Claude grew up in Valleyfield and then in Pointe-Claire, Quebec with all the love his parents, a nurse and a businessman, gave him, despite his disability, his illness. Meningitis struck him at the age of 7, and after coming out of a deep coma a few weeks later, he did not walk for the rest of his life. He is said to have told his mother that he was not born to walk since, somewhere, feeling called to help the handicapped, he did not see himself in any other state than that which nevertheless afflicted him.
Claude is a self-taught man. He had a lot, received a few private lessons when his state of health allowed him. He learned to pray, read and draw inspiration from various religious documents.
He used the reflections and meditations he made from these documents to initiate and stand up for the cause of the sick and elderly. We can hardly speak of Claude’s work without referring to Claude’s faith and deep spiritual and religious commitment. Not that a work like that of Claude cannot be produced without this commitment, but that of Claude is certainly marked by it.
For us who are trying to continue the work, the Founder’s shoes are very large to put on. We do not have the faith or the religious convictions of Claude. Even less do we have his experience, his sufferings. But we have his memory, his example. The greatness of the cause inspires us. I have spoken often with Claude. He was very attentive to people, took the time.
We could hardly refuse him any service he asked of us. He had an ability and a quality of speech worthy of great speakers, despite his handicap and the physical position in which his paralysis placed him. He trusted people a lot even if like me, he made a few mistakes. He liked to meditate, he prayed every night on the phone with my mother. He attended parties, the ones that brought joy to the people he helped. The personal notes that I have consulted with him are all marked by his great faith, his constant concern for the good of the vulnerable and optimizing, despite everything. “
Claude Brunet has written a few books which are available for sale upon request. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Claude BRUNET, Sa contestation, ses joies, ses promesses, Éditions Paulines, Montréal, 1972.
Claude BRUNET, Ma souffrance, ses questions, ses frictions, ses leçons, Éditions Paulines et Médiaspaul, Montréal, 1983.
Claude BRUNET et le Comité des Malades, Nous, les oubliés, Éditions Œil de Feu, Montréal, 1983.
Paul G. Brunet, frère.
Claude Brunet, Monique Germain-Magny, Lucien Roussel and Raymond Dumais, all residents of long-term care centers, meet. As a result of their observations, the Committee of Patients for the Defense of Fundamental Human Rights injured in a revolting manner was born in certain health establishments in the province of Quebec.
July 12, 1972
La Presse publishes the manifesto drawn up by the four for the then Minister of Public Service, Jean Cournoyer, who heads negotiations between the Trade Union Front and the employer state. This manifesto calls for a “protection clause for the chronically ill” to be included in the collective agreement. They write letters and articles, make interventions on radio and television in order to make the public aware of the plight of their less fortunate brothers. The Sick Committee doubles its membership. Letters from readers and supporters, complaints, comments and testimonies reveal serious disorders in different parts of the province and confirm the Committee in its mission.
August 3, 1972
The Association of Quebec Hospitals, in response to the request of the Committee of the Sick, recommends the presence of a committee of patients in each hospital.
Legislative actions are recommended by the Ministry of Social Affairs for the formation of “beneficiary committees” in each long-term care establishment and each accommodation center receiving adults.
December 1, 1972
In a letter-testament sent to “Québec-Presse”, Jean-Paul Machabée, painfully marked by hospitalization, requests that the savings of $ 640 be returned to the Committee of the Sick. Thus was born the Jean-Paul Machabée Fund: a desperate man gives everything he has so that the long-term sick have more hope.
His challenge, his joys, his promises
Claude Brunet writes his first book which is available for sale on request. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Claude BRUNET, Sa contestation, ses joies, ses promesses, Éditions Paulines, Montréal, 1972.
We, the forgotten
Law 65 establishes the participation of patients in the administration of hospitals and adult centers. It also encourages the formation of “beneficiary committees” in long-term hospitals and residential centers.
Publication in Éditions La Presse of “WE ARE FORGOTTEN”. Written by Claude Brunet, Monique Germain-Magny, Ghislain Cayouette and Raymond Dumais, this book is both an indictment and a plea and aims to raise public awareness of the deplorable situation of people living in health facilities.
The provincial sick committee
The Committee requests its letters patent and will now be known as the Provincial Patients Committee (CPM). Having recognized the limits that the physical situation of its founders imposed on it, the committee joined a few healthy collaborators on its very recent board of directors. The majority of the executive must be made up of residents: an animation committee, an information and financing committee and a recruitment committee.
The contact project
Late May to late August 1975
A student paid by the Ministry of Education performs secretarial tasks which are becoming more and more essential.
The CPM is launching the “Contact Project”, a project of local initiatives, in order to promote the functioning of beneficiary committees, mainly in terms of leisure and volunteering, in health facilities in the county of Saint-Jacques.
The Fire Eye Journal
Publication of the journal Oeil de Feu. Published every three months, it is distributed free of charge in some 300 centers across the Province. This newspaper is intended to be a communication tool and a link between beneficiaries. He also wants to reach hospital staff for a dialogue and reach out to the population to encourage them to take actions of sharing and mutual aid with regard to “his patients”.
A first subscription campaign allows the CPM to ensure the functioning of a permanent secretariat, the importance of which was demonstrated during the previous summer.
April, May and June 1976
CPM interventions which deeply deplores the fact that it comes to an inhuman strike to resolve problems in the hospital environment. He asked, among other things, to be able to participate in negotiations currently underway at the provincial level, and to ensure that hospital workers were paid a fair wage, which would encourage the recruitment and better training of these workers.
The secretariat is based at Complexe Desjardins, the crossroads of the busiest in Montreal. This outing in the public square is symbolic of the evolution of the CPM, which is asserting itself and gaining increasing recognition. As a representative of the CPM, Louise Paré speaks at congresses of the Association of Hospitals of the Province of Quebec, the Federation of the Golden Age of Quebec, the Association of Directors General of Health Services and Social Services of Quebec, and is invited to various conferences. A second recruitment campaign brings to 64 the number of affiliated centers, which represents nearly 14,000 members, spread from the Magdalen Islands to Abitibi.
The company Quebecor assumes the publication of Eye of Fire, now printed in 5,500 copies.
Since the CPM has its premises and meeting places at Complexe Desjardins, with all the space and ease of access and movement found there, the primary goal of the CPM can be more easily achieved. This goal is in fact to have a majority of residents, disabled people and elderly people sitting on its board of directors. The Provincial Committee for the Sick wants to have its members increasingly recognized as “Full Citizens”, deserving to live with respect and consideration for their fellow citizens. The CPM aspires to make it possible for people living in institutions, the development and use of their capacities and their reintegration into society. The Eye of Fire newspaper, distributed free of charge to some 300 shelters across the province. Will appear four times a year until Justice-Santé takes over in 2001. Building on its experience and 14,000 members, the CPM has managed to carve out a place for itself in the network. Its vice-president, Louise Paré, writes: “We are young, but already our maturity is breaking through and is recognized by the authorities and organizations that revolve around our environment. We take our suggestions into account, we demand our participation: in a word, we are listened to. (Œil de feu, February 1977, vol.2, no.1, p.10) The CPM intervened publicly several times during this period to denounce the use of strikes, which it described as inhuman, in hospital environment.
In 1978, Law 59 introduced user protection measures by creating the Council on the maintenance of health and social services. The organization has serious reservations about the effectiveness of these measures.
The CPM defends new cases: the expectations of beneficiaries in terms of food and intimate care given by a person of the opposite sex. Two subjects still relevant 25 years later! Seeing the appearance of a new threat of strike, the CPM organized a demonstration and circulated a petition addressed to the Prime Minister, René Lévesque and to the leaders of the union centers, asking them for adequate protection of the sick in times of strike. The petition signed by more than 100,000 people was delivered to the Minister of Social Affairs, Denis Lazure. The sick will still endure, once again, the test of walkouts, picket lines and essential services that are poorly insured and insufficient. Claude Brunet says in one of his editorials: “(…) one of the difficulties in defining essential services is that the importance of care and services is greatly minimized in the eyes of those who (… ) have no acute health problems (…). Law 59 establishes the repetition of this sad scenario in which patients play a role against their will and must, in addition, accept to play losers at the start. ” (Fire Eye, November 1979, vol.4, no.4, pp.5 and 6)
A class action
In 1980, the CPM initiated on behalf of the patients of Saint-Charles-Borromée hospital, a class action against the union of the establishment following a strike which occurred in October 1978. The following year, the Supreme Court of Canada authorizes the prosecution for $ 276,000. An out-of-court settlement came shortly after. The turmoil continues… At the instigation of the CPM, various organizations have come together in a coalition, in order to ensure greater strength in the face of anticipated walkouts. We stop our story at the end of this period which marks the beginning of a new era, that of denouncing the cuts in the network.
When the network is shaken by major budget cuts, the Provincial Patients Committee struggles to prevent the closing of beds in hospitals and to obtain the opening of beds available in long-term care centers. He denounces the effects of the cuts on health care and food in these centers, as well as the escalation of the rise in room prices. The Committee is purchasing a vehicle to provide paratransit service in the Montreal region. Such a service is also emerging in Quebec. In addition, thanks to collaboration with the Fédération québécoise du loisir littéraire, the CPM offers writing workshops to residents of long-term care centers. Finally, in 1984, Claude Brunet was awarded the Order of Canada.
My suffering, its questions, its frictions, its lessons
Claude Brunet writes his second book which is available for sale on request. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Claude BRUNET, My suffering, his questions, his frictions, his lessons, Éditions Paulines and Médiaspaul, Montréal, 1983.
“From UNDERSTANDING to joy! “
“We know how to make beautiful sentences about suffering. I spoke about it warmly. Tell the priests not to say anything about it: we don’t know what it is. I cried about it. ” Thus expressed himself, on his hospital bed, Cardinal Pierre Veuillot, suffering from cancer which was to prevail in 1968, after only a few months of inactivity. As cardinal as he was, it was not until the last days of his life that he became acutely aware of a problem familiar to a large number of patients: the almost insuperable and sometimes despairing feeling of being too much misunderstood the healthy. “
Fortunately, it is not common for everyone to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of illness or infirmity, accompanied by its eternal procession of mental suffering. But that people do not have the shade of a minimum of understanding towards those who are “in it up to the neck”.
A student who became a nurse for the summer months promised himself one good morning to write an article on the suffering he had seen and treated there. I encouraged him fraternally, convinced that this new look on suffering would enlighten me. It was to my surprise that I was indeed enlightened when I asked him, two weeks later, where he was with his paper. “The more I think about it (the suffering),” he said gravely, “the more I find myself in the wrong place to talk about it.” How right he was! All that he could say the most beautiful and authentic about suffering was likely to sound terribly wrong, simply because he was not himself struck in his flesh and in his heart.
When, like this young man, we see ourselves “ill-placed” to talk about the suffering or to the clients of this suffering, we must be wary of pious considerations, superfluous recommendations, in short of a bunch of awkward reflections which can escape us. . It is better to be silent and listen, to consider at length the language of the suffering … This is how we learn true patience, kindness and concern for the sick.
Since the mid-seventies, the Provincial Committee for the Sick has been working hard to eliminate general and unlimited strikes in the health care system. Among other things, he circulated petitions, he formed the Coalition for the Rights of the Sick and presented to the parliamentary committees of 1981 and 1985 proposals for an alternative to the strike mechanism. He also campaigned very strongly for the introduction of dissuasive sanctions to prevent illegal strikes in hospitals – which the government did in 1986 with the passage of Bill 160. The CPM also contributed to the recognition by the Human Rights Commission on the Patient’s Basic Right to Intimate Care by a Same Sex Person. The Commission issued a directive to this effect on 14 May 1986. Unfortunately, almost twenty years later, this right has still not been acquired in practice.
The beginnings of the patients’ rights charter
Another topic still relevant today: the forced cohabitation of lucid people and people suffering from confusion. The Provincial Committee for the sick considers this an attack on the rights to dignity and respect for lucid people and calls for its cessation. The Committee is also calling for an increase in the monthly allowance paid to residents, which it wants to drop from $ 115 to $ 190. The government will agree to a small increase of $ 10. The beneficiary is entitled to this allowance provided that his assets do not exceed $ 1,500. Pointing out that this reserve is not even sufficient to cover the resident’s funeral expenses, the CPM unsuccessfully requests an increase to $ 5,000. Over the years, the Provincial Patients’ Committee took advantage of all the forums available to it to demand the adoption of a Charter of patients’ rights and the creation of a Patients’ Rights Commission with a service of Ombudsman and a service of assistants to beneficiary committees. In 1984, Claude Brunet made a presentation on the subject at the legal colloquium of the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal. Then, in 1987, the CPM put forward this proposal in a brief presented to the parliamentary committee convened to assess the Human Rights Commission. Finally, the Provincial Patients’ Committee continues to offer – as it has done since its foundation – training for members of beneficiary committees on various subjects related to the exercise of their functions.
The Late Claude Brunet
Claude Brunet’s work is perpetuated by the inspiration that he has imbued with all those who have known him. We continue, thanks to his teachings, to campaign like him for the humanization of health care in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, for access to free, universal and dignified care, worthy of the human beings who provide it and worthy of it. the human beings for whom they are intended.
Claude Brunet won the first Carrefour Prize in 1988 as founder and president of the Provincial Committee of the Sick.
Against closing beds
CPM strongly protests closure of beds in acute care hospitals, illegal strikes in the network and 14.8% increase in accommodation rates in reception and long-term care centers duration. In 1990, a great victory awaits the CPM and the residents of the Saint-Théophile Pavilion Reception Center and the JC Recreation Center: after 60 days of investigation into the management of establishments and the living conditions of residents, the Human Rights Commission de la personne du Québec welcomes the operating complaint filed four years earlier. In 1995, the Human Rights Tribunal ordered the two establishments to pay $ 1,400,000 in moral damages to the 88 former residents.
Spokesperson and partnerships
Bill 120 plunges the health and social services network into reform. The CPM defends the interests of users as a designated spokesperson at the Social Affairs subcommittee and at conferences organized by the Quebec Society of Medicine and Law, the Quebec Hospital Association and the Institut de Nazareth and Louis Braille. The CPM is also designated by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to provide training to community organizations that have received the mandate from the ministry to support people wishing to file a complaint regarding a service received in the network. health. The CPM is also developing partnerships outside Quebec, notably with The Patients Association of the United Kingdom, the residents’ council of the Georges Pearson center in Vancouver and the French association Freedom of residents in institutions.
In 1994, the CPM opened the celebrations for its 20th anniversary with a Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory, chaired by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte. The latter declared in his homily: “As long as one patient, only one, is violated in his rights and humiliated in his being, the Provincial Committee of the sick will have its raison d’être.” The same year, the CPM left the premises it had occupied for 17 years at the Complexe Desjardins and moved into the premises, rue de la Gauchetière.
Rights and Freedoms Award – 1995 Edition of the Quebec Human Rights Commission
The CPM is the recipient of the Rights and Freedoms Prize – 1995 Edition from the Quebec Human Rights Commission.
The Rights and Freedoms Prize is awarded annually by the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights on the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It constitutes public recognition of an exemplary achievement or commitment in the promotion and defense of human rights and freedoms in Quebec.
The Rights and Freedoms Prize is symbolized by a work by a Quebec sculptor, Hugues Soucy. The Prize is awarded on December 10, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.
The Prize can be awarded:
to a person or a group of people who have demonstrated a marked commitment in the field of human rights and freedoms, through an achievement or a set of activities;
to an organization or a legal person (business or municipality, for example) whose achievement reflects a clear concern with respect for the rights and freedoms of the person or whose leadership in the matter deserves to be cited.
The Prize may be awarded posthumously to a person.
Until 1995, for 16 consecutive years, the CPM organized a large Christmas party for the sick, the elderly and the disabled who lived permanently in health establishments. These festivals have allowed over the years several thousand people to celebrate Christmas in a cheerful and warm atmosphere.
Even if they wanted to rest on their laurels, the CPM team would not have had the time! The government announces $ 350 million in budget cuts to the health network and the launch of a new reform called an ambulatory shift
The torch to Paul G. Brunet
The network is shaken by major changes and once again, it is the sick and the people living in shelters who are paying the price. The CPM deplores the absence of genuine collaboration between the various stakeholders and establishments in the network – a collaboration that is nevertheless essential to the success of the shift to ambulatory care. He also strongly denounces the use of measures that penalize the population: strikes, study days, termination of services, closing of beds, etc. In 1997, the CPM brought a class action on behalf of all the people who had been accommodated since 1994 and had to pay for the service of washing and normal maintenance of their clothes. A judgment is still awaited in this case. At the end of 1997, Michèle Lamquin-Éthier passed the torch to Paul G. Brunet, younger brother of Claude Brunet, at the head of the CPM. Paul G. Brunet has headed the organization ever since. As for Ms. Lamquin-Éthier, she made the leap into politics. This great humanist, with her rallying talents, was a Liberal MP in the riding of Crémazie and deputy parliamentary leader until spring 2007.
Armand-Marquiset Prize – 1998 Edition
Armand-Marquiset Prize – 1998 Edition Founder of the Little Brothers of the Poor The Armand Marquiset Prizes are awarded annually by the Corporation of the Little Brothers of the Poor. The prizes will publicly recognize the exceptional contribution of a person or an organization (or group of people) who have contributed by their action to improving the quality of life of the elderly. The Armand Marquiset Prizes, symbolized in a Quebec work by Ateliers Guyon and Mailhiot, are awarded on October 1, decreed by the United Nations, “International Day of Seniors”. 1998: During the same year, the Provincial Committee for the sick becomes the Council for the protection of the sick. 1998 begins with a change in general management. Already actively involved with the CPM for several years, Paul G. Brunet, Claude’s younger brother, succeeds Michèle Lamquin-Éthier who had taken over as head of the organization ten years earlier. Me Brunet has directed the CPM since. “The sun is for everyone” is the slogan of the March of Silence held in 1998 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Claude Brunet. More than 200 people demonstrate in the streets of Montreal to denounce the impact of budget cuts on the quality of life of the sick. In 1998, in collaboration with the Faculty of Permanent Studies of the University of Montreal, the CPM set up training on elder abuse and neglect entitled “Aging without violence”. The CPM then conducts a provincial training tour over two years with user committees
Birth of Justice-santé
The Council submits ten briefs in two years as part of public consultations. He will present his vision, among other things, of the following issues: the financing of the health system and the organization of services (Commission Clair), the general drug insurance plan, the exploitation of the elderly, the review of the handling of complaints and governance of health establishments. Following a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal recognizing the illegality for a CHSLD to impose additional costs for washing the personal clothing of its residents, the CPM re-launched in 2000 its class action seeking reimbursement of these costs in around sixty accommodation centers. Laundry costs charged to residents average $ 40 per month. The outcome of this appeal is eagerly awaited! In March 2001, the CPM launched its Justice-Santé review, which took over from its quarterly review ŒIL de FEU published since 1976. This new publication combines a desire for continuity with the desire to reach a wider audience. Its mandate is to provide users of the health network with information on their rights and to promote the humanization of care. The journal is published four times a year. Its circulation, initially of 5,000 copies, has since doubled.
In 2002, the CPM organized its first annual conference. The theme of the training day for users’ committee members and the general public is “The place of the user in the Quebec health system”. The success of the event led to its reissue the following year, under a burning topical theme: “Users in accommodation: right to security, right to respect”. Paul G. Brunet, Executive Director of the CPM, received in 2002 the Medal of the Bar of Montreal in recognition of his community involvement, for more than twenty years, in the service of justice and the defense of the rights of the sick. The CPM has always opposed any leverage that has the effect of penalizing sick people. This is why, in 2003, he brought a class action against medical specialists following their three days of study held in 2002 and 2003. This means of pressure had the effect of postponing 3,361 surgeries and several thousand appointments. you. In 2003, the government began a major structural reform with the tabling of Bill 25 on development agencies for local health and social services networks. This bill resulted in 2004, by region, of hospitals, CLSCs and public CHSLDs and the abolition of regional boards. In the brief it tabled during the consultation on this bill, the CPM insisted on the need to establish, following the merger, user committees in all establishments and in each long-term care facility. This aspect remains unresolved to this day.
During 2004, the CPM was very involved in the quality of life assessment visits to residential and long-term care settings. The visits set up by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Philippe Couillard, took place from January to April 2004. Following the submission of the final report of the five teams that carried out the visits, the Minister decided to put on initiate an ongoing process of appraisal visits, of which the CPM is also a part. Thanks to a joint donation from the Lions Club of Le Gardeur and the Lions International Clubs Foundation, the CPM was able to acquire a new minibus to maintain the paratransit service it has offered for over 20 years to people accommodated in health establishments. The 2004 edition of the CPM’s annual symposium concludes the 30th anniversary of its foundation, with a theme that has been at the heart of its mission for all these years: “Protecting vulnerable people: challenges and issues”. Indeed, it was precisely their desire to defend the rights of vulnerable people that prompted the CPM pioneers to regroup and make their voices heard.
Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the death of Claude Brunet.
Thanks to the determination of the CPM, Mr. Michel Cantin and their attorneys, the Quebec Court of Appeal confirms that laundry services for personal clothes of residents of CHSLDs are free.
And in the years that followed, several pieces of legislation and important consultations were proposed by the government. One is the issue of the right to die with dignity, which will result in the End-of-Life Care Law passed in 2013. Ethical issues have sparked debate in society and within the PMO. The CPM finally gave its support to the law for the reasons set out in its memoirs then submitted to the National Assembly.
It was the year of the then health minister’s reforms, which brought about major changes and upheavals, the benefits of which are still being tried today, given the price paid by all.
The CPM, opens a new individualized service called Health Protection. This service, offered to all citizens of Quebec, gives the right to a few hours of legal assistance for a small contribution.
The CPM and Mr. Daniel Pilote brought a class action on behalf of the 37,000 residents of CHSLD for the mistreatment of which they are the subject, notably for lack of care and violation of their right to integrity and dignity. In 2019, the Superior Court authorized the appeal.
The CPM plans to become better known to the general public. As of 2020, the CPM is launching a unique advertising campaign in its history so that CPM is THE ESSENTIAL VOICE FOR USERS IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, everywhere, all the time.