Re: OPSEU says save Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital: Ont

Liberty (
Thu, 28 May 1998 04:23:24 -0400


At 10:19 PM 27/05/1998 -0400, Graeme Bacque wrote:

>Personally I am in favor of closing such oppressive institutions, which
>isn't going to win me too many friends within the left in Ontario who are
>as subject to bias and misinformation on 'mental health' issues as anyone 
>else. The issue is the way in which the government is going about it, and 
>is much the same situation which has resulted in the catastrophic failure 
>in the process of deinstitutionalization. 

Graeme, you're right.  I, too, agree with the closure of many of the
hospitals, for partially the same reasons and partially other reasons.
These hospitals have taken a huge chunk of the health care budget in
Ontario, without turning up any real results, and many people have been
harmed, even killed in these places.  I bear witness to that fact.

>I support fully the right of workers to organize and struggle for their 
>rights, and in fact I spent considerable time supporting OPSEU picket lines
>myself during their strike in February and March of 1996. But I do not
>the actions of anyone who's job description involves oppression or rights 

But, all the unions want is to keep their jobs.  They don't give a tinker's
damn if nobody else has a job, or if they cause businesses to go under
for their lack of skill in economic planning and high wage demands.  Have
any of these unions given YOU a job?  I bet they have not, despite all 
your years of supporting their efforts.

But, you are right on about the psych hospitals.  Hamilton Psych, as well 
as many of these other massive institutions, must close and be replaced 
with appropriate community-based supports to help re-integrate people into 
the community.  It is jobs and community support people need, not pills.