Send a letter to your MLA
Send a letter to your MLA and let them know that the current housing options and supports for people with severe physical disabilities is woefully inadequate. Find your MLA’s email or address here. Feel free to use our template below to write to them!
[Name and address of MLA]
Dear [Name of MLA], MLA,
I am writing to ask for your support on the Roadmap for Transforming Nova Scotia Services to Support Persons with Disabilities Program. Both the previous NDP and current Liberal government have given their support for the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this document. The document was originally passed by Province House in 2013 as a five-year-plan, the Liberal government has since extended it to a ten-year-plan. Six years in, people with disabilities are seeing minimal change.
The Roadmap outlined that, “The majority of people with disabilities do not want ‘residential options’ or ‘specialized residential facilities’. They want a safe and decent home of their own, where they can exercise choice and control, choice of where and with whom they live”. It stated that persons with disabilities should have access to accessible, affordable, in-community housing with all necessary support services provided.
At present over 1,100 people with disabilities, aged 18 to 60, are currently being warehoused in large-scale care facilities. They live far outside the community, isolated, living with people two- or three-times their senior. The government has announced their intent to construct eight new small-options homes across the province, breaking the 20-year moratorium on the addition of any new group homes. However, the current waitlist for small-options homes for people with disabilities is over 1,000 people deep. The 32 spots that the announced small-options home will create is a drop in the bucket. 968 people will remain waitlisted for a home.
In addition to the Roadmap, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on March 11, 2010. Article 19 of the Convention—Living independently and being included in the community—states that persons with disabilities must, “Have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis…And, have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community.” The unavailability of small-options homes, and ongoing warehousing of persons with disabilities in nursing homes is a direct violation of the UN Convention.
At present, there is extremely little evidence that either the Roadmap or the UN Convention are being implemented in Nova Scotia, despite the government’s commitment to do so. I am writing to you to request your support in demanding that the government make a robust, yearly financial commitment to making the Roadmap and the UN Convention a reality. I demand a government that recognizes the value of persons with disabilities and creates opportunities for inclusive, community living.