Letter to Richard Patten, M.P.P.

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Thu, 05 Nov 1998 12:17:02 -0500

Graeme F. Bacque
319 Dundas St. E. #408 Toronto. Ontario M5A 2A2 CANADA
V: (416) 368-3366 F: (416) 368-5984 Internet: <gbacque@idirect.com>

Thursday, November 5, 1998

Dear Mr. Patten,

 My previous attempts to correspond with your office on the issue of
mental health reform have been systematically ignored so I am not
anticipating any kind of response to my latest effort. However, as a
person who potentially faces loss of physical freedom as well as
limitation of my right to control my own body, mind and spirit under the
auspices of Bill 78, I feel I must protest in the strongest words
possible your latest assault on the fundamental human rights of persons
who have been psychiatrically labeled.

 On February 19 this year, more than one hundred psychiatric survivors
met with M.P.P. Dan Newman in response to the Ontario government's
=91consultation' on the issue of mental health reform. Survivors spoke in
one voice of the need for affordable housing, meaningful employment
and/or adequate income supports, and self-defined personal resources in
the community. Survivors also spoke in unison of our total opposition to
any further coercive measures such as community treatment orders.
Unfortunately Mr. Newman's final report made no mention whatsoever of
the clear message expressed on this day. Now it appears you are poised
to follow in his footsteps with the repressive measures outlined in your
Mental Health Reform Act.

 If any other group of innocent persons in our society were to face this
kind of abrogation of basic rights, there would be a huge public outcry
- why is it that a psychiatric diagnosis negates the entitlement to
basic personal autonomy afforded to other members of the community? Yet
in jurisdictions all over the globe legislation is being enacted which
does just that, on the basis of sensationalistic media and a body of
unscientific labels masquerading as medical =91diagnoses.'

 Forcing powerful, potentially damaging psychotropic drugs on persons
against their wishes or imposing incarceration without due process on
this basis is an unacceptable act of violence committed (sic) against a
vulnerable and generally peaceful sector of our communities. It is for
these reasons that I must urge you to immediately withdraw Bill 78 from
the order sheet, and to work with psychiatric survivors and other
vulnerable community members to ensure that our (self-defined) needs
regarding housing, employment/income supports and community resources
are met.

Sincerely yours,

Graeme Bacque
Toronto, Ontario