Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

N.S. the handicapped group pushes win to convert to housing care

N.S. the handicapped group

Key Takeaways:

  • A Nova Scotia disabilities group announced Wednesday that it would work to convert a recent landmark court victory into funding for housing and care improvements.
  • During a press conference, the Disabilities Rights Coalition cited the Court of Appeal’s October 6 decision.

Which found the province had failed to provide people with disabilities with sufficient social assistance and suitable housing in their communities. A human rights board of inquiry will determine the specific remedies to the finding. Still, the province can attempt to “justify” the discrimination on grounds such as potential costs.

Vicky Levack, a coalition member, told reporters that she expected Premier Tim Houston to promise not to pursue legal action because it would likely result in years of delays.

After being forced to live in a nursing home for years due to a lack of smaller homes in the community that provided adequate support, Levack, who has cerebral palsy, said she didn’t want others to face the same challenges.

“Now that I know this is technically wrong as well as morally wrong, I’m twice as angry, and I’m looking forward to a solution as soon as possible,” she said.

The coalition also stated that it expects the new Progressive Conservative government to work with them before the Human Rights Council, commit to reforms, and set a timetable for their successful execution. According to the group, reforms should include the abolition of institutionalization of people with disabilities and the rapid dismissal of waiting lists for community housing.

Dulcie McCallum, a member of Canada’s delegation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, asked the news conference if Nova Scotia does not act on the court decision, a formal complaint to the U.N. may be filed.

“My information to the premier today, on behalf of thousands of people languishing in institutions or nursing homes, is that you are guilty of unreasonable delay, or a potential complaint is on the horizon,” she said.

Houston has already stated publicly that his government will not appeal the court decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. On October 7, he stated that his government “would work with the community to ensure that the supports are in place.” The premier also noted that his government would work as quickly as possible to increase housing options for people with disabilities.

Source: Global News

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