TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The 16 x 9 GLOBAL News edition "Taking Mercy" (March 16, 2012) is an affront to Canadians with disabilities and may be construed as hate speech under certain human rights laws, say Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of EPC and father of a child with a disability. The piece advocates the killing of people with disabilities with impunity.
The media piece was completely biased and unbalanced. No person with a disability and no person holding a different viewpoint was part of the broadcast, notes Schadenberg.
Those of us who live with disabilities could easily have shared hospital rooms, support services, classrooms or neighbourhoods with Tracy Latimer and other children like her who have been murdered by their parents, says Rhonda Wiebe of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.
EPC Toronto lawyer Hugh Scher, a person with a disability stated:
The suggestion that people with disabilities including children are better off dead than disabled is chilling, but reflects a deep-rooted feeling of many people who view disability with fear and stigma and who are able to relate much better to a non-disabled parent than to a murdered child with a disability.
Scher adds that programs such as Taking Mercy undermine the dignity and equality of people with disabilities by suggesting that they are better off dead. Such a sentiment is deeply offensive to people with disabilities.
EPC calls upon Global TV and all media outlets to change practices in order to ensure fair and balanced broadcasting that includes the voices of people with disabilities and others who believe that they have lives that are worth living. EPC also asks Global for equal time for people with disabilities and their families to respond to the broadcast.
For further information:
Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: 519-439-3348
Hugh Scher, EPC Counsel: 416-816-6115
Rhonda Wiebe, Council for Canadians with Disabilities: 204-952-1514