News release

MacLean, Livingstone, Delaney and Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia v. Province of Nova Scotia Decision

A decision was delivered today, March 4, on the matter of Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, Joseph Delaney and the Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia v. Province of Nova Scotia.

Walter Thompson, board chair in the independent human rights board of inquiry, found that the province discriminated against the complainants, Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, and Joey Delaney in the provision of access to services or facilities on account of mental and physical disability.

He did not find that the province discriminated against persons with disabilities who reside in institutions generally or who are on a waitlist for placement in a community living service such as independent living support or a small options home. Each disabled person’s circumstances must, in his opinion, be assessed individually and then a decision made as to whether the person has had meaningful access to services.

Mr. Thompson looked into the complaint brought to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission on behalf of some residents living in an institutionalized setting who have mental and/or physical disabilities. They allege that living in this setting is discriminatory and that they should be housed in small options homes instead.

This decision is the first in a two-stage process. The second part of the hearing will allow the province to argue whether the discrimination is justified in accordance with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. The hearing into this matter is expected to continue later this year.

The full decision is available on the commission’s website at human rights.novascotia.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A decision has been handed down on the matter of Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, Joseph Delaney and the Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia v. Province of Nova Scotia.

Walter Thompson, board chair in the independent human rights board of inquiry, found that the province discriminated against the complainants, Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, and Joey Delaney in the provision of access to services or facilities on account of mental and physical disability.

He did not find that the province discriminated against persons with disabilities who reside in institutions generally or who are on a waitlist for placement in a community living service such as independent living support or a small options home. Each disabled person’s circumstances must, in his opinion, be assessed individually and then a decision made as to whether the person has had meaningful access to services.

This decision is the first in a two-stage process. The second part of the hearing will allow the province to argue whether the discrimination is justified in accordance with the Human Rights Act. The hearing is expected to continue later this year.

The full decision is available on the commission’s website.

-30-

Media Contact:

Jeff Overmars
902-719-8534 Email: