The DRC welcomes the Premier’s apology to persons with disabilities as an important first step towards reconciliation with a community whose members have experienced extreme forms of systemic discrimination over decades. This important gesture by the Premier comes at a key moment as the Province moves toward addressing & ending its practices and policies that lead to the discriminatory treatment.
A settlement agreement has been approved in the case of the province’s systemic discrimination against disabled Nova Scotians, stipulating the closure over the next five years of all institutions for people with disabilities. [photo: Ryan Taplin]
Plan based on recommendation to move most people in institutions into housing in communities by 2025, [photo: Evan Mitsui/CBC]
The DRC is today releasing the Expert Report that formed the foundation of its Interim Settlement Agreement with the Province and the NS Human Rights Commission. In the wake of the landmark October 2021 NS Court of Appeal ruling finding systemic discrimination by the Province against persons with disabilities, the DRC and the Province agreed to obtain independent expert advice as to how the systemic discrimination identified by the Court of Appeal in its provision of supports and services could be resolved in a human rights compliant way. Here’s their Expert Report along with a five-page plain language Summary.
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