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Thursday, 18 July 2024


For Immediate Release—Hamilton, Treaty Three Territory: Despite a growing preference for community-based alternatives to nursing homes, Ontario’s home care options remain difficult to access and even violent. Those who run the home care sector and all levels of government, together, do not provide enough support for people who need assistance living at home nor for the many immigrant workers who provide home care services. Rather than working together for change, home care workers and receivers are often exploited and pitted against each other. 


The Towards Just Care research project, partnered with the Disability Justice Network of Ontario, calls for a sector-wide transformation toward more socially just home care guided by home care receivers, workers, and grassroots advocates. 


Their recent digital toolkit—Just Care Dreams—includes resources ranging from system navigation tools, advocacy tips, and maps outlining Ontario’s home care oligopolies and their networks. It draws on resource mapping, insights, workshops, and stories from a network of diverse home care stakeholders including low-income home care receivers, home care workers, and grassroots organizations representing seniors, disabled people, and migrant workers.


“When we talked to the communities around us, we knew it was time to come together, bring forward our common goals, and dream for better home care systems across these territories. We found examples and started to develop models of socially just care through this project. While this is only the first step, we want to share those insights and resources, so we can build more together”, explains Megan Linton, PhD Candidate, Policy Lead at Disability Justice Network of Ontario, and Community Lead on the Towards Just Care project.


This digital toolkit moves people from learning how to navigate and understand the complexities of Ontario’s current home care system to envisioning and building just care systems. We hope to build new pathways of home care that are publicly owned and directed, intergenerational, sustainable, and holistic.  


“We’re hoping these resources will help people in Ontario not just make informed choices about how to access and participate in Ontario’s home care systems, but also advocate for more socially just systems in the future” says Dr. Mary Jean Hande, Project Lead and professor at Trent University.


Just Care Dreams: A Toolkit for Building More Just Care Systems is available for download on the DJNO website at this link: https://www.djno.ca/justcare


TJC-DJNO Toolkit Press Release - July 18
.pdf
Download PDF • 156KB

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About the Authors:

 

Mary Jean Hande is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Trent University and Project Lead for the SSHRC-funded Towards Just Care project.  Her broader community-engaged research program focuses on aging, disability, immigration, precarious work, continuing care systems, and struggles for social transformation.


Megan Linton is a PhD student in Sociology and Political Economy at Carleton University, and the policy lead at DJNO. Her broader work focuses on disability justice, carceral abolition, and the political economies of disability.

 

Disability Justice Network of Ontario is a provincial organization centered in Hamilton that aims to build a just and accessible Ontario, hold the powerful to account, and create a world where Disabled People are free to be.


Media Contacts:

Mary Jean Hande (Research Project Lead)

Assistant Professor, Trent University

647-458-5326


Megan Linton (Project Community Partner Lead) 

Policy Lead, Disability Justice Network of Ontario

289-780-3566


Brad Evoy (Project Partner)

Executive Director, Disability Justice Network of Ontario

289-780-3566


On a blue background, a photo of Nicholas Nembhard, a black man with a gentle smile and hair tucked behind a black baseball cap. Yellow text above "Justice for Nicolas Nembhard". Inside a yellow outline of a box with quotation marks at the top left and bottom right corners, further yellow text: "The intersection of Blackness and disability is one we are well familiar with as a site of over-policing and death—we cannot allow Nicholas' murder by police to go unchallenged..."


VIA EMAIL

Ministry of the Solicitor General

25 Grosvenor Street, 18th floorToronto, OntarioM7A 1Y6


 Subject: Request to hold an inquest into the Death of Nicholas Nembhard . 


Dear Chief Coroner Dr. Huyer and Chief Forensic Pathologist Dr. Pollanen:


With a deep sense of urgency, we are writing to you on behalf of Disabled People across Ontario, who have been brought together in grief and outrage over the tragic death of Nicholas Nembhard and the 20 June 2024 SIU report clearing the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) of wrongdoing. We echo and amplify the call of local organizations in Waterloo Region and join their request that you consider opening an inquest into the circumstances of his death.


As others have noted, the circumstances surrounding Nicholas’ death are not only tragic but deeply troubling. Nicholas, a 31-year-old Black man experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of support, was tased twice by a WRPS officer using a Conducted Energy Weapon before being fatally shot twice by another WRPS officer using a firearm. We respectfully request that you open an inquest as we believe that Nicholas’ death was unjustifiable and an unreasonable use of force. The intersection of Blackness and disability is one we are well familiar with as a site of over-policing and death—we cannot allow Nicholas’ murder by police to go unchallenged or left without proper investigation.

As members of his community have said clearly: Nicholas was more than just a statistic or a victim of a tragic incident—he was a beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and a pillar of strength for his family, as well as a valued member of our Waterloo Region community. Known for his unwavering commitment to his family, he played an indispensable role in supporting his loved ones, both here in Canada and in Jamaica. His sudden and violent death has left an irreplaceable void in their lives, and has shattered their community. This deeply troubling and devastating act of state violence underscores serious systemic issues of police violence and brutality, anti-Black racism, white supremacy, colonial power, and ableism, highlighting the urgent need for accountability and transformative justice.


As concerned members of the community across Ontario, we are united in demanding transparency, accountability, and justice for Nicholas, his family, and for all racialized disabled people that share in the fear and threat created by WRPS’ actions. We implore you to take immediate action and commit to initiating a coroner's inquest to thoroughly and impartially investigate the events leading to Nicholas’ tragic death without delay, including the response of the WRPS and any factors contributing to the outcome. 

We echo the local community and know that an inquiry is crucial not only for uncovering the truth but also for addressing systemic issues that contributed to this tragedy, and ensuring that similar tragedies are prevented in the future. This is not just a matter of procedural formality but a moral imperative. It is a critical step towards accountability and healing in the face of profound loss and injustice. 


Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter. We anticipate your swift response and unwavering commitment to pursuing justice for Nicholas and his grieving family.


In grief and solidarity,


Brad Evoy, Executive Director, Disability Justice Network of Ontario


Request to hold an inquest into the Death of Nicholas Nembhard
.pdf
Download PDF • 192KB


Background is a yellow to purple wavy gradient. Image begins with the OAC Logo "OAC" in red text with "Ontario Advocacy Consortium" in white text inside a black rectangle. Below the logo, rests the text "PRESS STATEMENT" in purple. Below the title a black rectangle with rounded corners. Inside the rectangle, in white text "ON NURSING HOME CLOSURES IN TORONTO". Below this, a microphone with soundwaves emanating from it coloured purple.

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, 10 July 2024


A sixth long-term care institution has closed in Toronto. The writing is on the wall. The days of institutionalizing people because of age and disability are long gone. It is time the Ontario government recognized this and supported this Consortium’s calls to redirect the funding for the closed institutions to non-profit, community-based alternatives.  

Almost four years ago, our member organization Seniors for Social Action Ontario warned the Ford government that it could not build its way out of the long-term care crisis. It recommended a range of in-home and residential alternatives to building more long-term care institutions. The Ontario government largely ignored those recommendations.


More recently this Consortium submitted a brief to the Ford government recommending a range of alternatives to building more institutions and urged the redirection of funding to support people with disabilities of all ages in their own homes and communities.


With the closure of these six facilities in Toronto, Ontario now has over $47 million a year that it could re-invest in the alternatives to institutions outlined below. In our view, real and meaningful investment in these ways forward would bring about better care for people with disabilities and seniors across the Province, better support families, and ensure better wages and conditions for care workers.


The way forward should be clear by now. Fund these alternatives to institutions:

  • Intensive in-home support, palliative care, and hospital at home programs tied to individuals’ needs not bureaucratic requirements;

  • Expanded and more accessible direct funding through the Family Managed Home Care program so that individuals and families can organize their own supports;

  • Paid Family Caregivers so that families can care for their own loved ones without suffering undue financial hardship;

  • PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care of the Elderly) programs that bring integrated services to where elders and people with disabilities live in community housing and seniors’ buildings;

  • Hub and Spoke programs that provide 16-24 hour a day case management and system navigation support in buildings where a large demographic of older adults and people with disabilities live and in the surrounding areas;

  • Staff residential programs in the community  Supported Independent Living to provide staffing where people live in apartments, condos, and small community residences – fully staffed 24/7.

  • An Adult Community Service Worker Program to provide system navigation and advocacy support for individuals and families.

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ONTARIO ADVOCACY CONSORTIUM is a collective of organizations devoted to revolutionizing Ontario’s home care system and transforming models of funding and care towards justice for seniors and disabled people across the Province.

Members include:

  • Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

  • Seniors for Social Action (Ontario)

  • Ontario Disability Coalition

  • People for Personalized Funding

  • Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy

  • Disability Justice Network of Ontario

  • Childhood Disability Network Canada


Media Contact(s):

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