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Institutionalization as a form of Discrimination

  • July 4, 2016
  • BakerLaw

Bakerlaw’s David Baker and Emily Shepard are gearing up for a big case wherein they will argue that institutionalization is a form of discrimination. In the US, in a case called Olmstead, the court held that institutionalizing a person when the care they require could be delivered in the community is discriminatory. In this case, our client’s right to live in the community (as he desires) is in jeopardy because his nursing needs exceed what the home care caps allow based on Ontario regulations.

In the fall, the Ontario government, as a result of this case, increased the caps in home care nursing services and brought a motion to have this case thrown out because it was moot. The HRTO confirmed that the application and effect of the previous cap is still a live issue. This issue will be the subject of the hearing that starts tomorrow in Kingston.

Initially, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Association for Community Living Ontario and People First Ontario (Coalition) were intervenors in the case. Recently, the Commission and Coalition entered into minutes of settlement in exchange for the withdrawal of the interventions. As part of the settlement, Ministry of Health and the Commission will enter into a consultation process to increase and improve community home care. You can learn more about this process and the settlement here (link).

With the withdrawal of the intervenors, the case is down to our client and the Ministry of Health. This is a very large systemic case which is several years in the making. The strength and dedication of our client has made the efforts more than worthwhile.

The hearings will be held in Kingston and Toronto over 6 weeks. If you are affiliated with the media and want to learn more about the hearings, please contact us at info@bakerlaw.ca

To learn more about the case, read our earlier post about it here (link).

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