Reform of guardianship and decision making practices in Ontario

The Ontario Law Commission’s initiative to address both capacity and decision making calls for responses to the interim report, Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship Interim Report: Summary of Issues and Draft Recommendations

Ontario’s current statutory regime for legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship took shape as a result of a monumental reform effort spanning the late 1980s and early 1990s. The result was legislation which was progressive and innovative in its approach to the issues, largely philosophically consistent and reasonably well coordinated. It is also extremely complicated, with multiple layers, pathways, tests and institutions. Stakeholders have identified a number of ways in which implementation of these laws has fallen significantly short of the legislative intent. As well, since the passage of this legislation, there have been significant demographic, social and attitudinal changes, as well as important developments on the international stage.

The review’s framework of principles aligns with Social Work Ethics for everyday practice likely, along with other professions.

1. Respecting dignity and worth;

2. Promoting inclusion and participation;

3. Fostering autonomy and independence;

4. Respecting the importance of security/facilitating the right to live in safety;

5. Responding to diversity; and

6. Understanding membership in the broader community/recognizing that we all live in society.

The approach by the Ontario Law Commission to advancing changes is focused on systematic change with “continuous advancement.”

...The concept of progressive realization involves an understanding that achievement of the principles is an ongoing process, as circumstances, understandings and resources develop. Reforms must respect and advance the principles, principles must be realized to the greatest extent possible at the current time and there must be a focus on continuous advancement.

See the document here:


One comment

  1. Pingback: …Input into the proposed changes to Ontario’s Guardianship Legislation, May 12 | Social & Health Practice Ottawa

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