October 14, 1983 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Simon Leendert de Jong

New Democratic Party

Mr. Simon de Jong (Regina East):

Madam Speaker, on July 14 of this year they found Patrick MacDonnell dead. He had killed himself. He was 35 years old.
On November 5 of last year he was laid off as a result of a government cutback. Pat went on unemployment insurance. It devastated him. He did not want unemployment insurance; he wanted to work. He applied for jobs far beneath what he was capable of accomplishing, but he was told he was overqualified. That did not stop him. He created his own make-work project. Pat used up all his personal life savings creating and developing his idea. He made around $100 and reported this on his unemployment insurance card. On February 6 he was cut off because they deemed him self-employed.
Reading through all the letters and memos of the next four months, a Kafka nightmare emerges. Pat, broke, mortgage in arrears, with an empty fridge and no income, tried to correct this situation. He appealed. He wrote me. He wrote the Minister. He wrote the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). But nothing changed. Pat was defeated. On July 14 he attached a hose to his car's exhaust system and gassed himself.
Patrick was a big, strong, curly-haired, good natured Irishman. He was honest. He was creative. He was intelligent. He had initiative and skills. He had all the qualities a civilized society would hope its members would have. Patrick MacDonnell did not survive in our society.
Something is dreadfully wrong when the Patrick MacDon-nells at the age of 35 die by their own hand. Something is terribly amiss with the world created by our corporate boardrooms and government offices. It is killing our best people.

[DOT] (mo)

Subtopic:   TOURISM
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