Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The government of N.S. is taking a disability group to court again

government of N.S.

Key Takeaways:

  • The N.S. government has announced that it will appeal a recent court decision that found discrimination against people with disabilities who sought better community services and housing.

A day after the Court of Appeal ruling on Oct. 6, Premier Tim Houston said his government heard the court’s message “loud and clear,” and he promised to work with the disability community.

However, in an emailed comment on Thursday, Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane appears to change the Progressive Conservative government’s stance.

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The minister also stated that the court judgment places a legal obligation on the department’s disability support program, which she claims she needs to “better understand that requirement.” Finally, the cabinet minister stated that she was speaking on behalf of the premier, who was out of the province at the time.

According to the landmark Appeal Court judgment, long waitlists result from the provincial government’s failure to provide “meaningful” access to housing and care for individuals with disabilities.

The Disability Rights Coalition was the one who started the campaign. During a hearing a year ago, its lawyer, Claire McNeil, said that persons with disabilities were mistreated because of unnecessary institutionalization, long wait times, and forced removal to rural sections of the province far from family and friends.

Following the court’s decision, the coalition asked the government not to file an appeal and treat persons with impairments equally.

The organization held a news conference on Wednesday when attendees appeared to believe that additional legal action was unlikely and that the issue would be resolved through a human rights board. McNeil pushed the province to negotiate and work with the coalition to establish a reform timetable during the hearing.

The Appeal Court also upheld and expanded the findings of individual discrimination against the three, increasing Delaney’s compensation from $100,000 to $200,000 and increasing MacLean’s compensation from $100,000 to $300,000.

Source: Global News

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