Premier Wynne's Apology

Monday, December 9th, 2013, was a historic day for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially those who are survivors of the old institution for the "mentally retarded" in Orillia, Ontario Hospital School, now called "Huronia Regional Centre".

  Premier Kathleen Wynne issued a formal but heartfelt apology on behalf of the province of Ontario government to all who had suffered in Orillia. But first, she unexpectedly came up into the galleries, which were packed with survivors and supporters,  myself included, and shook hands and spoke with as many people as she could, leaning across the galleries to reach out to people. Everyone was enthused and excited and many survivors eagerly stretched out their arms to Premier Wynne. It was a very warm, thoughtful touch and greatly appreciated. Her "Apology" also was from the heart; she spoke very slowly and distinctly so that those hard of hearing could hear and understand, and repeated several times, slowly, "I AM SORRY".

Congratulations Premier Wynne, and to all survivors, and those long since past. As Faulkner once said: "The past is not dead, it's not even the past."

See the Toronto Star, December 10th, front page or click here to read the article.


Survivors Oppose Settlement

On December the 3rd, 2013, survivors of the Huronia Regional Centre appeared before the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto to hear details of the settlement of the class action lawsuit offered to them in compensation for their suffering.

Many survivors opposed the settlement as being too low in compensation for the suffering they endured - approximately $2,000 each.

The judge opted not to hear survivors' testimony, another source of grievance as many wish to "tell their story" in full that was denied them by the sudden settlement on September 17, 2013 - - surely the whole point of the exercise? I feel that what survivors had expected was a sort of "truth and reconciliation" as famously exercised  in South Africa at the end of apartheid, but which is not now going to take place. Only people who oppose the settlement are allowed to give testimony. This is different from having your story heard and recorded, and that is the source of grievance.

Read about it here:  Judge approves $35M settlement over alleged abuse at Ontario institution