"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough."
~ Randy Pausch, professor

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Adult Guardianship Representation in Nova Scotia [Part I]

Adult guardianship has been a very popular topic since this blawg first came into being. But the lay of the land has completely changed as of 12:01 a.m. on December 28, 2017.

Why is that, you ask?

Quite simply, at that time,  a new piece of legislation, the Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act, came into force. This new legislation has significantly changed the scope, extent and meaning of guardianship in Nova Scotia.

How's that, you ask?

First off,  not only does the word "guardian" not appear in the legislation's title, but you won't find it or the tern "incompetent person" anywhere in the text of the legislation, either. Meaning that those of us who were guardians a mere few days ago were magically transformed into "representatives" on the morning of December 29th.

Although I believe that change in terminology is important (will anyone even know what you're talking about when you say you are someone's representative?), it is only the most inconsequential of the changes this legislation brings.

Although the  government engaged in a consultation process (both prior to and after drafting the new legislation), many felt the process was lacking and should have been more extensive, so as to reach all stakeholders (meaning all  the individuals working with and, more importantly, affected by the legislation).

I believe some of these concerns are legitimate. Personally, although heavily involved in the second round of consultation process (and that, really, only by accident), it troubles me to say that I saw very few positive changes come from that process.

I am only one of many who have publicly expressed their concerns with the new legislation; however, I must admit that I find it somewhat ironic that my concerns tend to be close to the polar opposite of those expressed by many others.

But before we go on to examine the new legislation (and my concerns) in more detail, I would like to take a look back.