FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, January 11, 2016 — The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today released its Interim Report on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship for public feedback. The Interim Report includes draft recommendations designed to respond to concerns about Ontario’s laws addressing situations where decisions are needed but decision-making abilities are at issue. In particular, there are concerns about misuse or abuse of powers of attorney, inappropriate or excessive intervention in the lives of persons with disabilities that may affect their decision-making abilities, the means available to individuals and families to enforce rights or resolve disputes in this area, and the effective implementation of these laws.
The LCO encourages feedback from members of the public, including older adults and persons with disabilities, family members, service providers, policy-makers, lawyers and advocates, until Friday, March 4, 2016, as part of its public consultation process. The LCO anticipates releasing a Final Report in early 2016.
The LCO’s analysis and draft recommendations in this project build on principles developed in its previous work on law, aging and disability, and seek to take into account the diversity of needs, circumstances and perspectives of those affected by this area of the law. “Laws in this area have a profound impact on the dignity, autonomy, security and inclusion of older adults and persons with disabilities,” said Bruce Elman, chair of the LCO’s Board of Governors. “Reforms to this area of the law have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of many Ontarians.”
The LCO has formed a project Advisory Group that includes diverse perspectives and expertise. Over the course of the Project, the LCO has conducted considerable research, including commissioning several research papers by noted academics and experts. Following the release of the project Discussion Paper in mid-2014, the LCO conducted extensive consultations, and has heard from approximately 600 individuals and organizations regarding the issues and options for reform.
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, the LCO operates independently of government to recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.
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Lauren Bates, Senior Lawyer (416) 650-8406 LawCommission@lco-cdo.org