The announcement from the West Island Palliative Care Residence this past Monday was a sad one. It announced the passing of residence co-founder Teresa Dellar after a courageous battle against cancer. WIPCR is the largest palliative care institution in the country.
Dellar passed away Monday at the age of 58 and she is survived by her husband Gavin Fernandes , her two sons, Jonathan and Nicholas, parents and her siblings. The Suburban wishes the families that they be spared any further sorrow and we are truly sorry for your loss.
The residence’s board of operations president Allan Van der Weesummed summed up what everyone whoever knew or had the pleasure of meeting Dellar that “we lost a true angel. Teresa was a pioneer and an incredible ambassador for the palliative care community and we are deeply saddened by her premature passing,
“Teresa touched so many lives and had a huge impact on all of us — employees, volunteers, friends, patients, families and the community at large. She leaves an immeasurable mark on palliative care in our community. We will miss her beyond words,” said Van der Wee.
Through her work and dedication to bring dignity to a patient’s end of life journey, Dellar, along with former Nelligan MNA Russell Williams, founded the WIPCR in 1998 and the residence has served as an amazing example of community spirit and togetherness, expanding twice since its inception and becoming a teaching centre for the next generations to come.
In 2016, Dellar was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by Governor General David Johnston at a ceremony held in Ottawa, just one of the many accolades and awards she garnered during her tenure. The Meritorious Service Cross is awarded to civilians who bring honour to their country.
“Thanks to her relentless passion and indomitable spirit, the Residence has cared for over 4,400 patients and over 17,000 of their family members. Teresa gave the dying a voice and the dignity they deserve,” said Board President Robert Havill.
According to Dan Philip — the leader of the city’s Black Coalition — the fact that the Superior Court is prepared to hear the Coalition’s class action lawsuit against the SPVM is important news because Philip believes the lawsuit will provide both the courts and the community with the opportunity to address what he described as “…the rampant abuse and profiling of the city’s minorities by the police.”
During a recent press conference, Black Coalition representative Max Stanley Bazin told the city’s media that the class-action lawsuit was justified by hundreds of assorted events during which residents were being subjected to assorted ‘racial profiling’ events on the part of the city’s SPVM. While several incidents have already made it into the front pages of the city’s media, Bazin said that this was “…just the tip of the iceberg,” and that local residents were being subjected to racial profiling incidents on a weekly – if not on a daily basis.
“In a way, this lawsuit will provide a voice for those who are never heard, and for those (concerned) who wish to seek – and find – justice in court.”
Based upon his recent decision, Superior Court justice André Provost authorized the Black Coalition’s lawsuit against the City of Montreal on behalf of any citizen who was arrested, detained or subject to any kind of racial profiling on the part of the SPVM between mid-August 2017 and January, 2019. In his ruling, Justice Provost hopes the lawsuit will address a long series of outstanding questions including whether the SPVM – and other civic representatives – acted in a discriminatory fashion and violated the rights of the plaintiffs who allege that they were unfairly targeted for detention and arrest because of their race.
According to court documents, the initial case was sparked by an incident that occurred in Old Montreal back in August, 2017, when Alexandre Lamontagne stepped out of a bar to have a look at his phone. Following a bit of eye contact with a passing policeman who went on to ask what he was doing, and if he had any questions, Lamontagne answered with an admittedly testy “What’s your problem?” Further discussions quickly ‘went south’ after which Lamontagne ended up being charged with a series of charges including (verbal) assault and obstruction of justice. Although CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) recorded the incident, it still took more than a year before the crown decided to drop all of the SPVM’s charges against Lamontagne.
While Philip agrees with Judge Provost when he said that the Coalition’s lawsuit will provide the city with an opportunity to address several questions about what he describe as the SPVM’s “...rampant abuse,” against the city’s minorities, Philip also said the lawsuit “...was a victory not only for Montreal’s Black community, but also for justice in Québec and Canada.”