Canadian Lawsuit *Against* Deinstitutionalization
See this article, which begins:
The residents of the Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls, a provincially run home for people with severe developmental handicaps, have filed a lawsuit to keep their home open. It is one of the last such residences still run by the province, which wants to be out of the business by 2009. There used to be 19 across the province.
For many living there, it's the only home they've ever known. Thirty or 40 years ago they were deemed unable to live in the community because their disability was considered so severe.
The lawsuit is headed up by lawyer James Gray, whose sister is a long-time resident. Gray says they are suing the McGuinty government, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello, and all Crown ministers and officers who were part of the decision to close the centre.
The lawsuit argues the closure is cruel and unusual treatment, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It also maintains that many of the residents have no chance of survival if put in private group homes, due to the severity of their disability.
Gray says the residents are seeking an injunction to prevent the closure, scheduled to be heard in court on Aug. 26. Relocation of some residents is set to begin in September.
The lawsuit was launched on the same day that Pupatello announced $59 million to expand community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.