Regulations for the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act were approved by Governor-in-Council today, Dec. 14, in preparation for the act coming into force Dec. 28.
“All Nova Scotians have the legal right to make decisions where they have capacity,” said Mark Furey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “The new act will soon be in place to ensure those rights for people with diminished decision-making capacity.”
The regulations detail who can carry out capacity assessments, how they will do it and what the work will cost, and the requirements of representation plans.
Physicians and psychologists will be able to do capacity assessments when the act comes into force. Other health professionals, specifically, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, occupational therapists and social workers will be able to conduct these assessments once they have completed the specified training.
The Nova Scotia Public Trustee Office will maintain a registry of all representation orders under this act. Under the Incompetent Persons Act, there was no place to register orders. The office will have the authority to receive and investigate written complaints so that anyone can report a guardian’s or representative’s failure to act within the law.
Government has taken steps to remove cost as a barrier for Nova Scotians who make applications under this legislation. Nova Scotians who want a capacity assessment under this act can apply for help with the cost. The Nova Scotia Public Trustee Office will review applications to determine eligibility for financial assistance.
Legal aid will be available to adults who are or could be subject to a representation order. Families that meet a financial means test might also qualify for legal aid service.
Information on the act and the duties and responsibilities of representatives, including guides and video resources, is available on the website of the Nova Scotia Public Trustee’s Office, at: www.novascotia.ca/just/pto. For the regulations, visit:
Two public information sessions are planned, and a video of the presentation will be available on Youtube in January. The first session is Jan. 29, at 9 a.m. at Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax and the second is Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at Woodlawn Public Library in Dartmouth.