Back for another challenge

December 1, 2009

He's still 'Crazy' after all these years, but that isn't stopping David Thomasson from challenging the provincial government over what he considers unconstitutional legislation.

Thomasson, who's branded himself 'Crazy' due to his bipolar condition, has re-started a long process to "stop a bad law enforced on vulnerable people" by the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

It's the second time Thomasson has taken ODSP -- a branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services--to court.

His last venture, in and out of court, between 2001 and 2008 was partly unsuccessful due to a legal technicality.

During that period, he argued the ODSP was infringing on his human rights. ODSP would not allow him to claim business expenses when he hired workers for his organic farm near Bonville.

Eventually, the ODSP sided with his claim, on an individual basis, effectively ending his court case.

This time he's not challenging a specific "directive" of ODSP, rather making a case that ODSP is "violating my right to equality, natural justice and due process."

"I want to be a challenge test case against the ODSP Act, so I had to make them punish me," he said this week.

His method for a self-inflicted wound?

He's refused to verify his farm income for 2008 -- an annual requirement to receive ODSP benefits.

So he was cut off by ODSP last Tuesday, when ODSP regional director Wenda Hodsdon wrote to Thomasson, stripping him of his $878 monthly income, not to mention the free drugs which help him control bi-polar symptoms, retroactive to Nov. 1.

Later, Thomasson learned he did received his November benefits, but surmises Hodsdon's order was not processed in time to stop the deposit.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has, in the past, been unable to comment specifically on Thomasson's case due to client confidentiality restrictions.

Thomasson just grins widely about the loss of his "meds"--a predicament that could send a bi-polar person into a massive anxiety and mood swings.

"I'm better set up, I've stockpiled -- I'm prepared this time, yeah," he said during an interview at the Standard-Freeholder office.

He's been cut off from ODSP previously, but eventually won back his benefits after applying for interim assistance at a quasi-tribunal hearing.

He knows it will be slow process.

He will have to go through the Social Benefits Tribunal at least twice before he'll be able to leave what he calls that "kangaroo court" level.

After that he can appeal through Divisional court which, he says, will require him to make a formal Charter challenge in Superior court.

"I'm going to self-represent myself," he said, explaining that his previous court experience has provided enough legal expertise on his particular beef against ODSP legislation.

"Down the road, I might get a lawyer," he said once he reaches the critical stage of arguing his case.

Although Thomasson has been waiting for his next opportunity to legally challenge the provincial government, he's hardly taken a back seat since his last day in court, Feb. 28, 2008.

Thomasson has a revamped website,, where he offers a reward of $1,000 to anyone who can prove he is wrong about his claim the ODSP Act is discriminatory.

He's offered the challenge for than two and half years.

On the site, he calls the premier, Dalton "Chicken" McGuinty, for not ending the discrimination.

"Prove me wrong, Dalton can't," he writes.

Article ID# 2200070

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