Willing to Risk Health in Battle With ODSP

Posted Jan 4, 2012

CORNWALL — David Thomasson could risk his mental health and hunger in order to prove the Ontario Disability Support Program infringes on his rights.

That’s what Thomasson expects after he told a Social Benefits Tribunal Wednesday that he won’t verify his income in order to keep his ODSP benefits.

“Without interim (ODSP) assistance it’s going to be very hard to live,” Thomasson said, afterwards.

ODSP provides him with a small income, but also medication for his bi-polar disability.

But Thomasson often breaks into a wide grin when he mentions this predicament.


It’s his way of showing the lengths he will take to convince the provincial government that ODSP regulations “harm disabled people.”

Thomasson said he made it clear to tribunal adjudicator Sylvie Charron that he won’t buckle under.

“I made it clear that I will use (the tribunal) for political means.”

His response to the tribunal was to stress that he wants to challenge the ODSP under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As expected, Charron informed Thomasson the tribunal — a quasi-judicial hearing which he calls a “kangaroo court” — cannot hear a charter challenge.

Thomasson said he wants to expose ODSP as discriminatory toward disabled people.

He claims ODSP’s process has various flaws before it convicts a client, such as denying clients the right to counsel, to mount a defence, to examine and cross examine witnesses, to a public hearing.

About five years ago, Thomasson taunted the McGuinty government on a website, designed to humiliate the province.

Thomasson’s request: “prove (me) wrong” by showing how the ODSP is constitutionally sound.

Thomasson now must wait up to 60 days for Charron’s decision to uphold his conviction.

Thomasson can appeal for interim benefits, but he hopes the conviction will allow him to pursue his challenge in a “real court”.

Article ID# 3425328

Reproduced from http://www.standard-freeholder.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3425328