Give the woman a place to stay

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I know lit­tle about the case of a 20 year old other than what I have read in the news­pa­per. I think the so­lu­tion for Judge John Dou­glas is to re­view whether or not the young woman ap­peared be­fore a Men­tal Health Re­view Board dur­ing her three-year stay at the Hills­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal.

The ques­tion is, did the young per­son's guardian sim­ply ac­cept she be placed in cus­tody at the Hills­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal or did the girl's guardian ap­peal to the Men­tal Health Re­view Board?

The Lib­er­als al­low a lawyer to act as chair­per­son of Men­tal Health Re­view Board hear­ings by re­peal­ing leg­is­la­tion that re­quired a P.E.I. Supreme Court Jus­tice to act as chair­per­son in 1993. The Supreme Court of Canada had ex­tended the right to le­gal aid from crim­i­nal law into civil law in 1999. The Supreme Court of Canada decades ago rec­og­nized that with­out a lawyer a per­son is at a disad­van­tage with the state. A per­son is at a disad­van­tage as a psy­chi­a­trist can tes­tify be­fore a Men­tal Health Re­view Board but refuse to tes­tify in a court of law un­less un­der a sub­poena.

It didn't sur­prise me to read 22 peo­ple couldn't come up with a so­lu­tion for the 20 year old. The Lib­er­als ran up $7 mil­lion in sur­plus from So­cial Ser­vices bud­gets over the past two years and could have had the young woman placed in the com­mu­nity if an as­sess­ment had war­ranted.

The Lib­er­als know I ap­peared be­fore a gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee for a Youth Ad­dic­tion fa­cil­ity and de­manded both the Hills­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal and Mount Herbert be closed.

The Supreme Court of Canada has rec­og­nized a per­son's right to a lawyer but the not the po­lice or hos­pi­tals.

On­tario courts have rec­og­nized a per­son can't be kept for more than six months, it is time Judge Dou­glas look at what means did peo­ple keep the 20-year-old girl at the Hills­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal and why. John W.A. Curtis Summerside

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