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Letter to Party Leaders and Local Candidates

We've been emailing our candidates and party leaders to think about our rights with the UN-CRPD as a base. We invite you to use our letter as a draft in your own correspondence:

To (Whom It May Concern):

We are a research group of individuals with experience of health care treatments that violate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which calls for a human rights approach to disabilities, including psychosocial disabilities (“mental illness”). Canada signed on in 2010. We are writing to ask you to be on the right side of history and support the UN CRPD, which requires the repeal of legislation permitting forced psychiatric treatments and detentions. We would like to get the vote out in our community for representatives who are willing to put aside the old myth that anyone with a psychiatric diagnosis is dangerous (statistically we are less dangerous than the general population), and who is willing to give us a chance at self-determination – which would greatly improve our capacity for self-care and mutual aid.

Currently, all jurisdictions within Canada have “mental health” laws that allow detentions in psychiatric facilities (in violation of Article 14 of the CRPD) and forced treatments, including electroshock (in violation of Article 12 – against which Canada has officially set reservations). Imagine if Canada rejected a subsection of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; for example, deeming torture to be acceptable (incidentally, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has recently described all forced psychiatric treatment as torture).

If you view the abolition of forced psychiatric treatment as a fringe issue, please try to imagine how it affects the many people who want help but are afraid of losing their basic rights.It is up to leaders like you to insist that the government walk the walk and change laws that violate the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities. We deserve to be free from discriminatory treatments and detentions.

Please respond and let us know what your platform says about this issue, so that we can inform our community and get the vote out.

Thank you.


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