Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sue speeches

Carleton University, Senior Social Work Students, November 1987

Jim Albert, a professor asked me to speak at his class of social work students and I did. I was nervous but I did it anyway. I spoke about my experiences as a psychiatric patients and how psychiatry violated many of my human rights, the lack of affordable housing, and mental health in general. The class was small. I got a $35 honorarium for this from Carleton University.

Jim sent me a letter thanking me which said:

Carleton University Memorandum:

written by hand

Nov 13/87

To: Sue Clark

Dear Sue:

Thanks very much for coming into my class and sharing your experiences and your thoughts on
improving services. The students really appreciated it and said it was a very good class. Let's keep in touch. Regards.

Signed: Jim Albert

Sue's speech to the Community Services Committee, Ottawa City Hall, RMOC Headquarters
lll Lisgar St, Ottawa - Thursday, August 3, 2000

I am Sue Clark, I have been an antipoverty activist in Ottawa for the past l6 years. I am here to
speak about the homemaking services Anne Hubbert requires and also to support her. I have
known Anne for about l5 years. She has required the use of homemaking services in our region
for several years as a result of ill health. Now Anne will not be getting the required hours of
homemaking she requires to remain in her home as an independent person but will have to move
to a seniors residence at the age of 54 years old. This is an inappropriate solution for Anne.

How many more Anne's are in our region? Many more I am sure. Anne's independence is right
whether she has disabilities or not! Do we take away Anne's freedom and privacy for sake of saving dollars and creating new regulations and policies that are only feasible on paper and not for the
people they are intended for. I call this a crime against humanity. My freedom and privacy are
the only things I have that I will fight tooth and nail for. I have several disabilities as well. I have
post trauma stress disorder, a short term memory disorder caused by electroshock treatments in
1973, and severe arthritis in all my joints. Isn't a person's health the vital key for life? Without
good health, a person's quality of life goes down hill and so does their income in most cases.
You can't work effectively if your health is dependent upon numerous pills, doctors, therapists,
and the little bit of homecare there is available to an ill person.

What is the answer? I would say there should be an assessment of the whole homecare services
in our region with a focus on evaluating how effective the hours of homecare are to each client.
In other words, how did Anne lose so many homecare hours that now she is required to move into a
seniors residence as a result. The priority of the project should be maintaining a person's independence for a long as they are able to remain in their homes.

Anne has lobbied on her behalf and others for more homecare services for many years. I commend
her for her effective efforts and results. She is articulate, intelligent and focused. She is an
excellent public speaker in health issues. Why has Anne not been hired for a consulting job
with the region? Perhaps her increased income would have alleviated some of the problems we
are hearing today.

The real experts in this case are the ones who use the services not the ones who develop, plan,
and administer services. If the region hired a few people using the various services in the region,
perhaps there would be improvements made to all services.

I hope I never have to use the homemaking services in Ottawa. I probably would get very little
hours. My health is not as bad as Anne's but is getting there. With the added stress in my life,
that being an activist, living in poverty, overeating to calm my self down, getting fatter by the year
has increased my blood pressure sky high and I have diabetes type II. I eat at soup kitchen
at St. Joe's Women Centre in Ottawa everyday.

How many more health casualties will happen like Anne with all these cuts to vital services? Some of the homeless have died on our streets in front of us due to a lack of affordable housing, and how many
more have died or will die from all these health cuts? Can anyone from the committee answer this
question before it is too late? Thank you to the committee for allowing me to speak today.

Sue Clark