Nova Scotians are invited to help shape new legislation to better protect the rights of vulnerable people under adult guardianship orders.
“We all want to live in a province where the rights of every Nova Scotian are respected,” said Justice Minister Diana Whalen. “This consultation is an excellent opportunity to listen to and take advice from the public, stakeholders and families who want their loved ones to be safe while having the maximum freedom possible.”
The consultation will involve face-to-face meetings and input through an online survey. The survey is available at http://novascotia.ca/adultguardianship/.
The deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 30.
A guardianship order is a court order that appoints a person to make decisions for someone who is not capable of making decisions on their own.
Under Nova Scotia’s previous legislation, capacity to make decisions was an all-or-nothing condition and did not recognize that individuals may be able to make their own decisions in many areas of their lives. The province will replace the previous legislation with a modern guardianship law in the spring of 2017.
The new legislation will protect the rights of all adults to autonomy and self-determination, set out the duties and responsibilities of guardians and establish safeguards for individuals who are under guardianship orders.
Targeted consultations are taking place with key stakeholders from the health, social services and legal sectors, as well as seniors, the disabled community and families with loved ones under guardianship orders.
The province is especially interested in hearing from individuals with family members under guardianship orders, both past and present. Families who wish to participate in a focus group can contact Allyson O’Shea at 902-424-6094 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruled last spring that certain provisions of the previous legislation infringed on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court gave government one year to bring in updated legislation.