TORONTO, November 27, 2014 — The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today releases its final report in its Capacity and Legal Representation for the Federal RDSP project.
The Government of Ontario requested that the LCO undertake a review of how adults with disability might be better enabled to participate in the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). The RDSP is a savings vehicle created by the federal government to assist persons with disability with long-term financial security. The LCO’s final report presents recommendations respecting the creation of a streamlined process to appoint an “RDSP legal representative” for adults seeking access to the RDSP who do not have legal capacity to establish a plan themselves.
The LCO’s final report responds to concerns that adults with disability and their family and friends expressed with regard to existing processes to appoint a person who can open and manage funds in a plan on the beneficiary’s behalf. It recommends specific measures that could enable beneficiaries to personally appoint a family member, friend or community organization as an RDSP legal representative and, therefore, improve access to the program. The final report focuses on criteria that would be required to make such a process accessible to adults with disability, robust safeguards to protect them against financial abuse, and other essential features of a new process.
The final report was the result of extensive research and consultations, and benefited from work being carried out in the LCO’s larger, ongoing Legal Capacity, Decision-Making and Guardianship project.
Launched in September 2007, the LCO is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and is also supported by Ontario’s law schools. It receives funding and in-kind assistance from York University. Housed in the Ignat Kaneff Building, home of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, it operates independently of government to recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.
Sarah Mason-Case, Research Lawyer
Law Commission of Ontario