This Blog is about my horrific experience about my unlawful committal under BC’s Mental Health Act (MHA) Section 28(1). It was a one time event, there were 2 other people with identical names as mine living in Victoria.
My story is not easy for me share. I was involuntarily committed in Victoria, British Columbia Canada on May 29th, 2001, and still today the impact has been devastating for myself and our family.
I was sitting on the floor of the Law Courts reviewing my documents when in through the doors 2 police officers approached me and the female cop starts yelling at me. I went to stand up and explain why I was there, then slam, the handcuffs went on, they escorted me outside to the police van.
The officers removed my cell phone and pager and turned them both off. I asked for my Charter Rights Section 10 call to lawyer, and call to family, but they said no! I asked the officers to call my wife as she and our children were in a park waiting for me. Police refused my request.
The police and I spoke briefly, then the police ordered me to go in the back of the van with handcuffs on. At the time I was 39 years old, we lived in a beautiful home, I had my own business, and I was in the 6th day of promoting my up coming book called ‘Canada’s Dishonest Tax Police’ outlining my story of my 10 year battle with tax agents over money I did not owe and my suggestions on how to deal with the tax man. Revenue Canada gave my money back in the end, but they never even said sorry! I was told by many I had to write a book about my experience.
While sitting in the back of the van being calm, (as I’m a very calm person), the police were reading my documents while sitting in the front. After 5 minutes the police started driving, they did not tell me why they arrested me, or where they were taking me.
It was obvious we were not heading to the police station, after 7 minutes the police pulled up in front of the ER department at Royal Jubilee hospital. After a few minutes the officers got out and were speaking with someone near the back of the police van. I heard the female cop say to someone, “have you seen this guys documents, he seems quite articulate?”
I spent about 20 minutes in the back of the van, then the doors opened, I spoke briefly with someone whom I assume was a physician. A while later I was escorted into the hospital and put in a small square room then they locked the door.
Security walked in with a nurse who spoke with me briefly, she asked me to speak with a psychiatrist. I said I want a call to a lawyer and a call to my family, the nurse said “no”! I said “I have a legal right to call a lawyer under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act”. She reiterated, “you have no rights“!
The most horrific part of it all, the police provided only a verbal subjective MHA incident report to medical staff which was fabricated/false information! The ER physician’s Consult report stated “police arrested Mr. X at Revenue Canada and police were concerned he might do something” . I was at the Law Courts.
After refusing to meet with a psychiatrist, the nurse asked me to remove my clothes and put on a gown, I refused citing my Rights. She said if you don’t remove your clothes the security will do it for you. So I did against my will.
Fifteen minutes later, the nurse comes back in holding a syringe with security at her side. “We are going to medicate you”, she said. I refused citing again my Charter Rights. She said if you don’t let us medicate you, these security will flip you over and we will inject you the hard way!” I said it’s against my will and let it be noted on file that I refused.” She said OK and forced me to take medications.
At this juncture my wife did not know where I was or what happened to me, nobody knew where I was.
After 6 hours my wife found out where I was, she came in with her sister, and were told to leave without knowing what happen to me, or why police had taken me in.
The next day I was still refusing to speak with a psychiatrist until I spoke with a lawyer. I was locked away and drugged inside the lock down ward inside the Eric Martin Psychiatric hospital for 11 days.
The police arrested/detained/apprehended me inside the Victoria Law Courts, while I was in the process of filing an 810-Peace-Bond against the tax agent who unlawfully retrieved my client-solicitor-privileged-documents from my lawyer without a Court-Order. The lawyer left the law firm without telling he left or explaining what he did. A few years prior a tax agent yanked my documents out of my hands, it was evidence that proved they knew I did not owe them money.
After being released from the psych ward, my wife said she wanted an apology and I couldn’t move back home. We had three young daughters under age of 6.
We were living day to day when I was arrested under the MHA. I had just bought a second truck for my business, I was getting a second work crew set up. My wife and I just resigned from being a care home for teens after a reporter was going to cover my story about my book. The reporter back out on the morning of May 29, 2001, the morning the police arrested me.
They took the main bread winner away from my family by keeping me locked away in the institution, so when June 1st came along, there was no money for rent, my wife had to crawl to social services for financial help, they said you have to separate from your husband or we can’t help you. So she handed me a letter in the psych ward stating she was separating from me and I have to find a new place to live.
My wife was insistent on seeking justice and getting an apology for what happened to me.
In 2002 we had a new baby, a boy, still being separated didn’t make sense to me. We held on for another year, I was concerned about my wife from the things she was saying, concerned for my children.
The bailiffs arrived in June 2003, our family was evicted and dumped on the street. We lost so much, my 77 firebird was stolen (not insured), an employee stole equipment from me and a 1 ton truck, the police stated “In his mind he considers his things stolen”. That was basically the last time I ever called police for anything.
I now have no confidence with police of the medical profession or lawyers.
My children are now all under 18. I have also over the years been advocating for police in BC to provide written objective reports to medical staff, the closest change came in 2005 when the BC government had written in their 2005 MHA Guide book that they strongly recommend that police provide written reports under MHA detentions.
I will keep writing in my Blog.