The gristle in the stew: revisiting the horrors of Huronia
It was a place — and a past — that Patricia Seth and Marie Slark could have tried to forget. But they chose the harder route: to remember, and force those in power to face an ugly truth.
What happened at Huronia Regional Centre was the stuff of nightmares. Huronia was a government-run institution for children with developmental disabilities, located in Orillia, Ontario. It was shut down in 2009, after more than a century of operation.
Parents were told their children would be well taken care of, their special needs attended to. They were told that leaving their children in the institution's care was the right thing to do. But instead, children were neglected and abused.
Read the settlement
Marie and Pat lived at Huronia from childhood into their young adult lives. In 2011, CBC's David Gutnick produced a documentary about the atrocities that took place at Huronia and reported on a class action lawsuit that Marie and Pat were filing against the province of Ontario.
A lot has happened since then and it's safe to say, that for Pat, Marie and their representatives, this story is still far from over. So, we wanted to do something a little different on this program, something that is rarely done: get an in-depth update on a doc.
Listen to the original full-length documentary
About the producers
Since then, David has told thousands of stories from people he has met all over the world. He is featured in The Doc Project's video, On the Chase with David Gutnick: How to Find a Local Story.
David's documentary, The Gristle in the Stew, was honoured in 2012 by the United Nations, won a silver medal at the New York Festivals, and received the media award given out by Community Living Ontario.
A previous version of this show gave an incorrect number of potential class members involved in the Huronia class action suit. The correct number is 3,700.