OPC legislation introduced in Ontario

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Thu, 05 Nov 1998 12:05:51 -0500


On Wednesday, November 4 a bill was introduced in the Ontario
legislature which would implement 'community treatment orders' in this
province, and authorize action by police to apprehend those deemed
'noncompliant' with such orders.

Bill 78, or the Mental Health Amendment Act, was introduced by Liberal
MPP Richard Patten (Ottawa Center) and easily passed first reading.
Basically, what this legislation would allow for is outpatient committal
orders directed at those deemed 'not competent' to make treatment
decisions on their own behalf (a designation shrinks have never
hesitated to hand out) to be effective for periods of up to six months
at a time. In addition, when someone is deemed 'noncompliant' (such as
if they fail to attend on schedule for their biweekly shot in the
kiester) the police can be dispatched to apprehend the individual for
the purpose of forced treatment. Such apprehension orders would be in
effect for thirty days from the date of issue.

Mr. Patten has made previous attempts to abrogate the rights of
psychiatric survivors with 1996's Bill 111, which would have
dramatically loosened criteria for locking people up against their will
on the basis (essentially) of a whole slew of 'what-ifs' - this bill
fortunately died at committee after passing the first two readings in
the legislature. Bill 78 would extend such draconian controls to persons
living in the community, imposing a potential police state scenario on
all psychiatric survivors and effectively turning our homes into locked
wards.

Messages of protest can be sent to Mr. Patten by fax at (416) 325-1682
or e-mailed to
<richard_patten-mpp@ontla.ola.org>