Saturday, December 20, 2014

The downfall

1978 April 25 The Citizen
 Slavery act violated?
Vancouver --- A prisoner of the Forensic Psychiatric Institute claims in a Supreme Court writ that the government has violated Canada's 145-year-old anti-slavery law by forcing the institute's prisoners to work.

    Anthony LeMay also claims that the prisoners should be paid the minimum wage. He is suing on his own behalf and on behalf of all other persons held in the institute at Colony Farm Road, Coquitlam, B.C.  Defendants in the action are the Crown, the institute, and the executive director Dr. John P. Duffie.

     The writ asks for a declaration that by forcing any of the plaintiffs to work, the defendants have "violated the Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British colonies; for promoting the industry of manumitted slaves; and for compensating the persons hitherto entitled to the services of such slaves ( 28th August, 1833 )."

Anthony Joseph LeMay  was convicted on the 25th of June 1973 of being a common nuisance and mischief, and also insane , and sentenced to the Forensic Institute.
In 1978 he was released, but he violated his conditions by not taking his medications, and was brought back into the institution, they tried again to release him in 1979, and granted him another conditional discharge. And finally in September of 1983 he was granted an absolute discharge.

[  King William IV gave royal ascent to the act to abolish slavery in all dominions of the British Empire (except in territories of the east India Company, and the islands of Ceylon and Saint Helena). It came into effect on the 1st of August 1834, and this day became known as Emanicipation Day ]

I have no idea how the court case went, probably not very far.

          But it did bring up the valid point of equal pay, for equal work. since the patients worked for very little, and working with them were highly paid staff.
            It was the beginning of the end, soon the patients would not be working on the farm anymore, and everything was done by paid staff, which cascaded into a race to the bottom, and the eventual closure of the farming operations at Colony Farm.

As is detailed slightly more in the article below when the Government closed it down just four years later.

1983  August 8 The Citizen
Not long after this all kinds of ideas sprang up ; turn it into a golf course, a race track… another time.. another story

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