Disability Rights Coalition Board of Inquiry Decision on Remedy
The chair of an independent human rights board of inquiry in the matter of Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, Joseph Delaney and Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia vs. Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission issued a decision on remedy today, June 29.
Board Chair Donald C. Murray’s decision includes an interim consent order and an interim settlement agreement outlining a five-year resolution process. The decision also retains the jurisdiction of the board of inquiry to monitor progress as the parties work to fulfill the remedy in collaboration with an independent review panel and experts. He stated the interim consent order will act as a public commitment by all parties.
In March 2019, former board chair Walter Thompson issued a prima facie finding of discrimination in this matter, including individual findings of discrimination for each complainant. A finding of systemic discrimination in relation to living and housing needs of all Nova Scotians with disabilities was later added by a Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision in October 2021.
The Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia and the Department of Community Services jointly initiated a review process with independent experts to develop a remedy after the court of appeal decision. The report was prepared by Eddie Bartnik, an expert in disability, mental health and community services from Australia, and Tim Stainton, a professor in the school of social work at the University of British Columbia and Director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the university.
News release – Transforming Support for People Living with Disabilities: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20230426001
The independent experts’ report – Human Rights Review and Remedy for the Finding of Systemic Discrimination Against Nova Scotians with Disabilities – is at: https://novascotia.ca/coms/disabilities/human-rights-remedy-dsp-final-report.pdf
Former board chair’s March 2019 decision on prima facie discrimination: https://humanrights.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/editor-uploads/maclean_et_al_decision.pdf
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision, October 6, 2021: https://decisia.lexum.com/nsc/nsca/en/514014/1/document.do