Canadian Mental Health Legislation and the CRPD


A group of psychiatric survivors in Canada started the Mad Canada Shadow Report Group (MCSRG) in 2017, in order to tell the UN that Canada is not complying with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We want Canadian lawmakers to start doing what they promised to do, which includes having persons with “psychosocial disabilities” lead the change from psychiatric oppression to supports that people actually want. Erick Fabris and I, on behalf of MCSRG, co-authored a more legalistic version (to be sent to legislators, policy-makers and other Canadian officials) of the following. (Please note that  in December 2020, we put up a petition on calling for an end to psychiatric coercion in Canada: you can sign here. )

What is the CRPD?                                                                  

The CRPD is an international agreement designed to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of disability. It states that disabled people have the same human rights as everyone else, and instructs governments on how to ensure that disabled people are able to enjoy those rights in practice.

The CRPD was adopted by the UN on December 13, 2006, and Canada ratified (become bound by) it in 2010. Canada also agreed, in 2018, to abide by the Optional Protocol (OP) to the CRPD. The OP allows Canadians whose rights have been violated on the grounds of disability to make complaints directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the international committee of experts that monitors CRPD implementation).

How does the CRPD define disability?

The CRPD supports a social and human rights-based view of disability: that the challenges faced by people with disabilities are caused not by their own individual limitations but rather by barriers such as physical obstacles and discriminatory behaviour, practices, policies, or legislation. Under the CRPD, people with disabilities must be recognized as holders of human rights, rather than as objects of pity, charity, or the decisions of others with respect to their lives.

Why do people with psychosocial disabilities specifically need protection under the CRPD?

In Canada, as elsewhere, the  standard societal response to emotional, social or individual differences or difficulties is to impose biomedical and institutional interventions. But this response discriminates against us and violates our human and civil rights. The kinds of social and peer-based support systems that are actually helpful are almost non-existent, and attempts to set them up generally receive little or no funding.

The human cost of rights violations

People in extreme distress often languish in restraints or isolation for days or weeks, deprived of fresh air, freedom of movement, and human contact (other than the few minutes a day required for the provision of food and the administration of drugs), before a psychiatrist decides we’re ready to be released into the general population of the ward for further “treatment.” Imagine what this does to our sense of self, and to any expectation that we might be treated with care, respect and responsibility when we actually need help.

And the violation of our rights may not end even after release from hospital. “Community treatment” (outpatient committal) legislation permits “treatment teams” to monitor and enforce medication compliance. Many outpatients go through a humiliating ritual of “witnessed meds” at a local pharmacy, being made to take tranquillizers while a pharmacist watches us swallow. And “treatment team” members regularly invade patients’ privacy to medicate us against our will in our own homes, under threat of being returned to hospital if we fail to comply.

The degree of our willingness to acquiesce to a “treatment” regimen may determine eligibility for housing or other basic human rights. What does this do to our perceptions of human relations and civic society? How can we hope to complete our education, or find employment, when forced to take often incapacitating drugs?

All of these egregious human rights abuses, which, again, are standard procedure in Canada (as elsewhere), violate the obligations of our country as a state party to (country that has agreed to abide by) the CRPD.

What protections must be enshrined in all provincial and territorial mental health legislation?

It also acknowledges that people may at times need help to make decisions, which can include decisions related to treatment, and are legally entitled to whatever kinds of personal supports we might need for that purpose. Notably, it upholds the right to supported decision-making – as opposed to substitute decision-making, where someone else decides on our behalf. Supported decision-making means that, whatever the process, each of us  ultimately decides for ourselves. Anyone helping us decide must do so according to our wishes and preferences – even when we are in a state that is out of tune with or upsetting to others, including the person helping.

How Canada fails its citizens by ignoring the CRPD

It is a major problem that our government has made a “conditional reservation” to its acceptance of article 12 of the CRPD. This is the section on “legal capacity” – the right to make decisions that affect our lives, and especially those that affect our physical and mental integrity – which is fundamental to being legally recognized as a person. Canada’s reservation supports provincial and territorial mental health legislation in continuing to deny our legal capacity and to allow the discriminatory practice of substitute decision-making. It perpetuates the outmoded idea that, if  we refuse treatment, we are shown to “lack insight into our illness” and should therefore be forcibly treated “in our best interests.” As such, it violates the whole purpose and intent of the CRPD.

Adults have the right to say no to medical treatment. Yet Canadian law does not directly require the enforcement of international human rights treaty provisions in domestic legislation. Therefore, regardless of Canada’s “conditional reservation” to article 12, our country’s laws continue to allow clinicians to overrule the refusal of any person whom they have deemed legally “incapable” of making treatment decisions.

Canada’s obligations

Under the CRPD, Canada is obliged to eliminate all legislation and all practices that discriminate on the basis of disability. Mental health laws that authorize involuntary commitment and involuntary treatment are discriminatory because they target people with psychosocial disabilities for deprivation of liberty and for denial of control over our own bodies, minds and health, based on psychiatric opinion.

The practice of substitute decision-making is also discriminatory, in that it denies our right to legal capacity. In its 2017 Concluding Observations on Canada, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities voices its concern about our country’s reservation to article 12, which allows the continued use of substitute decision-making. This reservation, the Committee points out, contradicts the object and purpose of the Convention and prevents Canada from fully implementing and addressing our human rights.

When will Canada act?

In light of the above, the Committee recommended in 2017, based on Canada’s report of that year, that all federal, provincial and territorial legislation be brought into line with the CRPD, and that governments should work on these issues in consultation with us, through our representative organizations. It pointed out that mental health legislation should respect our individual autonomy, and that we should be free to make choices about where and with whom we live and have access to affordable housing and to support services of our own choosing. It asked governments to set up strategies, with time frames, to close institutions and replace them with a comprehensive system of support for independent living, and to put in place legislation, plans and programs that facilitate our inclusion in our own communities and prevent our isolation and institutionalization.

Canada’s next report is due this year, and the Committee will surely question how well the government has implemented the Committee’s recommendations. In 2017, the Mad Canada Shadow Report Group was one of several non-governmental organizations that submitted parallel, or “shadow,” reports. Our report highlighted numerous human rights abuses throughout Canadian mental health practice. We recently conducted a nation-wide survey attempting to elicit the views of various relevant bodies, such as health and human-rights authorities. The lack of response was gravely disappointing.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, visited Canada in 2019 to meet with representatives of disabled persons’ organizations, including our group. In her End of Mission Statement, she specified that “[p]rovincial and territorial legislation across Canada provides for the involuntary hospitalization and treatment of persons with psychosocial disabilities, in contradiction to … the CRPD,” and added, “I urge the provincial and territorial governments to transform their mental health systems to ensure a rights-based approach and well-funded community-based responses, ensuring that all health care interventions are provided on the basis of free and informed consent.” Canada may think article 12 can be ignored, but other sections of the CRPD still impel legislators to stop psychiatric incarcerations and forced treatments.

We have no evidence whatsoever that any aspect of either the Committee’s 2017 recommendations or the Rapporteur’s 2019 urgings have even been discussed, much less followed, by legislators and policy planners. It is our hope that the current document will help them address and overcome this inaction.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Irit,
    you amaze me. You are undertaking such a monu-mental task/tasks.
    Please forward this hopefully to our PM, although I am not certain he understands or for that matter
    has any power over dehumanization.

    Psychiatry is above the law, and no one wants to tackle that huge issue. Which begs the question, why not?
    Why has psychiatry and all medicine become it’s own little legal system?
    Obviously the tax payers want their moneys worth and see all the “mental” gone.

    Honestly I’m not sure why we have to beg for human rights. At that point, anything is possible.

    As was demonstrated in the US. They refuse to pay attention until we fight back.
    And that fighting back only results in a particular case being dealt with, it will not have a systemic change, following. And it really was about much more than colour, the problem really is abuse of power and leaving control freaks at the helm who have no desire to create better societies.

    Our prime ministers and leaders should be thoroughly disgusted. The underpinnings of beliefs are that people MUST “deserve” this. (it’s not “treatment, it’s abuse)

    Thank you for doing all this work. I am in Canada.

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    • “the problem really is abuse of power and leaving control freaks at the helm who have no desire to create better societies.” Despite hypocritically claiming that creating better societies is their goal. I agree, this is the real problem, including the bad systems that these bad actors have funded, like the psychiatric system.

      Thanks for all you’ve done, and are doing, Irit. If I recall correctly, the US has yet to adopt the CRPD at all, which does need to happen. I couldn’t agree more, however, that all people should have the right “to be free from psychiatry and other pseudoscientific means of social control.”

      Especially now that at least some know the primary actual societal function of both the psychologists and psychiatrists, and all the DSM “bible” billing “mental health” workers, is covering up child abuse and rape, and this is by DSM design.

      And now some also know US citizens are living in a “pedophile empire,” implying, of course, that the wrong people had taken over the United States long ago.

      Absolutely we need a real return to the rule of law. And the, primarily child abuse covering up, criminals of the pseudoscientific medical industries need to be taken down, as the criminals that they actually are.

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        • Irit: I would be an international student at Waterloo in the early 80’s from Little Rock. Grandfather was from Stratford and I was quite a fan of Yousef Karsh. IN trying to work off the meds while in school, the madness would return and then my Dr. Uncle demanded that I go back on the meds, thereby over-ruling the medical community at Kitchener. To understand the laws that were on the books that worked to keep “defectives” from immigrating required authorizing letters. To have returned and finished the degree in Planning from Waterloo about where I would focus on Labor, was a challenge. But if one thinks just a little bit about the Perimeter Institute funded by the owners of the Blackberry, then do we come closer to understanding a certain type of law, that affords the human to be in Nature? The man-made laws are not equal to the the principles by which we have been challenged to understand while attempting to recover from the horrific nature of the treatments. To go beyond the rule of the law, to work in the space that is comfortable to our own clock is essential. Do you sense a healthier rhythm, by which we can advocate? And how does our “professional”, that is the we/us advance a certain awareness that detects before we are injured/hurt further?

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          • “Do you sense a healthier rhythm, by which we can advocate? And how does our “professional”, that is the we/us advance a certain awareness that detects before we are injured/hurt further”

            I think we can learn a lot about healthier rhythms from the traditions of the Indigenous peoples from whom this country was first stolen, and of other Indigenous peoples and ancient cultures, and from each other, and even from looking into our own hearts. If we could just stop the meaningless, harmful noise coming from the psychiatric and capitalist systems (which are tightly linked), that would be a start. I am not sure what you mean by your question about our “professional” – can you explain?

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          • Ah-h-h…. I remember fondly my teacher would have us look at the code of ethics of the Am. Planning Association, the Canadian Institute of Planners, as well as the Code of Professional Architects. In some ways, one might say there is a range of professionalism that runs on this page. To begin to organize, at what point does it shift from “amateur” to “professional”? Where the terms of amateur and professional stick in my mind, the most, was in college when I would invite the Dr. Uncle to our Carol Service patterned after KIng’s College of England. His response, “Amateurs…… in a deflating sense of the word, as if the degree of expertise and joy of learning were not being orchestrated higher than one normally experiences. To make this story even more interesting, our choir would go on to tour Europe (we raised the funds) as a whole. And as I watched over the years, I have been pleased to say we, as amateurs still gather every 4 years…. One member would go to sing with Pavarotti, who once was an amateur. I am not sure if I answered your question for some professionals while being licensed in the eyes of the law, may not really have the requisite skills to engage us. One last note, we discovered the 501.c3 non-profit we created in Kentucky would even be taken more seriously if there was a nominal dues. So, for a $1.00 we became card carrying members of ATAK/MI (Advocates Taking Action in Kentucky Against Mental Illness). Great Question!

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    • Thanks, Sam.

      “Please forward this hopefully to our PM, although I am not certain he understands.”

      Pretty sure he can’t emotionally afford to understand, as his own mother has been mental-healthed. Not to mention the “need” for social control. It has been disturbing that to calls for dismantling the police are inevitably accompanied by demands for more “mental health” funding. Not to mention reports of “mental health calls” by police (sigh) during which people of colour are killed instantly. Where the desired outcome would have been their being slowly poisoned to death.

      “The underpinnings of beliefs are that people MUST “deserve” this. (it’s not “treatment, it’s abuse)”

      And punishment.

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      • Yes Irit,
        Margaret talks about it because she has the money to be less “stigmatized”.
        I doubt she was ever forced by cops.
        And in interviews she has said that it started after her marriage and busy politician life.
        Genetics and stress you know. 🙂
        I do know that shrinks get divorced, although I’m not sure why they don’t just go to a shrink to help them deal with a stress inducing wedlock.

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      • “…to mention people of colour killed instantly”. Are you speaking generally or specifically? I can only offer what I’ve learned to date from my journey. And from my work in the civil rights movement in Louisville and working within the Justice Resource Center, I would learn of this behavior. In a fascianting manner though, our board of Advocates Taking Action in Kentucky Against Mental Illness would have a Board Member who would be in the city jail for a couple of years before P&A intervened. He had worked for McDonald;s, was of Colour and also a licensed preacher. How does one covey a better insight into this human lack of appropriate engagement? Having taught in the Delta, See James Cone’s lecture where he visited Yale Divinity School. In the Cross and the Lynching Tree, Cone would articulate Lynching Tree as the Cross in their Culture. Within this book or another, he being from Bearden, Arkansas where his family and Church Family conveyed to him the uniqueness of his life, he would say the “madhouse” was to be feared more. At that time and to understand the configuration of the Kirkbride plans, were horrific. On the flip of this observation, what happens or can we challenge our understanding to realize a law that moves with us, to create the sort of space by which even the UN and that legal language begins to be heard and understood within the countries that are involved? To be fake and talk “Law and Order” while gassing and shooting rubber bullets just doesn’t realize a path towards justice nor respect for the possibilities and probabilities of collaborating together. Managing a government’s laws one would think would also reach to our experience, by which we could begin to make sense not just for ourselves, but also others. If not, bodies of law that becomes alive thereby embracing the concept of what is Tikkun Olam?

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        • “.’.. people of colour killed instantly’. Are you speaking generally or specifically?”

          Both. There have been two reports in the past month (and probably more that I’ve missed) of police arriving at someone’s house on a “mental health call” and that person – in one case a black woman and in another case an indigenous man – ending up dead. “Mental health calls” are never good news for the “mentally ill” person, though they do end in the caller getting rid of the inconvenience, sometimes by the inconvenience getting thrown in the loony bin and sometimes by the inconvenience being murdered. It would be nice

          “To be fake and talk “Law and Order” while gassing and shooting rubber bullets just doesn’t realize a path towards justice nor respect for the possibilities and probabilities of collaborating together.”

          That’s for sure.

          “Managing a government’s laws one would think would also reach to our experience, by which we could begin to make sense not just for ourselves, but also others. If not, bodies of law that becomes alive thereby embracing the concept of what is Tikkun Olam?”

          Tikun Olam – literally “repair of the world,” for those who may not know – is a wonderful concept, as is managing a government’s laws in a way that would make sense. But it seems to me that people have been trying to reach these goals for a long time without any success.

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    • “I thought all people are supposed to be treated equally, isn’t this part of the Canadian Constitution?”

      Yup, it’s in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is about as good at actually protecting the rights and freedoms of disenfranchised people as any other country’s constitution, I reckon.

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      • Do you think the U.S. Bill of Rights is stronger or weaker than the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? For when I was struggling in that period of being the International Student in Canada and not yet versed or tuned to the U.S. Bill of Rights, while challenging the Grad Pub on Waterloo’s Campus to be accessible with their new renovation, I would discover a certain stuffiness in the engineering students. They resented being challenged nor could they see then that some day Stephen Hawking would be teaching on their campus. How do we begin to get the thinking to enfranchise what many have disenfranchised in silence? I reckon we just might need to go beyond the prevailing belief systems. What do you think? (Iin checking the reference to the UN the document regarding work does not seem to entertain the idea of a citizen with a disability as one being capable of being an entrepreneur… that is to be an employer as Citizen Human.

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        • Well, we know from long experience that people can voice beliefs and convictions that they never act on and can also harbor unvoiced beliefs and convictions which they actually do act on.
          Perhaps someday more people will learn to be more honest. In some people’s minds life is just one big poker game.

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        • “Do you think the U.S. Bill of Rights is stronger or weaker than the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”

          My guess is they’re both fairly useless in the real world, and 100% useless when it comes to mental patients.

          “How do we begin to get the thinking to enfranchise what many have disenfranchised in silence? I reckon we just might need to go beyond the prevailing belief systems. What do you think?”

          I think so too. The problem to me is how do we get everyone else to go beyond prevailing belief systems. Wish I had a clue.

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          • I have a clue. But it’s a real process. For the most part it’s done one person at a time, one step at a time. It requires a high willingness to communicate one-on-one.
            There are some steps that can be taken that involve getting someone to read some printed information. But even those approaches require someone going out into the community, handing them some material, and asking them to read it.
            Ironically, this has sometimes been done by police (I am thinking of South Africa and Colombia) with pretty good results.
            But ultimately, the work is one-on-one.

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    • Yes Gerard, we are almost all treated equally as in psychiatry truly rules us and is RAMPANT even in the ER.

      I asked a few doctors lately (in my clever fashion) how the field of doctors is doing and they gave me the thumbs down and stick out their tongue.

      It’s cool too since they pass the plate at collection time and then pay our doctors, and psychiatrist, plus their lawyers, plus the colleges.
      Mind you, they think they are not being paid enough, so the good ones go to the US.

      Lawsuits are unheard of here, due to the fact no lawyer wants to and our taxes are used up paying for the doctors lawyers so most of us have no funds.

      Plus ALL our med records are seen by whoever wants to. Even shared with non medical people if they want to and I HAVE PROOF, since it’s in one of my emails. LOL.

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  2. This issue is made more difficult for me by the re-framing of certain concepts like “disability.” I ran into a similar problem recently when I attended some online discussions about race. The discussants seemed to be saying that they wanted to reject all traditional meanings of the word “race” yet still use the word. Similarly here, it seems there is an attempt to reject our normal concepts of “disability” while still using the term.
    From the viewpoint of someone who is “not disabled,” there is an inherent problem with “help” in that it may be rejected even though, from our moral or ethical viewpoint, help should be given. Would you not help a person who had fallen while crossing the street to get up and continue to the other side, no matter their protests about how they would “rather do it myself?”
    Of course, what we are running into more often is a system that doesn’t really know how to help, yet for some reason feels compelled to do so, clashing with a public that knows the help offered is false, yet stands the constant risk of being forced to accept that false help, with the refusal taken as proof that they need it. This idea on the part of the helper might be workable if the help were not false. Most health care workers would probably leave their jobs if it were clear to them that they were not really helping. So they are bombarded with propaganda to convince them that they are.
    Thus, to me, finding “interventions” (I hate that term!) that really do help is part of the battle here, particularly at the ground level where workers meet “patients.”
    When it becomes this difficult, though, to get the higher-level persons who fund or control the “helping” institutions to change the practices of those institutions, it raises questions for me such as, 1) are they really in control? and 2) do they really care?
    In a political setting you always have considerations of expediency and economics. Even though people in government and politics are trained in universities and can converse in a very intellectual way, this doesn’t mean that they actually share the interests, concerns, or even understandings, of others who came up through that same system. Did they get into politics to serve – or be served? One always has to wonder. And the political environment does not usually favor putting humanitarian concerns ahead of other ones.
    My impression is that the people who care will have to make the changes they want through their own personal efforts. Though our political systems give lip service to the issue of Human Rights, there seems to be an abiding sense that they cannot really afford to implement such rights. It’s almost as if going down that road would take them in a direction they really don’t want to go. If that’s true, then we are essentially on our own regarding such issues. The next question becomes: Can the intellectuals who support humanitarian reforms step away from their books and keyboards and classrooms long enough to actually lend a hand that’s going to make a difference, or does the real responsibility for action devolve to the victims of institutional inhumanity? I’d like to think we can help, but I know from personal experience how uncomfortable that can be.

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    • I hate the term “interventions” too. To me the question of “workers and patients” already accepts that our problems are in the realm of disease and medicine, which I don’t buy. I think expediency and economics has everything to do with the impossibility of systemic change, which is why we have to figure out how to help ourselves and each other outside of systems. From what I see many people who get into politics do so to exert power over others, though I imagine most or all are lying to themselves about that, as shrinks and their minions (and a great many police officers, etc.) must surely be doing as well. Humanitarian concerns are only important when they don’t challenge the status quo. So, yes, I think we’re on our own. And it can be hard as hell to help each other, but I think that’s all there is, at least for those who can’t afford or hate the idea of therapy. Which is not to say that I am only helped by (or only help, for that matter) other crazies. But mutual aid, independent of pay, is where it’s at for me. And I realize that I’m incredibly lucky to be able to get by on that. Hope this is halfway coherent. I get very worked up about this stuff!

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      • I know that the people in my group often spend hours and hours on training just to get to the point there they feel comfortable helping another student. Then some of those will go out and feel courageous enough to apply what they learned to a stranger. Well, that’s a little step forward.
        But I don’t know many who work as full time social workers or similar jobs like that in marginalized communities. That’s hard work! I know my dad tried it when he was young, and he told me it was too much for him. The suffering was more than he could confront.
        But here and there a courageous person or group has gone out and caused real changes. I know of a priest in Africa who has had success in raising the economic standards in the communities he serves using not much more than a little secular booklet. They will give up, of course, if their help turns out to be false. So we must train people in helping technologies we know work and that they are willing to apply.

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  3. Thanks for this blog and all your ongoing great work Irit. As for getting legislation in line with the CRPD, it’s high time Canada (and the U.S. and other countries) not just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the walk’. There is much unrest and much at stake these days and giving lip service to human rights can no longer be acceptable.

    Also great statement you made (in the comment section) Irit bears repeating:

    “From what I see many people who get into politics do so to exert power over others, though I imagine most or all are lying to themselves about that, as shrinks and their minions (and a great many police officers, etc.) must surely be doing as well. Humanitarian concerns are only important when they don’t challenge the status quo.”

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    • Rosalee:

      I would offer a different frame of reference. First, the brain’s operation is an extraordinary political expression as the will to live focus fires off across many gaps. Hence, one is already in the fray.

      I would encourage you and others to pick an office, file for that office, and experience a period by which you attempt to offer up what you are about, I did this in Louisville, partially in response to the civil rights abuse I would receive from the Mayor, who was schooled in Law from the University of Indiana.

      I thought more about my simple platform and type of service I might offer to my community. The experience was unusual and I would not take any money for my campaign; hence I self financed. I would also be encouraged to quit the race by the NAMI member or others with wealth. But to start quitting was not in the cards. I strive to finish what I start. And so the vote at the end showed a better cpv (cost per vote). I averaged .25/vote, the Mayor spent 3.00/vote.
      So, if one is wanting to see the content of a person’s character emerge, and then across this protest, I would encourage those who wish to change the system to file for offices.

      Flood the ballots, with participants.

      The filing fees may not be much, and once on the form, either aligned with prevailing major parties or independents, there is a way, the systems must work. And to travel during that window, the circuit to engage the best you can, is a way of giving voice. The content of a person’s character will emerge.

      And a voice, of a human who can relate to all the citizenry seems to be a rarer ability when the law firms in Washington are pouring money into campaign races or wealthier people contribute to both sides to cover their interests. I have not made revenues and in fact from being involved with civil rights advocacy would be dismissed.

      In the more estranged manner, the security man for the Mayor would be 1) keeping me from entering the Mayor’s disability committee on which I was a member, and 2) would be chasing me down the street, screaming at me to “go away”, the city doesn’t want to have anything to do with me and so forth”. Equally, the banks in town would be telling me “the government takes care of the handicapped”. The problem has been trying to be settled enough to experience the joy of earning a living, when the believe systems as we discover on these pages shows a nightmare of tragic experiences as well as beautiful expressions of love and commitment to social justice. The essence is to not give up. One last comment to this post, is a fond memory I have of my teacher at Waterloo, Harry Coblentz who looked more like Karl Marx. When I would talk about training programs, he would stop me, and then in his modest, English toned voice, convey to me, that one trains a monkey, but educates a human being. Thus to go back to the UN references about labor, how many times do you see the references to training programs. The context sets in motion a sort of experience that does not welcome questions, which corrupted systems really seem to be having a problem with. Hope this helps….

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  4. If we are about to have a “mad in Canada” website, hopefully this would be on their agenda.
    And really, we need to address all of the healthcare system as to discrimination.
    And note please , I don’t see psychiatry as part of a “healthcare”, since it has been established that they continue
    to be part of a cause of disability.

    But more and more our healthcare system is involved in using the labels of psychiatry against patients. It is clear that as a “medical doctor” they would not be able to assess in any way the patient in front of them, yet one quick look at the patient’s files allows an MD to treat the patient radically different from the one that never saw a shrink. Now we are not discussing “stigma” here. We are discussing life and death discrimination…that one person’s account of their physical experience matters, but another person’s account does not matter at all.
    To not confuse an “MD’s” sensibilities, the charts of a psychiatrist should be separated from “healthcare”, since the “healthcare” community seems not be able to separate the psychiatric from the physical, resulting in incompetent healthcare.
    There is NO PROOF in any meaningful way that the patient before them “HAS” something, like “bi-polar”. And to engage in actual medicine AND accepting someone’s word that they “have” “something”, something invented by psychiatry is horrible “medical practice”.

    The “chemical imbalance” was debunked, but the drugs designed to disrupt those chemicals were not taken off the market.
    And now we are stuck with a healthcare system that is as stuck on the paradigm as is psychiatry.
    It is imperative that psych charts are absolutely private and apart from real medical services or any other services, so that people can continue to be seen through the lens of each specialty and that the services engage within their training, not the bogus labels of psychiatry.

    Each specialty, each service is already full enough of shortcomings and bias without the help of the discriminatory practices of psychiatry.

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  5. Yes. And as for the “chemical imbalance” having been debunked, that seems somehow never to have filtered down to … well … anywhere. As we all know, this lie is still promoted indiscriminately and universally used as a pretext for poisoning an ever-increasing number of “clients” and “patients.” By the way, Sam, I seem never to have responded to your initial comment of June 5. How rude! Sorry, and thank you for your words. Alas, I’m sure everything we’ve sent to Trudeau and other politicians and officials has gone straight into the circular file …

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  6. Glad to see the petition you’ve added.

    These blogs need to be resurrected now and again. One would think that psychiatry would be quite willing to bend a little regarding human rights. What they are practicing had been outlawed. They replaced the asylums with drugs, which really should make people think of what that means. How disabling these drugs are.

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  7. There are an estimated 6.5M persons with disabilities in Canada who are waiting on our governments to get real and implement the CRPD into our laws. From all walks of life, we’re fighting for our lives.

    “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.”

    ― John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

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