Premier Wynne Will Deliver Apology for Abuse Suffered at Huronia on Monday, Decmeber 9, 2013 at 2 pm
Premier Wynne will deliver formal apology for the abuse suffered at Huronia on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 2 pm-by Marilyn Dolmage
Marilyn Dolmage provides the following update:
We now know that Premier Wynne will deliver the apology at 2 pm on Monday December 9th 2013.
This will take place in the Legislature itself. Those attending will be recognized in the galleries.
Our MPP Cheri DiNovo will arrange to have the names of those attending be read aloud and listed in Hansard (the government's official record), if you contact her office in advance.
(I think this will also mean that you will be expected when you arrive at Queen's Park - so the Security desk will find your name in the computer and can readily print out a Visitor's name tag)
To get your name on the list, please contact Cheri's very helpful Queen's Park assistant -Bhutila Karpoche - at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-325-0244
(There may be other MPPs willing to welcome people too)
I think that people will still be welcomed even if they cannot register in advance - but Security will definitely take longer.I would suggest that people not bring extra bags or papers, because they will not be allowed with you into the Legislature.
There is no parking around Queen's Park, except for limited spaces for those with accessibility permits. There are parking lots several blocks away. There is an accessible subway station at Queen's Park - and the building is at the end of University Avenue, within the Circle north of College Street.
The main entrance is under construction and is not accessible - which is too bad, because I always think that's the best way to arrive, to get a sense of the grandeur of the location and the importance of this event. There is an accessible entrance just to the left (west side) of the main stairs. It brings you in to the basement level, from which elevators can be accessed.And at that entrance, there is a small coffee shop.
Please help spread the word - especially among the people who were at HRC.
Please consider how they can be supported to attend - not just logistically, with rides; but also emotionally, because this will bring back some very difficult memories and feelings. However, we have heard from so many people that this is extremely important to them. Better to be there than to just see it on TV later!
The lawyers say this is the first time a government apology was ever part of a class action settlement agreement. The more important fact for us is that the people who suffered at Huronia Regional Centre are finally being believed and really accorded the respect they always deserved. If they are now recognized as true citizens of Ontario, we hope their issues will be more respected, and their lives will be of greater political priority.
On Monday afternoon, we will look around us in the Legislature, and remember that Hansard recorded debates there about under funding, under staffing, neglect, abuse, etc for well over a hundred years - during which time all 3 political parties had the power to change things.
We will look around us at Queen's Park, and remember that it was within those walls that politicians and bureaucrats found ways to avoid resolving those problems.
When they finally closed the place, they did not address the harm it had done.
Politicians can no longer ignore the truth and cannot wash their hands of responsibility.
I keep hoping that means government will ensure that people with developmental disabilities in Ontario really matter - by creating opportunities for real inclusion; providing oversight to improve education, health and social services; and increasing funding, especially to stop segregation.
Next Monday, they will no longer be "out of sight; out of mind"...