Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mark Pickup on the Robert Latimer affair

Inaccuracies about Tracey's life

On December 6th 2007, Victoria Times Colonist reporter, Rob Shaw, reported about the parole Board denial of the previous day. He wrote that Tracey was a "bed-bound quadrplegic who could not speak or feed herself ...". She was not bed-bound! Tracey Latimer went to to a developmental centre five days a week for a regular school day. There were discussion about integrating her into the regular school system. From Monday-Friday Tracey traveled to school on a regular school school bus and returned home at the end of each school day on the same bus as her siblings and other children -- right up to the Friday before she was killed.

Neither was Tracey in constant pain as was widely reported since 1993 until now. That assertion is simply not true. At Robert Latimer's trial it was clearly established that her pain was intermittent. Despite her cerebral palsy and the various trials she faced, Tracey Latimer was a happy child as the court transcripts clearly show. She loved music, sleigh rides, television, games, parties, the circus, sleepovers and pets. Tracey adored her family and her face would brighten at very sight of them. She did not have the mental capacity of a four month old infant -- another inaccuracy widely reported. That was a grossly inaccurate speculation thrown out to the court by a family practitioner: But her life, her natural joie be vivre of childhood proved him wrong and said something else.

He comments:

It's a scary time to be disabled (as I am). Apparently it's a disgrace to imprison the killer of a person with a disability. We are held in low public opinion. The winds of public opinion blow cold for the disabled of Canada.

I concur!

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