Right decision after struggle

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A long struggle for a Pictou Landing family – and that community as a whole – has finally ended happily and with due justice.

Jeremy Meawasige, a teen from the First Nations community, lives with a number of challenging conditions – cerebral palsy, autism, spinal curvature and hydrocephalus, a debilitating accumulation of spinal fluid in the brain. His story has been in the news various times in the past year or more, as his mother, Maurina Beadle, has had to fight for federal funding for his care, while the federal government had been trying to cap the payments at $2,000 a month – even though the cost was more like $6,000.

It turned into a drawn-out battle, with a Federal Court ruling in Beadle’s favour in 2013, but the government continuing to contest the issue in appeals court.

As reported by CBC News on the weekend, the federal government has dropped the appeal. Paul Champ, the lawyer representing Beadle, informed the news network of the decision.

This marks a happy outcome for Meawasige, his mother and their entire community in a case that deservedly received national attention. In earlier coverage of this story, Beadle explained to The News that her son simply would not do as well if forced into an institutional setting and away from his home.

Most will sympathize with such trying circumstances and see that such a funding arrangement is essential in this case.

The federal government, in pursuing its earlier stance, is reported to have spent about $200,000.

The Pictou Landing community, in the meantime, as any funding shortfall was experienced, came up with the money needed to ensure Meawasige’s well-being and allowing him to remain at home.

It’s been a long journey for those involved, with occasional disappointing twists. Congratulations to this determined family, to their supporters and to the community for never giving in and keeping up the fight to convince the federal government of its responsibility.

Organizations: First Nations, Federal Court, CBC News

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