Support Gabriel West

9 Jul

Just got an email from somone who is soon going to jail asking not to support them but rather to support their friend Gabriel West. This act reminds me of what a great person this person who sent me the email is, as well as raises the issue of how society under capitalism treats those whom are seen as “unproductive” in the capitalist sense of the word. Below is a link to the Star article and the callout–severely-disabled-toronto-man-has-rich-life-thanks-to-home-care?–severely-disabled-toronto-man-has-rich-life-thanks-to-home-care?bn=1

Dear Friends,

We are in a process ( for which there is no process) to get sufficient funds for Gabe’s attendant care. Last Oct. I announced my intention of retiring as volunteer attendant on April 1st, 2012. I thought 6 months would be enough to prepare alternate care for Gabe. Instead Gabe’s support and safety needs have increased dramatically as have my volunteer hours and responsibilities.
Our request was refused by the Ministry of Community and Social Services at the Toronto regional level, and now we are sending an application (attached to this email) to the Minister of MCSS. I hope you will write a (paper) letter of support to our application, addressed to:

Hon John Milloy
Community and Social Services
6th Floor
Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor St.
Toronto, Ont.
M7A 1E9
Please email a copy of your letter to me so that we can know how many have been sent and compile them for further advocacy support.
For more information about Gabe’s situation please read the story in the Toronto Star, Severely disabled, deeply joyful by Catherine Porter, June 16, 2012, pg.A3 . Here is the link to the online version:–severely-disabled-toronto-man-has-rich-life-thanks-to-home-care

Also please check out the MCSS web site which uses the progressive language and ideas of families like Gabe’s and pretends that they support inclusion in community. The funny thing is that 35 years of rigorous political lobbying has not yet resulted in proper supports for Gabe. We are unable to get an answer to the burning question: What will happen to Gabe?

Please forward this to other people
Thanks, Martha

PS. Some people are asking what to say in a letter. I think your own wording is more effective than a form letter. It can be very brief. Here are some suggestions:
-Describe how you know Gabe and Martha, and any contribution that you know of that they make to your community
-What it means to you if they disappear from your community.
– talk about values, how we support vulnerable citizens.
-refer to their web site which promotes inclusion
-Ask what the Minister plans to do to support Gabe .
-Request a response
-follow up with a phone call to Hon John Milloy personally 416-325-5225


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