Daniel's Story

I am Daniel Ennett, I’m a four-limb amputee and an emerging filmmaker. I finished my BA Honours in Psychology in 2020, finishing with First Class Honours. I then turned to film to tell stories about the disabled community. I’ve just wrapped on a CBC series, and have been awarded Telefilm’s Talent To Watch to tell stories about the disabled community. Every achievement in my life is made possible by care work; my ability to function in-community is dependent on care work — from basic early morning tasks, to getting groceries, to working on set. I don't mention these accolades to brag, but to highlight the absurdity that disabled people dependent on care work have to live with:

"There is no amount of success that will insulate you from the constant threat of institutionalization."

For my whole life my mother has been my primary care worker. She has provided 24 hour care for 30 years. Recently, when transitioning to government care, AHS had evaluated my care-needs at 6.6 hours of care a day. This is wholly inadequate for even the most basic tasks. No one could function in a dignified way with only 6.6 hours of time to live their life.

It is the opinion of AHS that in the event my mother is unable to continue doing care work, and I run out of friends and family to exploit for free labour, that I should be institutionalized because my care needs are ‘unscheduled’ and too demanding to be met in my own home. The fact of the matter is that everyone’s life is a series of ‘unscheduled tasks,’ a point which occupational therapists, doctors, and case managers at homecare seem willfully ignorant of.

"This becomes all the more starkly dehumanizing when my freedom is contingent on the luck of having people around me who care."

This is not an infinite font of free labour. My mother is 66 years old. She has very bad hip problems and chronic pain. She is functionally unable to continue this labour — yet still, this government demands that she provides the majority of my care. As a single parent, this has barred her from legitimate employment and stratified her into poverty.

The truth is, no one has the astronomical resources required to pay for care work individually — and we are gaslit by the institutions that we fund through taxes. They constantly impose austerity on us, the taxpayers, under the guise of ‘fiscal responsibility.’ Through this austerity, AHS consistently threatens disabled people’s autonomy in contravention of the UN’s Convention on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and their own mandate to help people live in-community. It is utterly unconscionable that young disabled people have to justify the fact that they deserve to live in their community, and get support by the health institution that they fund. 

The government does not get to double dip from taxpayers by making them do the care work that should be provided by AHS. Disabled people deserve to live in-community without the constant threat that if their life-circumstances change, they will be thrown into a long-term care facility. This flies in the face of basic fairness and ethics.

"We apparently have to remind them of this simple fact: Having a disability is not a sufficient reason to segregate someone out of their community."

That is why we are calling for an immediate increase in home care funding, to make sure Disabled people and an ever-increasing senior population have the resources they need to live in a dignified manner.

Take action for home care!