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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
HALIFAX, NS: Today, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has paved the road to addressing the human rights of thousands of Nova Scotians with disabilities who continue to languish in institutions or in community without support. This ruling sent a powerful message that there are fundamental systemic barriers in Nova Scotia that deny equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities.
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Inclusion Canada and People First Canada, a coalition granted permission to participate in this Appeal, are now urging the government of Nova Scotia to stop fighting persons with disabilities in courts, to acknowledge to systemic discrimination and to remove barriers to inclusion for all Nova Scotians with intellectual disabilities.
Joseph Delaney, the late Sheila Livingstone and the late Beth MacLean, three people with intellectual disabilities lived in institutions for many years before winning a landmark human rights case.
In 2019, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry found that these individuals had the right to live with the help of support workers in homes within the community — referred to as a small options home.
However, the Human Rights Board of Inquiry rejected the argument of the Disability Rights Coalition that systemic discrimination by the province of Nova Scotia prevented others with intellectual disabilities from accessing the small options homes. That’s why the case went to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Today, the Court of Appeal ruled that there is ample evidence that the way the Nova Scotia government provides support to persons with disabilities puts them at a unique disadvantage. This includes prolonged unjustified institutionalization, years-long waits to receive services that they are entitled to or having to relocate to receive those services.
“The decision finds that the discrimination experienced by Joseph Delaney, Sheila Livingstone, and Beth MacLean was not accidental and was part of a destructive pattern,” says Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada, “The government of Nova Scotia needs to act immediately to support people with intellectual disabilities in their own homes in the community.”
Nova Scotia is facing a human rights emergency. Up to 1900 people with disabilities remain on waitlist for community placement, of which over 1000 remain in institutions and approximately 500 of which remain without services.
Nova Scotia lags well behind other Canadian provinces in providing community homes and supports for people with intellectual disabilities. Today’s ruling presents an opportunity to the new provincial government in Nova Scotia to acknowledge (1) that they have fundamentally wronged persons with disabilities for decades, (2) that systemic barriers to community inclusion for persons with disabilities are no longer tolerable in a free and democratic society, (3) that they stop fighting persons with disabilities in courts, and (4) that they will work with the community to address their human rights emergency.
Rally4ODSP was a great success with media, great weather and speakers very enjoyable!! Please share these links for and wide.
Read the MCCSS disappointing response to the rally in the CBC article.
Kevin Head from People First Toronto was a star! His speech is in the CBC Instagram post. Anthony Frisina did an excellent speech and was feature in all the articles. ODSP Action Coalition are pros too!
More to come:
The star will publish something soon.
Plus maybe Newstalk 1010 this weekend.
You can view the video of the rally here:
Update: The timeline for public feedback for the K-12 Education initial recommendations has been extended until November 1, 2021 (see below for updated language)
Standards Development Committees are responsible for developing and reviewing accessibility standards in Ontario. These accessibility standards help achieve the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), as Ontario moves forward on its journey to create a more accessible and inclusive province.
The Kindergarten-Gr. 12 (K-12) and Postsecondary Education (PSE) Standards Development Committees (Committees) were tasked with developing recommendations for proposed accessibility in publicly funded K-12 schools and PSE institutions. Both Committees are comprised of people with disabilities, representatives from disability organizations, and education sector experts.
The Government of Ontario is pleased to announce that the K-12 and PSE Committees’ Initial Recommendation Reports have been posted online for public comment.
In addition, a Technical Sub-Committee was tasked with developing recommendations on student transitions between K-12 and PSE; and between education, employment, and the community. Their report has been posted online and can be viewed here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessible-transitions-students-disabilities-kindergarten-grade-12-k-12-workforce-community-and
After you’ve read the initial recommendations for both the K-12 and PSE Committees, you have a couple of ways to submit your feedback:
Complete the online surveys at:
The timeline for public feedback for the K-12 Education initial recommendations has been extended until November 1, 2021, the same as the PSE initial recommendations timeline of November 1, 2021.
The Committees will review and consider all feedback before they finalize their recommendations and submit their final reports to the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility for consideration.
August 23, 2021
Ministry of Health
TORONTO ― The Ontario government is investing an additional $169 million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers for the third time since its initial investment last year. This increase will continue until October 31, 2021 and will help stabilize staffing levels and support our frontline health care workers to ensure the province is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.
“Since the outset of the pandemic, personal support workers and direct support workers have been critical in supporting some of our most vulnerable patients,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we head into the fall, ensuring Ontario’s personal support workers are supported will ensure patients continue to receive the high-quality care they need.”
The government is extending the wage enhancement for over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services or direct support services in hospitals, long-term care, home and community care and social services until October 31, 2021. This includes:
This latest temporary wage increase builds on the government’s previous wage enhancement extension on June 11, 2021, which was set to expire on August 23, 2021. Since October 2020, Ontario has invested $841 million and, with this additional $169 million, will have invested over $1 billion for personal support workers and direct support workers. The province will continue to review the wage increase to inform its next steps to ensure this important investment will bring the greatest stability and support for Ontario’s personal support workers and direct support workers.
“This wage enhancement extension recognizes the vital work and significant sacrifices that personal support workers and direct support workers continue to make to keep Ontarians, including our most vulnerable, safe and healthy,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board. “We will continue to make historic investments to improve home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals and the social services sector throughout the province as part of our fight against COVID-19.”
“Our government is committed to rebuilding and repairing long-term care in Ontario,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Further extending the wage increase will help us continue to attract and retain personal support workers who provide residents with the care they need and deserve everyday.”
To protect vulnerable patients and staff in settings where the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 and the Delta variant is higher, on August 17th the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a directive mandating hospitals and home and community care service providers to have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees, staff, contractors, students and volunteers, including personal support workers. This is similar to the vaccination policy requirements currently in place for long-term care homes. Vaccination policies will also be implemented in other higher-risk settings where personal support workers and direct support workers provide care, including licensed retirement homes, congregate group homes and day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, children’s treatment centres and other services for children with special needs, and licensed children’s residential settings.
“We remain grateful for support workers who, throughout the pandemic, have continued to provide vital services to individuals with developmental disabilities and complex needs,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “Personal and direct support workers across the province have been instrumental to ensuring our loved ones receive the quality care they need, and the temporary wage increase is meant to recognize and celebrate their important work.”
"We are appreciative of this announcement as we fully understand how much this wage enhancement has meant to our PSWs. This is well deserved as everyone has worked so hard to support their families during the pandemic. It also demonstrates respect for the valuable social impact that this dedicated workforce makes to the lives of so many."
- Constance Clerici
Executive Chair, Closing the Gap Healthcare, and Leighton McDonald, President and CEO, Closing the Gap Healthcare