Nova Scotia does not have a precise timeline for phasing out large institutional housing for people with disabilities, the deputy minister of the Department of Community Services told a legislature hearing Tuesday. (Jean Laroche/CBC)
A lawyer representing a disability rights group in Nova Scotia says he’s relieved the province won’t try to exempt itself from a court ruling that concluded the province discriminated against people with disabilities who were seeking housing.
An independent human rights board of inquiry in the matter of Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia, Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone and Joseph Delaney vs. the Province of Nova Scotia will continue Tuesday, July 12.
The board chair in this hearing is Donald Murray, who is independent of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 980 Parkland Dr., Halifax. The proceedings will be livestreamed on this webapge.
“There’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel but we’re just hoping that the tunnel is shorter than what we thought,” said Claire McNeil, a lawyer for the Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia.
“The Court of Appeal ruled last year that the government’s failure to offer “meaningful” access to housing for people with disabilities amounted to a violation of their basic rights. But under Section 6 of Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act, the province can exempt itself from that ruling if it can prove the discrimination is justified in a free and democratic society.” -Keith Doucette
“Every single thing I’ve read about how the NS government has opposed this case makes me cringe.” -David T.S. Fraser
The Nova Scotia government must decide by July 11 whether it will try and exempt itself from a Court of Appeal ruling that stated the province had discriminated against people with disabilities who were seeking housing. (photo: Craig Paisley/CBC)
A Disability Rights Coalition lawyer says there can only be one conclusion as to why the province does not do the right thing for Nova Scotia’s disabled.
“Fundamentally, they (government) don’t care about people with disabilities,” said Claire McNeil. “They say they do and you hear that all the time from this premier and previous premiers and ministers of community services but actions speak louder than words and the solution to this problem has been staring us in the face for decades and other provinces have done it and we haven’t.”
Nova Scotia’s application for permission to appeal a decision that found evidence it discriminated against people with disabilities has been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Disability rights advocates are hailing a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada dismissing the Nova Scotia government’s appeal of a lower court ruling on housing discrimination.