• Hot!

    Identities of unnamed dead at Huronia Regional Centre emerge

    About 2,000 people were laid to rest on the hospital grounds, 1,440 in unmarked or numbered graves. Huronia was the subject of a recent $35-million class-action settlement between the province and former residents. As part of the deal the government has agreed to establish its own registry of deaths that occurred at the institution, though it’s unclear if that list will ever be made public or how it will differ from the one the institution maintained.

  • Hot!

    Huronia: Pierre Berton warned us 50 years ago [developmental disabilities]

    On Tuesday, the Ontario government settled a class-action suit with former residents of Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia. The terms include $35 million and a formal apology. The problems at the government-run institution for the developmentally delayed go back decades, and so do warnings… Author Pierre Berton wrote a haunting report for the Toronto Daily Star on Jan. 6, 1960

  • Hot!

    Ontario is right to finally admit it failed developmentally delayed kids

    … reaching the agreement — with the promise of an apology and $35 million in financial compensation — was a three-year battle, fought every step of the way by provincial government lawyers. Shamefully, some former residents, now well past their middle years, died before seeing a resolution… By settling the Huronia lawsuit the government has, however belatedly, acknowledged its failures.

  • Hot!

    Ontario must step up inspection of nursing homes

    November 22, 2012
    … the Liberal government promised a new inspection system so rigorous it would end the trauma that destroys some residents’ final years. As it turns out, those were little more than promising words. Only a fraction of nursing homes have actually faced that in-depth inspection since the ministry’s new rules began in July 2010…

  • Hot!

    What are Canadians really afraid of when it comes to crime?

    Apr. 09, 2011
    Again and again – at least 16 times between 1956 and 2003 – knowledgeable and brain-studded parliamentary committees have concluded that where sentences and jail time are concerned, “preference should be given to the least restrictive alternative” (1982) because (1993) “costly repressive measures … fail to deter crime.”… So the Harper government’s stance defies not just evidence but half a century of Canadian intellectual tradition… Tough-on-crime sentiment may be difficult to justify logically, but it is easy to feel. The question is, why has it become seductive to more and more of us?

  • Hot!

    Old Toronto’s farm for minor offenders

    Jul 25 2010
    … in the Toronto of the 1910s, the notion of diverting minor offenders from the Don had gained broad popular support. “We have a barbarous system of handling the fellow who gets drunk,” as one controller put it. “He hasn’t done anything or stole anything. He is a victim of his own weakness.” … the city finally spent $60,000 to acquire the Russell farm… The property, according to a council report, could someday house facilities for very poor seniors and “the indigent.” Conspicuously absent from the plans were bars, fences and other symbols of incarceration.

  • Hot!

    8,100 Home Children stayed in Stratford

    26 Jun 2010
    Annie Macpherson moved to London, England from Glasgow, Scotland in the mid-1860s to further her training as an educator… her experiences with poor children in the city’s East End changed her plans… With her sisters Louisa Birt and Rachel Merry she operated a child emigration organization from 1870– 1925 with homes in Belleville, Galt and then Stratford and Knowlton, Que. Some of the very youngest were adopted and treated as family. More often these children were used as low-cost farm labourers or domestic servants. They were called Home Children.

  • Hot!

    Story of home children part of our history

    Feb 22 2010
    Brownell said it’s estimated more than 10 per cent of Canada’s population is made up of descendants of British home children, yet many Canadians don’t know their story.
    “They are not aware of the hardships that they suffered and the sacrifices that were made. They are not aware of the tremendous contributions that British home children made to the social and economic fibre of our great province.”

  • Disabilities not a reason to send a person to ‘jail’ [warehousing people with physical, developmental and psychiatric disabilities]

    TheGlobeandMail.com – Life/Health – Disabilities not a reason to send a person to ‘jail’
    April 2, 2009.  ANDRE PICARD

    On Tuesday night, on the grounds of the Ontario legislature, a group of community-living activists and former residents of institutions gathered for a candlelight vigil.

    They were celebrating a historic moment in the evolution of health and social-welfare systems that occurred when, on March 31, Ontario closed the last three large institutions for people with developmental disabilities.

  • When ‘poorhouse’ wasn’t only an expression

    TheStar.com – Ideas – When ‘poorhouse’ wasn’t only an expression: A local museum preserves in harrowing detail the stories of a forgotten institution
    January 03, 2009. Tracey Tyler, LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER

    Deserted by her husband, she begged for shelter then lay down on the street. Surrounded by a crowd of boys, it was where she gave birth to her third child.

    Three days later, Mrs. Wellesley Knowles, clutching her newborn baby, climbed 24 steps to the front door of an imposing limestone building. Etched above the entrance were the words “County Poor House.”