countries, including Canada, Russia and Germany, that approved compulsory sterilization as a governmental practice.
In the case of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, many lawsuits ended with the victory of the victims of sterilization. However, most of the pursuers kept their identity secret or the outcome of the case was not made public for other reasons. Elena Ferencikova was the first Roma women to sue the Czech Health Authority in 2005 for the damages she suffered when they sterilized her at the age of only nineteen. The court didn’t decide on financial compensation but the hospital where they performed the intervention apologized for sterilizing Elena without her agreement, damaging her future and her harming her status in her community. At the time of the intervention, she was a young bride, with the dream of having a big family.
Until the most recent past, over 87 Romani women filed an official complaint against the Czech health authority The first action on the government’s behalf was an apology in 2009 during a press conference, followed by the report from the Czech Ombudsman about the illegality of the practice in 2005.
Among the individual cases which ended in favor of the victims is that of Iveta Červeňáková who sued the Czech Republic for sterilizing her about fourteen years ago. Her case was in front of the Ostrava Regional Court for one million Czech crowns compensation, since she never requested the surgery. After losing the case, the hospital appealed to the High Court in Olomouc, claiming that her right for financial compensation expired and she can only win an apology. But their statement was not accepted and the Czech Supreme Court decided that Ms Červeňáková still has the right for financial compensation. The case was concluded with an out of court settlement between the hospital and the victim. The details are confidential between the two parties. 
The above case seems to be rather typical: the content of out of court settlements is not made public and the reason that women gained mere apologies from the hospitals is usually due to an allegedly expired right for financial compensation. On the other hand, there are cases whose outcome was made public, like one from 2012: the court made the decision that the government was at fault and the woman in question should receive a compensation of EUR 10,000.
Looking at several cases of forced sterilization, a serious infringement of human rights is what should be emphasized, as reflected also by the recommendations from the NGOs’ side, the ERRC and the Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková, who all stress the need for developing a compensation mechanism for all victims of sterilization. A well-functioning mechanism is needed since not all victims are literate enough, have the financial sources, or the knowledge to ask for justice in court. Majority of Czech ministers agreed and a mechanism should be developed by the end of 2013, as part of the already existing legal framework. However, there is a concern that many of the affected women will still be excluded from the opportunity to gain justice.
To add a personal perspective on the issues at stake, I see many reasons justify the need for the government to develop a compensation mechanism. For instance, trends show they are losing cases on the international level. Developing such a mechanism would mean that the cases would remain on the local or national level. Another reason could be financial: whatever compensation mechanism the government develops, the amount of compensation is not equivalent to the cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights. The third reason could be that authorities are trying to escape the negative backlash caused by not assuming responsibility and not criminalizing this governmental practice. In conclusion, the development of a compensation mechanism could keep “embarrassing” cases from reaching international publicity, which could lead to public ignorance if no one realizes how many actual victims there are and in what circumstances these crimes happened.
Of course, one could also argue that after years of injustice affecting hundreds of women, the fact that some women will receive justice might pave the way for others. Still, the question must be asked: is this enough? Is compensation enough? I am concerned that whatever compensation they eventually receive, the truly important development would be if governments themselves are seriously pushed to criminalize forced sterilization: only this could prevent these horrible stories from repeating themselves.
While human rights can be violated by individuals or by institutions, they can only be defended by institutions. The European Court of Human Rights does not deal with single individuals who have committed crimes. Rather, it focuses on why the government in question could not take action against what happened. But where are the doctors, politicians and all the people who personally contributed to or carried out such surgeries, and when they are going to take responsibility for their actions? In order to take action against this human rights violation, blaming the Communist regime is not enough. The practice continues today and forcibly sterilized Romani women are still a long way from receiving true justice.
Written by: Galya Stoyanova, Romani intern at Romedia Foundation
 Albert, Gwendolyn. “Forced Sterilization and Romani Women’s Resistance in Central Europe.” Forced Sterilization and Romani Women’s Resistance in Central Europe. N.p., 2011. <http://popdev.hampshire.edu/sites/popdev/files/uploads/u1149/DT_71_Albert.pdf>.
 Holt, Ed. Roma women reveal that forced sterilization remains. N.p., 12 Mar. 2005. Web. <http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)71063-1/fulltext>.
 Decade of Roma Inclusion . Czech Prime Minister Apologizes to Victims of Coercive Sterilization. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2013. <http://www.romadecade.org/czech_prime_minister_apologizes_to_victims_of_coercive_sterilization>.
 ROMEA. Czech Gov. compensates another woman over illegal sterilization. N.p., 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 1 Feb. 2013. <http://www.romea.cz/en/news/czech/czech-govt-compensates-another-woman-over-illegal-sterilization#>.
 Open Society Foundations. Against her will – Forced and coerced sterilization of women worldwide.
The Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada has launched the ‘long awaited’ website on Friday Oct 24, 2014. You can explore the website now by typing in this URL: http://eugenicsarchive.ca/
BIG thanks to the technical team, Natasha Nunn (Tech team lead), Ben McMahen, and Colette Leung! Numerous Living Archives team members have contributed to the content.
In the weeks to come the site will be filled with more content as articles are still being returned from reviews and a few section are stil be worked on.
Please share the website and watch for new additions to come!
Friday September 12, 2014, 10:30 am – Noon, at Concordia University, Montreal (PR-100, at 210 MacKay Street)
In this interactive workshop that should appeal to students and researchers from a range of disciplines—including philosophy, history, science studies, sociology, education, biology—Rob Wilson will lead participants through a hands-on introduction to the multi-media, developmental website of the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada project (www.eugenicsarchives.ca). Team members have worked with eugenics survivors and a variety of community partners over the past four years to build a range of educational resources for exploring the largely unknown history of eugenics in Canada. The developmental website, which will go public later in the Fall, is structured around about 10 modules and includes survivor video narratives, a look at eugenics ‘around the world’, a connections module that provides a ’mind map’ of eugenics concepts, and a eugenics timeline. The workshop will provide an introduction and overview of (a) the project, (b) the history of eugenics and its connection to contemporary ideas and policies, and (c) the educational tools themselves. Participants will benefit most if they can bring a laptop, though this is not required to participate.
Rob Wilson is Professor of Philosophy and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta, and the principal investigator of the CURA-funded Living Archives project. Rob works in various areas of philosophy, including the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the philosophy of biology, the history of philosophy, and disability studies, and his workshops and lectures are typically aimed at a broad interdisciplinary audience. He is director of Philosophy for Children Alberta, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and currently serves as the program co-chair for the next meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, to will be held in Montreal in July 2015. Rob will also be giving a philosophy colloquium on Friday, 12th September, at 3.30, ‘Knowing Agency from the Margins’ (http://philosophy.concordia.ca/).
Leilani Muir, eugenic survivor has written her biography and launched it at the Alberta Gallery of Art on May 24, 2014. The event was hosted by the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada (http://eugenicsarchive.ca/). Leilani was the first person to file a successful law suit against the province of Alberta, Canada for wrongful sterilization under the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta.
Muir lived in several small towns in Alberta until she was sent to the Red Deer institution. The education she received there did not prepare her for life on the outside, but after she left the institution and escaped from her mother’s custody and at the age of 20, she learned quickly and worked in several cities in Western Canada as a waitress, a retail sales person, and a baby sitter, caring for as many as six children at one time. Only when she married did she learn the awful truth about the sterilization. After winning her case in court, her story was featured in a documentary by the National Film Board of Canada. She spoke at several public forums in Canada, The United States and France, and she ran for election to the Alberta legislature for the New Democratic Party. Recently she was designated a Game Changer on the CBC radio show The Currents, and her story was dramatized in the play The Invisible Child at the Edmonton Fringe theatre festival. She now serves as a governing board member for the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada, a Community-University Research Alliance project at the University of Alberta. Leilani’s story educates us about Canada’s eugenic past and raises awareness about the on-going discrimination against people with disabilities.
You can get a copy of Leilani’s book “A Whisper Past” online at: http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000013125148/Leilani-Muir-A-Whisper-Past
Watch for “Surviving Eugenics in the 21st Century: Our Stories Told” a film highlighting the experiences of eugenic survivors, featuring Leilani and others including several local people with disabilities. The film and reception will be held at the Metro Cinema, in Edmonton on Monday October 20, 2014 as part of Alberta Eugenics Awareness Week 2014. For more details about AEAW 2014 and the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada go to our website: http://eugenicsarchive.ca/#events-section
If you missed the recent broadcast of We Were Children you can still watch the full movie online. It will be available for viewing until April 23.
We Were Children is a 2012 Canadian documentary film about the experiences of First Nations children in the Canadian Indian residential school system. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. For over 130 years, Canada’s First Nations children were legally required to attend Government-funded schools run by various orders of the Christian faith. ‘We Were Children’ is based on the testimony of two survivors.
A 24 hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is posted at the beginning of the film offering assistant to anyone who is distressed by the broadcast: 1-866-925-4419
The film was shot in Manitoba, in Winnipeg, St-Pierre-Jolys and at the former Portage residential school, now the Rufus Prince building, in Portage la Prairie. It was produced by Kyle Irving for Eagle Vision, Loren Mawhinney for eOne Television, and produced and executive produced by David Christensen for the National Film Board of Canada. The executive producer for the Eagle Vision was Lisa Meeches, whose parents and older siblings were sent to residential schools.
Meeches, who spent over seven years travelling across Canada to collect residential school survivors’ stories for the Government of Canada, has stated that the idea for the film originated from a discussion she’d had at the Banff World Media Festival. It was Meeches who approached director Wolochatiuk with the project. CBC Manitoba reporter Sheila North Wilson assisted the production by translating material in the script from English to Cree.
We Were Children premiered on October 2, 2012 at the Vancouver International Film Festival, followed by a screening at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto on October 18. It was broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in March 2013, followed by a DVD release from the National Film Board of Canada on April 12, 2013. (background information taken from the wikipedia article written on the film).
Today, March 27, 2014 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada begins hearings at the Shaw Conference Centre. The hearings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged. As the TRC Mandate (1998) stated, it is not only the sincere “acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Aboriginal people” but also the community’s step for “continued healing” and “[paving] [of] the way for reconciliation” that is the overall aim of testimonies through the the context of the TRC.
The program for the TRC in Edmonton can be found here:http://www.trc.ca/websites/alberta/index.php?p=766
NO REGISTRATION NEEDED TO ATTEND.
Those wishing to provide a statement to the Commission may register onsite during the event.
CAN’T COME? The Alberta National Event will be livestreamed at http://www.trc.ca.
March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day, and 2014 is the ninth year in which it has been held, and the third in which it has been recognized by the United Nations. I want to start this post with an already-widely viewed video from CoorDown that has been up for less than a week, and step back from there. The video is called “DEAR FUTURE MOM”:
At the time of writing, this video had been viewed over 1.6 million times in 6 days, with over 500 comments on it. It’s clearly designed to be emotional and to directly send a number of messages, including at least these: anxieties about having a child with Down syndrome are understandable but overblown; children with Down syndrome will likely bring much joy and richness to the lives of any family they are in, and particularly to mothers; and Down syndrome does not obliterate or subhumanize the person who has it.
The need for those messages, and perhaps others, to be sent, loud and clear, is grounded in the sad fact that parental fears associated with potentially having a child who will have Down syndrome are amongst the highest risk factors for people with Down syndrome. This is because Continue reading
For 116 years, thousands of Aboriginal children in Alberta were sent to Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government and run by the churches. They were taken from their families and communities in order to be stripped of language, cultural identity and traditions.
Canada’s attempt to wipe out Aboriginal cultures failed. But it left an urgent need for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.
There were more Indian Residential Schools in Alberta than in any other province. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) is holding its Alberta National Event in Edmonton this year.
Come and share your truth about the schools and their legacy. Witness and celebrate the resilience of Aboriginal cultures.
(excerpt from TRC.ca)
Alberta National Event – March 27 – 30, 2014 will be held in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre 9797 Jasper Avenue. No registration needed to attend. Those wishing to provide a statement to the Commission may register onsite during the event.
You can download the program click here
On Thursday March 20 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the University of Alberta, Lister Centre, Maple Leaf Room
Understanding the TRC: Exploring Reconciliation, Intergenerational Trauma, and Indigenous Resistance featuring:
Commissioner Dr. Wilton Littlechild
Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson
Dr. Ian Mosby
Dr. Keavy Martin
Moderated by Jodi Stonehouse
Reception 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Tea, bannock and berries. Event is free.
Gala Reading featuring:
Daniel Heath Justice
Anna Marie Sewell
Richard Van Camp
Friday, March 21 from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm in Humanities Centre L-1 (111th Street and Saskatchewan Drive)
Giveaways. Books for sale. Free Admission
You find this information and links to campus maps here
On January 20th in the Edmonton Journal, Willie Littlechild announced that that the TRC will be in Edmonton this March. Here is the article with a few more details.
Edmonton will host the final national event in March for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission dealing with Canada’s residential schools legacy.
The March 27-30 event, open to the public at the Shaw Conference Centre, is expected to attract up to 4,000 people a day to learn about the history of the schools, talk about their experiences and take part in cultural activities.
“It’s almost the start of reconciliation … It’s not the end of it,” commissioner Willie Littlechild told the city’s community services committee Monday.
Alberta had about 25 residential schools, more than any other province. They operated in Canada from the 1870s to 1996, Littlechild said.
There are about 12,000 survivors living in the province, the largest proportion of them in Edmonton, he said.
“It’s an opportunity to many to begin their healing journey,” said the former Conservative MP, who spent more than a decade in the residential school system.
“Every citizen of Canada is affected by this history.”
The committee recommended Edmonton contribute $250,000 in cash and services to the event’s $2-million budget, which city council will vote on next week.
The city, which put in a bid about three years ago, was chosen as host for the Alberta national event over Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie, Littlechild said.
Mayor Don Iveson called it an “extraordinary opportunity” to hear about aboriginal history and begin the process of reconciliation.
The six other Canadian cities that hosted the previous national events contributed to their cost, he said.
“This is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It arises from some fairly horrific historical circumstances; however, this is about learning from that and where we go as a community,” he said.
“We still have a phenomenal amount of work to do. This is a step. It may be symbolic, but sometimes symbolism is very, very important.”
About 150,000 aboriginal children were sent by the federal government over decades to church-run schools, where many faced physical and sexual abuse.
A lawsuit against the federal government and churches resulted in a settlement that included payments to those affected and creation of the commission in 2008.
Its job is to hold public hearings so people can tell their stories, collect records and establish a national research centre.
Some medical professionals see gender variance as a natural characteristic of human diversity, similar to sexual preference, that should be accepted and even celebrated. An article in Macleans (Jan 6, 2014) explores the lives of supportive families and their trans and gender variant children..
The Public Health Agency of Canada published comprehensive recommendations in 2010 for schools to support gender-variant students and several provincial governments have added “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination. The tides may be turning but the need for education is high. The negative judgement of trans individuals suggests there is a 17% higher risk for suicide and even higher risks for being bullied by others.
The Macleans article also has a short video embedded within and pictures throughout, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of trans and gender-variant children and their families. This is an excellent introduction and movement towards educating the public and advancing the needs of trans youth – which is a natural characteristic of human variation.
You can read the article here: http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/13/what-happens-when-your-son-tells-you-hes-really-a-girl/
In the United States the National Gay and Lesbian Task Forces and the National Center for Transgender Equality conducted a survey of 6,450 trans and gender non-conforming individuals from all 50 states. This study was the first of its kind and provides us with a clear picture of what needs to change in order to stop the injustice in their lives..
Discrimination against trans and gender variant individuals provides critical data for policymakers, community activists and legal advocates to confront the appalling realities. Respondents experience higher levels of poverty and a staggering 45% of those survey reported attempting suicide. Harassment and discrimination in education was reported at alarmingly high rates and include physical assault (35%) and sexual violence (12%). Harassment was so severe that it led to almost 15% to leave school in K-12 settings or in higher education..
Abuse by Police, discrimination in health care and public accommodations, employment discrimination and economic insecurity, as well as housing discrimination, barriers to receiving updated documents (identification and personal records). The 6,450 individuals all reported that family acceptance was of great importance, although the majority reported experiencing family rejection. Despite all of the harassment, mistreatment, discrimination and violence faced by trans individuals the study demonstrates their determination, resourcefulness and perseverance. This report is a call to action for all of us, especially for those who pass laws and write policies. Inaction is a form of violence that will negatively affect trans and gender variant people. Take up the call for human rights for transgender, transsexual, trans, and gender variant people and confront the patterns of abuse and injustice. Let’s learn (and teach) the values of human variation to our children, to each other and let’s learn more ourselves!.
You can access the full report titled “Injustice at every Turn” here: http://www.TheTaskForce.org or here: wwww.TransEquality.org. You can also get more information about the survey at: http://www.EndTransDiscrimination.org
The current state of academic publishing is in need of big changes. Academic authors are signing over copyrights to the publishers who in turn charge universities exorbitant fees for access to the work. The publishers have become bottlers of knowledge instead of disseminators of knowledge, releasing to the highest bidders and blocking all others from access. Aaron Swartz simply decided it was time to take action.
“Those with access to these resources—students, librarians, scientists—you have been given a privilege,” he wrote. “You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not—indeed, morally, you cannot—keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.”
Aaron Swartz was a computer programmer who was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS (Rich Site Summary), which includes full or summarized text. RSS feeds can be subscribed to and readers can receive updates or new posts from their favorite web site(s). Aaron also was involved in the creation of Creative Commons (CC), a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works (articles) available for others build upon and to share. Creative Commons has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. The campaign Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was founded by Aaron in 2010. All of this and more from a young man born in 1986. The basic premise of much of Aaron’s work was that “Information was power, but like all power, there are those that who want to keep it for themselves…” Aaron Swartz was arrested in 2011 for making academic journals available to anyone who wanted to read them. The story of his arrest was covered by the media. Federal Prosecutors charged him with wire fraud and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of 35 years in prison. January 8, 2011 Aaron’s body was found dead in his New York apartment. In June 2013, Swartz was posthumously inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. The above quote is taken from article about Aaron Swartz by Peter Ludlow, professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. You can find the complete article here: http://m.chronicle.com/article/Aaron-Swartz-Was-Right/137425/
Publication ban prohibits naming deceased children, shields Alberta government from scrutiny.
Alberta’s ban on publicizing the names and photos of children who die in provincial care is one of the most restrictive in the country, robbing grieving families of their ability to raise concerns in public about the deaths and sheltering government officials from scrutiny.
About 10 children die in care in Alberta every year, but because of a law that prevents their names and photographs — and those of parents or guardians — from being publicized, the public is denied the right to know who they are and assess whether their deaths could have been prevented.
Basic information about the 145 children who died in care in Alberta between 1999 and 2013 was only released to the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald after a four-year legal battle. Still, we can only tell you the names of two of the 145. That’s because their parents applied in court to have the publication ban lifted — a step all parents must take if they wish to speak out about the deaths of their children.
Velvet Martin, who went through the court process, said the ban is evil and “the nemesis of justice.”
“They have failed the child in the utmost way possible and now they are stealing their identity — the only thing they have left,” said Martin, whose daughter Samantha died after being in care. “It’s bad enough to lose a child, but to have it covered up is just wrong and I won’t stand for it.”
With scant information on child death cases, Albertans are left to trust that the government will investigate and correct any systemic problems, yet often the same people responsible for supervising a case lead the review.
The result of the legislation is a blanket of confidentiality over the child welfare system.
Child welfare agencies won’t talk to the media. Several didn’t respond to repeated requests for information about how they protect children and one, citing the province’s privacy act, referred calls to the Ministry of Human Services.
People who work inside the system are barred from speaking publicly about their experiences; even those who spoke on condition of anonymity were afraid they’d lose their jobs.
Government officials argue the ban is necessary to protect the privacy of children and their families; in some cases, a child who dies might have siblings who are also in government care. Children in care are some of the province’s most vulnerable citizens, and provincial authorities feel strongly about trying to protect them.
“I think there is always a balance of values that you have to take into account,” said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock. “One of the values obviously is an open and transparent process so that people can know and understand what is happening and know that things are being handled in an appropriate fashion. The other value is you don’t want to intrude in the personal lives of families any more than necessary, particularly in circumstances like that where they have already suffered significant tragedy.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, in response to the Journal-Herald investigation, Hancock said that the issue of where that line should be drawn will be discussed at a roundtable of MLAs and experts scheduled for January. Hancock announced the roundtable on Tuesday.
The Alberta College of Social Workers supports the principle of the ban for the benefit of the family and any siblings.
“It could cause some definite hardship for the family,” said spokeswoman Lori Sigurdson. “They could be ostracized in the community. It could be a shame thing. Their relationship with the ministry and the worker who is working with them could become antagonistic or more difficult because they feel they have betrayed them.”
Hancock said the bodies that review deaths — including the child and youth advocate, the quality assurance council and the fatality inquiry review board — provide the public with appropriate access to information. He said it’s “not necessarily useful to publish a name and face just for the prurient interest of the opposition or others.”
However, in an interview this month, Hancock admitted he didn’t realize the law went so far as to prohibit parents from talking about their children and releasing their names to the media, and said he would look into it.
“I think families for the most part need to be able to heal and need to have the discussions that they need to heal,” he said.
That’s the argument made by the family of a 21-month-old aboriginal baby who died in a foster home in 2010.
“It is ridiculous. We want to tell our story and we can’t,” the girl’s aunt said. “We’re suffering in silence here.”
A Morinville foster mother has been charged with second-degree murder, but the case has not yet gone to trial. It could be years before the facts of the case and what went wrong are revealed — if ever.
Choking back tears, the aunt said problems with the system must be scrutinized if similar deaths are to be avoided. “Every couple of years, another child is dying in care, and it is usually a native kid,” she said.
Martin, the mother who had the ban lifted on her daughter’s name, said almost every family she has met wants to speak out, but they often don’t know their rights and can’t afford to seek legal advice.
“A lot of people don’t have the fortitude, they don’t have the education, the ability, to come forward,” said Martin, a spokeswoman for a national advocacy group called Protecting Canadian Children.
In her case, she was able to lobby for a fatality inquiry. During that process, she found out that while Samantha’s caseworker had assured her that the girl — who had a number of medical conditions — was getting exceptional care, the caseworker hadn’t seen her for 14 months, nor had she been examined by a doctor in three years.
“I was naive and under the impression that children’s services was doing an internal investigation and were actually going to do something other than cover their ass,” she said. “It was a hard lesson for me.”
Like Martin, Jamie Sullivan went to court to lift the ban on her daughter Delonna’s name — but she’s angry she had to. “If you want to arrest me for talking about my daughter, then arrest me,” she said. “You can’t take anything more from me than you have already. … And I’m not going to have somebody telling me I can’t show her picture. That’s just not right.”
The publication ban law is part of Alberta’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. It stipulates that “no person shall publish the name or a photograph of a child or of the child’s parent or guardian in a manner that reveals that the child is receiving or has received intervention services.” The penalty is a maximum $10,000 fine or up to six months in jail.
Prior to legislative changes in 2004, the ban didn’t exist. A 13-member task force, chaired by Calgary MLA Harvey Cenaiko and made up entirely of Conservative MLAs and child welfare officials, had recommended the change to government. Cenaiko told MLAs the new provisions were drafted to align with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. No mention was made that the ban remained in place after a child died.
Provincial privacy commissioner Jill Clayton, who wasn’t in office when the law was amended, said she can’t find any record of the government consulting the office for advice or guidance on the issue.
Across Canada, most provinces ban the publication of names of children who are in care or receiving services from the government, but lift the ban or decline to enforce it when one of those children die. Only Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec have bans similar to Alberta’s, and officials say Quebec currently does not enforce the ban when a child dies.
But in Alberta, despite the minister’s promise to review the ban, the government continues to enforce it.
This month, Alberta’s children services director refused a request from the Journal and Herald to lift the ban on the name of a Samson Cree baby, opposing an application that was supported with affidavits from both the child’s parents.
Being able to publish the names, photographs and personal stories of children who die in care are large factors in bringing about change, experts say. If parents are muzzled, there is no one else to speak for the children, said Robert Fellmeth, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Institute in the U.S.
“These children have no lobby,” said Fellmouth, a professor of public interest law at the University of San Diego. “They have no campaign contributions. They don’t vote. Their sole asset is democracy, and public sympathy and concern, and disclosure. That’s the sole political card they have.”
Many laws to protect children are named after child victims, he noted. The Amber Alert system was named for Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996, while Chelsea’s Law in California, which increases penalties and monitoring of sexual offenders, was named after 17-year-old rape-murder victim Chelsea King.
In Canada, there’s the Jordan Principle that stipulates that care be provided for children when they need it and decisions about who is responsible for paying for it be made later. It is named after a five-year-old Manitoba Cree child named Jordan River Anderson, who died in hospital while federal and provincial authorities bickered over who was responsible for his home care.
And in other provinces, the deaths of children in care make headlines. In Manitoba, a public inquiry has put the 2005 death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair under the microscope; in Saskatchewan, RCMP are investigating the alleged 2013 murder of six-year-old Lee Bonneau by another child under the age of 12; and in Ontario, an inquiry has been probing the case of five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin, who died in 2002 after years of mistreatment.
By comparison, in Alberta, when the child and youth advocate writes reports about flaws in the system, he has to make up names for the children. In July, he released “Remembering Brian,” and just last week he issued “Kamil: An Immigrant Youth’s Struggle.” Both are pseudonyms.
Even when a death of a child in care is examined at a fatality inquiry in Alberta, the children and parents are identified only by initials. Provincial court Judge Leonard Mandamin balked at this practice in an August 2007 fatality inquiry report into the suicide of a 16-year-old Tsuu T’ina boy. “The use of initials dehumanizes the tragic death of this young person,” he wrote.
University of Manitoba professor Arthur Schafer, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, wonders who the publication law is designed to protect.
“My overarching concern is that privacy is being used as a smokescreen to conceal potential wrongdoing and to prevent the public from getting an accurate picture of problems that may turn out to be systemic,” he said. “Privacy considerations are important, but they aren’t absolute.”
Publication bans by province
British Columbia: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published provided information comes from family or other sources.
Alberta: It is illegal to publish names or photos of children who die in care without a court order lifting the ban.
Saskatchewan: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published provided information comes from family.
Manitoba: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published provided information comes from family.
Ontario: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published without restriction.
Quebec: It is illegal to publish the name and photo of a child who dies in care, but the law is not enforced.
New Brunswick: It is illegal to publish the name of a child who dies in care.
Nova Scotia: It is illegal to publish the name of a child who dies in care.
Prince Edward Island: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published.
Newfoundland and Labrador: The name and photo of a child who dies in care can be published if information comes from family or other sources.
BY DARCY HENTON AND KAREN KLEISS, CALGARY HERALD AND EDMONTON JOURNAL
Story can be found online here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Restrictive+silences+grieving+parents/9221675/story.html
by Rob Wilson.
Many of us have been saddened today to learn of the death of prominent disability rights scholar and activist Adrienne Asch. Some obituaries tributes have started to appear, and we will gather those we find in the coming days and add them to this one. Please feel free to add your own in the comments to this post.
Adrienne was the Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics, and Director of the Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University in New York. She wrote on ethical issues in reproduction, death and dying, and justice for disadvantaged minorities in American society, and is perhaps best-known amongst philosophers for her powerful articulations of core arguments in the disability rights critique of the busy-as-usual practices utilizing prenatal diagnosis and testing.
Adrienne had been supportive of the What Sorts Network in its early days,
Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, & Brave New Worlds. A public symposium on the history and ongoing implications of eugenics ideologies and practices for people with disabilities.
Why do these issues matter? How can we address them in teaching and pedagogy, in policy and activism, and in art?
On November 1, 2013 at San Francisco State University, Seven Hill Conference Center from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.
The Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada is co-sponsoring a conference, dinner and reception plus the screening of FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. Conference organizers include: Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada, and the Center for Genetics and Society.
Registration is free: geneticsandsociety.org/futurepast
Future Past is the result of a cross-national collaboration among advocates and academics interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the long and tangled relationship between disability and eugenics, and the contemporary implications of genetic technologies to the lives and futures of people with disabilities.
Program – November 1, 2013
9:00 – 9:15: Welcome
9:15 – 9:30: Table Introductions
9:30 – 11:30: What? Eugenics and Disability: Past and Present
Many people are unaware of the history of eugenics movements in North America, yet they are disturbingly relevant today.
11:30 – 12:30 : Lunch
12:30 – 2:30: So What? The Consequences of Misremembering Eugenics
What are the social and ethical consequences of omitting eugenics from historical memory or misrepresenting it? What is the price of the pursuit of “human betterment” for reproductive and disability justice?
2:30 – 3:00: Break
3:00 – 5:00: Now What? Looking Ahead to Brave New Worlds
What is being done – and what can be done – to increase public and student understanding of the legacies of eugenics through teaching, activism and art?
5:00 – 6:30: Dinner and Reception
6:30 – 8:00 Sneak-preview screening
FIXED: The Science/FIction of Human Enhancement
Producer/DIrector Regan Brashear will answer questions
Please join us in Edmonton at the University of Alberta for a series of events throughout Wednesday October 16 to Tuesday October 22, 2013 that mark:
Alberta Eugenics Awareness Week (AEAW) 2013 ~ Oct 16 – Oct 22, 2013
Wednesday Oct 16 – Rob Wilson, University of Alberta, Standpoint Eugenics. Brown-bag lunch co-sponsored with the Dept. of Educational Policy Studies. Noon-1:30pm, 7-102 Education North.
Thursday Oct 17 – Eugenics and Indigenous Perspectives. Discussion panel co-sponsored with the Faculty of Native Studies. Panelists: Tracy Bear, Joanne Faulkner, Jerry Kachur, Noon-1:00pm, 2-06 Pembina Hall.
Friday Oct 18 – 1) Persons’ Day Panel: Feminism, Motherhood and Eugenics: Historical Perspectives. Panelists: Wendy Kline, University of Cincinnati, Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan, and Molly Ladd-Taylor, York University. Noon – 1:00 pm, Henderson Hall, Rutherford South. Wheelchair accessible. 2) Wendy Kline, University of Cincinnati, “The Little Manual that Started a Revolution: How Midwifery Became a Hippie Practice”, 3:30 – 5.00pm, Assiniboia 2-02A, co-sponsored with the Departments of History and Classics, and Women’s and Gender Studies. 3) FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. A documentary by Regan Brashear www.fixedthemovie.com, co-sponsored with the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre. Telus Centre 150. Doors at 6:30 pm, film at 7:00 pm. Q&A with Dr. Gregor Wolbring (who is featured in the film) following the film. Wheelchair accessible and closed captioned.
Saturday Oct 19 – Team Meeting, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada. 2-02A Assiniboia Hall (9:00 am – 4:30 pm) Lunch provided; please RSVP to email@example.com by Noon Oct 16th.
Monday Oct 21 – 1) Joanne Faulkner, University of New South Wales, The Politics of Childhood and Community Identity. Noon – 1:00 pm in 7-152 Education North. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Human Ecology. 2) World Premiere “Surviving Eugenics in the 21st Century: Our Stories Told” 7:00 pm – 9:15 pm Metro Cinema at the Garneau, 8712 – 109 Street NW, Edmonton. Trailer: http://youtu.be/QoM12GAJm8I; closed captioned and ASL interpretation; wheelchair access through the alley entrance. Please sign up in advance at Facebook to help us with numbers!
Tuesday Oct 22 – 1) Joanne Faulkner, University of New South Wales, The Coming Postcolonial Community: Political Ontology of Aboriginal Childhood in Bringing Them Home. 4.00 – 5.30pm in Assiniboia 2-02a. Co-sponsored with the Departments of Philosophy and Sociology. 2) Difference and Diversity: An Evening of Performances. Featuring CRIPSiE (formerly iDance), a reading by Leilani Muir, the art work of Nick Supina III, and much more. Education North 4-104. Doors at 6:30 pm, performances at 7:00 pm. Please sign up in advance via Facebook to help us with numbers!
ASL Interpretation can be arranged for events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the event.
All Events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
All events are at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.
How do technologies that claim they will change our bodies and minds challenge our views of disability and normalcy? How might this affect what it means to be human in the twenty-first century?
These are the questions tackled in FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. It’s a haunting, subtle, urgent documentary that takes a close look at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that some are advocating we embrace. Producer/director Regan Brashear has working on labor, race, youth, LGBTQ, and disability issues for over twenty years through documentary film, union organizing, community forums, and grassroots activism. She is co-founder of Making Change Media, which produces videos for non-profits and labor unions, as well as independent long-form documentaries such as FIXED.
Regan will be interviewed by Gina Maranto, Director of Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami’s Leonard and Jayne Abess Center, and author of Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Human Beings. Please join us on Thursday October 3 at 11 am PT/ Noon MST / 2 pm ET for Talking Biopolitics a live web-based interview and conversation with Regan Brashnear, Gina Maranto, and you.
The Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada is hosting the Alberta Premiere of FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement with co-sponsors the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, University of Alberta, on Friday October 18, 2013 at the Telus Centre 150, University of Alberta. Doors at 6:30 pm, film at 7:00 pm. Dr. Gregor Wolbring will join us after the film for questions and answers via SKYPE. Admission is FREE and this event is open to the public! Plan to attend!
The Huronia Regional Centre – this case has settled; there will not be a trail. To read the settlement agreement go to: http://www.kmlaw.ca/site_documents/080659_SettlementAgreement_17sep13.pdf
Members of the lawsuit looking for information can call 1-866-777-6311, or email email@example.com
The Huronia Regional Centre located in Orilla, Ontario, was operated by the Ontario government from 1876 to March 31, 2009. It was the first institution of its kind in Ontario and was designed to house individuals who were deemed to have cognitive and other disabilities. Individuals could be admitted by parents and guardians, from training schools, or through the Children’s Aid Society.
At its peak, Huronia’s population exceeded 2,500 people. By the mid 1970s, the Ontario government operated 16 such facilities across the province.
When Huronia opened, there were no community services and supports available for individuals with developmental disabilities. Huronia was one of the last three facilities of its kind in Ontario, along with the Southwestern Regional Centre in Chatham-Kent and the Rideau Regional Centre I Smiths Falls, all of which closed in 2009.
~The Class Action~
Two former residents of the facility, assisted by their litigation guardians, are proceeding with a class action against the Ontario government to seek justice and compensation for severe abuse they and other class members suffered while residing in Huronia.
On July 30, 2010 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified this lawsuit as a class action for residents living at Huronia between 1945 and 2009 and other family members. The claim alleges that the Ontario government was negligent and breached its fiduciary duties to the residents and their families in the operation, control, and management of Huronia.
It is alleged that residents of Huronia suffered inhumane treatment and abuse at the hands of some of the staff. The allegations include severe mental and physical punishments for “acting out”, rooms were unnecessarily locked creating a prison-like environment, unnecessarily medicating the residents, residents were often not bathed, and forced to work without pay.
The class action will seek to provide evidence that officials knew about the abuse taking place but did not take the required action to stop it. Examples of such evidence include:
Since 1876 thousands of people in Ontario have resided in facilities like Huronia. There have been many accounts of abuse taking place at these facilities, however little has been done to help the victims.
The victims of these abuses are entitled to adequate compensation and an acknowledgement from the Ontario government that it failed to live up to its obligations to care for these vulnerable individuals.
Patricia was admitted to Huronia at the age of six in 1964. At the time of her admission , Patricia was labelled as “developmentally challenged”. Everything in her life was dictated by Huronia staff. Patricia recalls being repeatedly abused and punished – hit by a fly swatter or radiator brush, and held upside down in ice cold water. She was also administered medication to pacify her when she was found to be “speaking out”. Patricia was unable to report the abuse she experienced or saw at Huronia for fear of repercussion and threat of increased abuse. Patricia is now 52 years of age and living independently with assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Program.
Marie was admitted to Huronia at the age of seven in 1961. At the time of her admission, like Patricia, Marie was labelled as “developmentally challenged”. While at Huronia, her life was regimented and controlled and she was placed on medication to pacify her for “acting out”. At 16 she was placed into an “approved home” off the grounds of Huronia (but still operated by Huronia) where she was threatened, teased and physically and sexually abused. She did not report this, because she feared being returned to the centre. Marie lives in her own apartment and supports herself.
Both women understand that their greatest obstacle has not been their disabilities, but the harm they experienced through institutionalization. They want this legal action to help others and ensure similar systemic abuse can never happen again.
To assist Patricia and Marie with this complex litigation, Marilyn Dolmage, a former social worker at Huronia, and her husband, Jim Dolmage, have agreed to act as Marie and Patricia’s litigation guardians respectively. The Dolmages have been friends with Marie and Patricia for many years. Both Marilyn and Jim have worked alongside people with disabilities in the past and are well informed in this area.
(see the original source for links to many of these original documents)
September 17, 2013: This case has settled; there will not be a trial.
Important Dates ( these dates have links to original documents in the online source, see link at the end)
September 17, 2013 – This case has settled; there will not be a trial.
June 7, 2013 – An article written by Carol Goar entitled “Ugly secret of Ontario psychiatric hospitals won’t stay hidden,” has been published in the Toronto Star.
June 3, 2013 – The World this Weekend (CBC), June 2nd, Sunday edition, featured a piece on the Huronia Class Action.
May 30, 2013 – The survivors of the Huronia Regional Centre Patricia Seth and Marie Slark, along with their Litigation Guardians Marilyn and Jim Dolmage and legal counsel held a press conference today at Queen’s Park.
May 27, 2013 – The parties have exchanged responding expert reports in preparation for trial.
April 2, 2013 – The parties have exchanged expert reports in preparation for trial and in accordance with the trial timetable.
February 8, 2013 – Master Glustein presided over the Plaintiff’s motion to compel the Defendant to answer refusals made on the examination for discovery of Mr. Brian Low. Master Glustein ordered the Defendant to answer a number of questions that it had previously refused.
December 18, 2012 – A motion in this action will be heard by the Court on February 8, 2013. The motion relates to refusals made on examinations for discovery and documentary productions issues. The Plaintiff is seeking an Order from the Court that the Crown answer certain questions and produce further documents.
October 10, 2012 – In the process of answering undertakings and written questions for discovery, the Defendant advised that it had located a significant source of further documents to be produced. The production of documents in this action was to have been completed February 29, 2012. The Defendant has already produced over 50,000 documents to date. In a case conference with the Honourable Justice Archibald, the Defendant sought and were granted an extension of time for certain aspects of the previous timetable (from March 7, 2012). The trial of this action is still scheduled for September 2013.
October 1, 2012 – This action continues to proceed towards trial scheduled for the Fall of 2013. The Plaintiffs have delivered a Request to Admit to the Defendant asking them to admit certain facts in advance of trial. The Defendant’s responses are due November 1, 2012.
April 25, 2012 – The Plaintiffs completed three days of examinations for discovery of the Defendant between April 23-25, 2012. The action continues towards trial which is scheduled for September 2013. Expert reports, requests to admit, answers to questions taken at examinations for discovery are all expected to be completed in the coming months.
March 8, 2012 – A revised timetable has been set by the Honourable Justice Archibald that provides for this action to proceed to trial September 30, 2013. The next step in this proceeding is for the Plaintiff to complete the examinations for discovery of the Defendant, which are set to be completed by May 15, 2012.
February 24, 2012 – The Plaintiffs completed the first 4 days of examinations for discovery of the Defendant. A further 5 days of examinations are tentatively scheduled for April 2012.
February 7, 2012 – Oral discoveries (examinations) of a representative of the Defendant will take place February 21-24, 2012.
December 23, 2011 – The Defendant delivered another set of documents as part of its ongoing obligations. The Defendant has now produced over 50,000 documents. Examinations for discovery of the Defendant are scheduled to take place in mid-February 2012.
December 2, 2011 – The Defendant delivered what is believed to be the last set of documents for the Plaintiffs’ review, bringing the total number of documents delivered to approximately 48,000. Examinations for discovery of the Defendant is scheduled to take place in mid-February 2013.
November 17, 2011 – A trial date has been set for this action for a period of 10 weeks beginning September 30, 2013.
October 14, 2011 – The parties reached an agreement with respect to the redactions in the first two sets of documents produced by the Defendant, which averted the Plaintiffs’ motion which was scheduled for October 5, 2011. The Defendant has produced un-redacted copies of most of the documents it previously redacted. The Defendant has also produced its 3rd and 4th sets of documents, which are being reviewed by the Plaintiffs.
August 29, 2011 – As a result of concern regarding the aging class members, the Plaintiffs filed a motion to fix a trial date at the earliest practical convenience. The Plaintiffs believe that the age of the class members warrants a speedy pursuit to trial. While no date is set for the motion it is expected to be heard shortly.
August 8, 2011 – the Defendant produced its second set of documents (approximately 4,000 documents). The Plaintiffs have noted similar redactions in the documents provided as with the documents provided previously. The Plaintiff intends on pursuing such redactions in the motion noted below.
August 5, 2011 – After receiving the first set of documents from the defendant (approximately 2,000 documents) it was apparent to the Plaintiffs that the Defendant redacted (blacked out) information on a number of documents they produced. Such information redacted included names of ministerial employees and potential witnesses, information relating to assaults on residents, admissions information, and in other cases extensive portions of a document were redacted such that the Plaintiffs could not know what information was being withheld. It is the Plaintiffs’ position that the Defendant inappropriately redacted such documents. The Plaintiffs are concerned that further production from the Defendant will include similar redactions. Accordingly the Plaintiffs filed a motion today seeking the removal of such redactions from the documents already produced and those the Defendant has yet to produce. While no date is set for the motion it is expected to be heard shortly.
Additional information on the Huronia Regional Centre class action can be found on the Koskie Minsky LLP website here. Legal Counsel Koskie Minsky LLP – See more at: http://www.institutionalsurvivors.com/background/huronia/#sthash.ctTmZn4L.dpuf
The story in The Star, September 17, 2013: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/09/17/former_residents_settle_huronia_lawsuit_for_35m.html