Hope Is Not A Plan
When your civil rights are violated you don’t need a good hug – you need a good lawyer.
Because most voters with disabilities cannot pay for a good lawyer they have no way to protect their civil rights, which are frequently violated by government, unions and businesses.
You don’t have a civil right if you don’t have a remedy to enforce it.
Most Canadians with disabilities, unlike Americans with disabilities, do not have a practical way to enforce the civil rights guaranteed to them by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class.
This film documents Paul Caune’s life after he became disabled and was institutionalized by force, and his journey to change the conditions for people with disabilities in British Columbia, Canada, many who have also been institutionalized due to lack of accessible housing and support services. Grab a hankie and watch.
The website for the film is here: http://urbansherpafilms.com/hopeisnotaplan/
Civil Rights Now, Resources http://civilrightsnow.ca/resources/
From the Canadian Human Rights Commission website:
Human rights have been described as all the things we are entitled to be, to do or to have simply because we are human.
Human rights describe how we instinctively expect to be treated as persons.
Human rights define what we are all entitled to — a life of equality, dignity, and respect.
A life free from discrimination.
You do not have to earn your human rights. You are born with them. It’s the same for every man, woman and child on earth.
Nobody can give them to you. But they can be taken away.
This is why countries have human rights laws to make sure that people and governments are held accountable if your human rights are not respected. In Canada, your human rights are protected by provincial, territorial, federal and international laws.
As far as I know, the “protections” are like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which means there is no-one to call and complain to if you are being abused or discriminated against, to have your rights enforced. This means you must be well and able enough to spend months and years fighting for a basic human/civil right, and if you can find a lawyer who can take your case for free, (Legal Aid has been cut back so much as to be barely there for anyone), you might eventually receive what most people take for granted: “what we are all entitled to — a life of equality, dignity, and respect.”
Please watch the film and get involved. … Remember, we are not all born disabled…
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~ Dr. Seuss, The Lorax