National Post

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Monday, November 22, 1999

Joudrie recounts her 'nightmare'
Robert Remington
National Post

Mike Ridewood, National Post
Dorothy Joudrie

CALGARY - Dorothy Joudrie, the wealthy Calgary socialite found not criminally responsible for shooting her oil executive husband in 1995, yesterday used her first public appearance since her release from a mental health facility to criticize Alberta's mental health-care system as dehumanizing and abusive.

Mrs. Joudrie, who received an absolute discharge one year ago from Alberta Hospital Edmonton, described her time there as "a nightmare" and called on the government to provide more money for programs.

"For five months I endured mental abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse by the professionals at Alberta Hospital," she told a charity event.

The event was to raise awareness for the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters and for Brainstorms Fundamentals Inc., a private mental health clinic for upscale clients.

"I had to watch as other patients were baited and humiliated. Patients were demoralized, degraded and dehumanized on a daily basis," she claimed.

A spokesman for the Alberta Mental Health Board said last night that Mrs. Joudrie should officially bring her concerns to the board.

"It's very difficult for us to respond to specific cases," said the board's Randy Kilburn. "We have to remember patient confidentiality."

Mr. Joudrie, 64, came to public attention on Jan. 21, 1995, when she shot her estranged husband, Earl Joudrie, the chairman of Gulf Canada Resources and Canadian Tire, six times with a .25-calibre Beretta handgun.

Mrs. Joudrie, who was ruled to be in a disassociative state at the time, has no memory of the shooting, which happened in the garage of their condominium.

She was an alcoholic at the time, a condition she attributed to years of domestic abuse.

The jury found her not criminally responsible for the shooting. Mr. Joudrie recovered from his wounds. The couple divorced after the shooting.

In her 15-minute speech, she said the state of mental health in Alberta "must not be tolerated" and said "institutes like Alberta Hospital Edmonton are capable of destroying lives without any accountability to the people they serve, their families or their friends."

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