Originally Published June 4, 2013
Dear Premier Wynne:
We are writing today to tell more about our class action lawsuit to seek justice and compensation for the abuse we endured while we were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia.
You may remember meeting with us last year at the Truth and Reconciliation gathering in Toronto. You really seemed to care about what happened to us. You seemed really interested and you seemed to believe us.
We want you to know what it was like to be turned upside down by some Huronia staff, held by our feet and have our head plunged into the hopper (like a toilet bowl) until we couldn’t breathe. Or how, as punishment, some of the staff would stomp on our heads. We were even forced to turn on one another, and hurt each other as punishment.
We were humiliated at Huronia. In large groups, we were herded into the showers, naked. We were forced to wait in line, again naked, for our clothes and underwear. Other times we were forced to march around the playroom with our pants down. There was sexual abuse, too.
Many of us thought that we would die at Huronia, and be buried out behind the barn where the grave markers had no names, only numbers. It was as if we were imprisoned for a crime we did not commit – and that our only “crime” was having an intellectual disability.
The trial is supposed to begin on September 30, 2013. Just today we learned that our trial could have started three weeks earlier – on September 9 – but the Attorney General said no. Our lawyers have told us your people have tried to delay as much as they can. Why have you done this?
We read in the newspaper that it is Seniors’ month and that your government wants to make sure seniors are taken care of and treated well. We are seniors, and we have special challenges in our lives. What can you do to help us?
We were very young children – just six and seven years old – when we were sent to live at Huronia. Our childhood was spent being abused, and living in fear of more abuse. We are luckier than most because we got out and can speak for ourselves now. No one should have to live this way.
All we want is justice – and an apology – for everyone who lived at Huronia. We also want everyone to know what happened there so that it can never happen again.
SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP
For further information:
Koskie Minsky LLP