Poor House Commemoration Day
On June 1, 2017, I submitted a petition
to the Canadian government asking them to recognize April 14 of every
year as Poor House Commemoration Day in Canada. I had 120 days to
gather, at minimum, 500 signatures of support. In total, 648 signatures
were received. On November 8, 2017, the petition was presented and
tabled in the House of Commons by local MP Guy Lauzon. On January 29,
2018, I was informed of the governments response: "The Government of
Canada does not have any current plans to officially designate the
aforementioned date [as Poor House Commemoration Day in Canada.]"
Poor House Commemoration Day aims to recognize and celebrate the lives of Canadian and Immigrant citizens that lived and died in:
- Houses of Refuge (these facilities were only in Ontario.)
- Poor Houses.
Who were these people?
- Pregnant women who were not married. (Only one birth occurred at Cornwall's House of Refuge.)
- The mentally ill.
- The poor.
- The disabled.
- Children without parents / unwanted children. (Children seldomly made their way to Cornwall's House of Refuge. They would typically be sent to the orphanage on Sydney and Second Streets.)
- The elderly. (Especially those without family to take care of them.)
Anyone who needed a roof over their head could be admitted to the House of Refuge.