It has been more than twenty-five years since John Robarts committed
suicide. Thought I would explain who he is and the details about the
final chapter of his life.
He practiced law in London, Ontario, became a politician and became
the premier of Ontario in 1961 until 1971. He also was one of the
board of directors during the formation of the Toronto Blue Jays and
was one of the two people who suggested using the "Blue Jays" as
Toronto's mascot because he saw a blue jay when he looked out the
window in the morning before the meeting for selection of a name for
The Robarts School for the Deaf, located in London, Ontario is named
in honour of him.
His final chapter began when he suffered several strokes. He became
so depressed with the suffering he obtained from the strokes that life
became unbearable so he committed suicide on October 18, 1982. What
leads me to write this article? I am an alumni of Robarts School and
it is sad that students should honour John Robarts every year on
October 18 because he was the premier who signed the act to approve
the creation of Robarts School. Robarts School may have sucked when I
was a student, but now I have completed college, I look back and
realize Robarts School was a good school for the Deaf people. It is
sad to see Robarts School becoming an institution for mainly the
mentally retarded students.
I see the transition Robarts School is going from capable Deaf
students to mentally retarded students portaying the final chapter of
John Robarts' life. Degrading the quality of Deaf students (by the
way the provincial government strategy to prevent Deaf children from
developing self-awareness, self-identity, and learning that there are
other Deaf children that are like them by forcing cocklear implants,
aka cochlear implants being crammed into their tiny skulls and forcing
them into mainsteam schools where they learn that they are not like
the other "hearing and dumb" children).
Eventually in the end, Robarts School will close and there no longer
will be the education that Deaf children in the London and Area /
South-Western Ontario region need to become future leaders and
superior citizens of Canada. The end of John Robarts' life is
similar. It is not beautiful, he suffered and in the end he ended his
life sticking a loaded shotgun under his chin and pulling the trigger.
I bet the view of the demolishing of Robarts School will look exactly
the same as John Robarts did at the end of his life.
Rest in peace, John Robarts - we, the Deaf people thank you for
supporting the establishment of Robarts School. It is unfortunate
that the current government of Ontario is incapable of opening their
eyes and accepting what Deaf people want and say is the best for them
leading to the end of what you supported.