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Province backtracks over 'delusional' website
Skana Gee, Daily News, Halifax, N.S.: Mar 31, 2007

No need to be vaccinated against delusional Calgaria. It no longer exists.

An edgy website that coined the term to describe a condition afflicting Nova Scotians living in Calgary has removed all reference to "delusions" after complaints from mental-health advocates.

"We totally understand their concerns and we took them very seriously," Angela Campbell, brand adviser at Communications Nova Scotia, told The Daily News yesterday.

"The word 'delusion' is a clinical term that is used within the community. Once we were made aware of that, we made a pretty quick decision this morning to pull the word."

The website was taken down Thursday night and by 1 p.m. yesterday had been altered. All references to "delusional" have been removed, the website address has been changed from www.delusionalcalgaria.ca to www.calgaria.ca, and a video has been removed.
However, the executive director of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia says that's not enough.

"What am I supposed to say? 'I'm thankful the word delusional is out'? I suppose I could say that," said Stephen Ayer.

"I didn't feel we needed to have this term introduced into ... the common language of our time."

But he said the site's whole approach - including symptoms, diagnosis and cure - is insensitive: "To me this is totally out of line ... I see that a site that's just a milder version of the same thing has gone back up."

The website, under Nova Scotia Come to Life, a provincial- private sector initiative, is a waste of taxpayers' money, said Ayer.
"
The money could be better spent providing services to individuals who live with mental illness, who live with delusions," he said.

The site, which launched March 19 and has garnered more than 24, 000 hits since, is aimed at 25- to 35-year-old Nova Scotians now living in Calgary, said Campbell, whose department also received a complaint from the Canadian Mental Health Association's Nova Scotia branch.

The idea is for the target audience "to keep Nova Scotia on their radar and to look at the opportunities that might be available for them here now, that might not have been available when they left."

She said Calgaria (Cal-gu-ree-uh, rhymes with diarrhea) "was meant to be a light-hearted call from home ... our intention is not to offend anyone."
 

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