Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled
In Canada, we take pride in history that empowers us. We often do not speak about history that may provide a negative image to our country. We celebrate famous and successful Canadians, but we rarely shed light on the common folk who also played an important role in creating our current nation.
Asylums, Houses of Refuge, and Poor Houses sheltered Canadian citizens from every walk of life. When people hear these terms they often associate the people in these facilities as “less than” others in society.
The goal in commemorating citizens who resided in “Poor House” facilities is to remind our current population that they too, were human. They might not have been the founding fathers we read about in our history books, but they did play a part in shaping our nation, no matter how big or small it may have been.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to pass a motion recognizing April 14, of every year, as Poor House Commemoration Day in Canada. This day will commemorate the lives of Canadian citizens that died or lived in an Asylum, a House of Refuge, or a Poor House facility in Canada. The suggested date for this holiday is April 14 due to the “Act respecting the Mentally Incompetent Persons and their Estates” being passed in Alberta, in 1937. This marked a growing intrusion of the state into the lives of those they deemed “mentally incompetent.” On this date citizens in asylums were no longer capable of managing their economic or reproductive affairs.
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