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5th Session, 40th Legislature

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Bill 205

THE SENIORS' RIGHTS AND ELDER ABUSE PROTECTION ACT


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS many seniors are victims of physical, emotional or financial abuse;

AND WHEREAS most instances of elder abuse are not reported to the authorities;

AND WHEREAS the Criminal Code (Canada) makes the age of the victim an aggravating circumstance when sentencing offenders;

AND WHEREAS the right to an adequate standard of living is a human right enshrined by the United Nations;

AND WHEREAS all citizens are entitled to physical, social and economic security;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"elder abuse" means mistreatment or neglect, as defined in section 4, of a senior. (« mauvais traitements infligés à un aîné »)

"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of matters relating to seniors. (« ministre »)

"senior" means a person who is 65 years of age or older. (« aîné »)

PART 1

SENIORS' BILL OF RIGHTS

Bill of rights

2           Every senior in Manitoba has the following rights:

(a) the right to freedom, independence and individual initiative in planning and managing his or her own life;

(b) the right to access affordable and appropriate services and programs that are molded by the principles of strengthening independence, affirming dignity and expanding choice;

(c) the right to be able to remain in his or her community and in his or her home with the support of community-based, long-term care services;

(d) the right to a system where long-term care needs are met, regardless of income, in a culturally and linguistically sensitive way as those needs change over time;

(e) the right of access to services that allow aging in place where possible;

(f) the right to transition between the various forms of long-term and end-of-life care with minimal disruption and maximum attention to quality of life;

(g) the right to an opportunity to choose a healthy lifestyle and be supported in this choice by culturally appropriate programs designed to foster health and wellness without regard to economic status;

(h) the right of consumer empowerment to make informed quality of life decisions;

(i) the right to be fully informed of all programs and benefits, financial and otherwise, available to seniors, including the criteria and conditions of the programs and the amount of benefits;

(j) the right to protection from elder abuse.

Annual report

3           By March 31 of each year, the minister must prepare a report on the number of seniors who are not able to access the rights set out in section 2.

PART 2

ELDER ABUSE PROTECTION

Definitions

4           The following definitions apply in this Part.

"Adult Abuse Registry Committee" means the Adult Abuse Registry Committee established under The Adult Abuse Registry Act. (« comité de protection contre les mauvais traitements infligés aux adultes »)

"elder abuse consultant" means the designated government official who is responsible for the administration of matters relating to elder abuse and protection from it. (« conseiller en matière de mauvais traitements infligés aux aînés »)

"investigator" means a person designated under section 5 of The Protection for Persons in Care Act as an investigator or appointed under that section to investigate a report of abuse or neglect under that Act. (« enquêteur »)

"mistreatment" means, in relation to a senior, an act of mistreatment — whether physical, sexual, mental, emotional, financial, or a combination of any of them — that causes or is reasonably likely to cause

(a) the death of the senior;

(b) serious physical or psychological harm to the senior; or

(c) significant loss to the senior's property. (« maltraitance »)

"neglect" means, in relation to a senior, an act or omission that

(a) deprives the senior of adequate care, adequate medical attention or other necessaries of life, or a combination of any of them; and

(b) causes or is reasonably likely to cause

(i) the death of the senior, or

(ii) serious physical or psychological harm to the senior. (« négligence »)

"patient" means a patient as defined in The Protection for Persons in Care Act. (« patient »)

"vulnerable person" means a vulnerable person as defined in The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act. (« personne vulnérable »)

Elder abuse protection team

5(1)        The "Elder Abuse Protection Team" is hereby established, consisting of the following members appointed by the minister:

(a) the elder abuse consultant;

(b) an investigator;

(c) the principal government official responsible for the administration of matters relating to seniors;

(d) a member of the Adult Abuse Registry Committee.

Purpose

5(2)        The purpose of the Elder Abuse Protection Team is

(a) to coordinate the services and resources available to a senior who is or may be a victim of elder abuse;

(b) to share information about reports of elder abuse that occurs in a health facility where the senior is a patient or where the senior is a vulnerable person; and

(c) to report to the minister about elder abuse in Manitoba.

Duty to report elder abuse

6(1)        A person who has a reasonable basis to believe that a senior is, or is likely to be, the victim of elder abuse must promptly report the belief, and the information on which it is based, to the Elder Abuse Protection Team.

If information confidential

6(2)        The duty to report applies even if the information on which the person's belief is based is confidential and its disclosure is restricted by legislation or otherwise. But it does not apply to information that is privileged because of a solicitor-client relationship.

Senior may report elder abuse

6(3)        A senior may report elder abuse against himself or herself to the Elder Abuse Protection Team.

No reprisal for reporting elder abuse

7           No action or proceeding may be brought against a person for reporting in good faith that a senior is or is likely to be a victim of elder abuse.

Reports received by Elder Abuse Protection Team

8(1)        After receiving a report made under this Part, the Elder Abuse Protection Team must coordinate the provision of services and resources available to the senior.

Reports to be shared by Elder Abuse Protection Team

8(2)        The Elder Abuse Protection Team must share information about a report of elder abuse

(a) that occurs in a health facility with the Adult Abuse Registry Committee, which must review the report as if it were made under The Adult Abuse Registry Act;

(b) that involves a patient with the minister responsible for The Protection for Persons in Care Act or his or her delegate, who must review the report as if it were made under that Act; and

(c) that involves a vulnerable person with the executive director appointed under The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, who must review the report as if it were made under that Act.

Reports to be shared with the Elder Abuse Protection Team

8(3)        The following information must be shared with the Elder Abuse Protection Team:

(a) subject to The Adult Abuse Registry Act, information about a report of elder abuse that the Adult Abuse Registry Committee receives under that Act;

(b) subject to The Protection for Persons in Care Act, the information about a report of elder abuse that the minister responsible for that Act or his or her delegate receives under that Act;

(c) subject to The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, information about a report of elder abuse that the executive director appointed under that Act receives under that Act.

Conflict with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

9(1)        If a provision of this Part is inconsistent or in conflict with a provision of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the provision of this Part prevails.

Confidentiality of information

9(2)        Subject to this section, all records relating to reports made, or information shared, under this Part are confidential.

Exceptions

9(3)        A person must not disclose or communicate any information from a record relating to a report made, or information shared, under this Part in any form, except in the following circumstances:

(a) for the purpose of the administration or enforcement of this Part, or where necessary to carry out any duty or power under this Part;

(b) where giving evidence in court;

(c) by order of a court;

(d) for the purpose of coordinating services and resources for the subject of the information;

(e) to another person or entity that performs substantially the same functions as the Elder Abuse Protection Team, including a person or entity outside Manitoba, where the information is reasonably required by that person or entity to coordinate services and resources for the subject of the information;

(f) where required by an enactment of Manitoba or Canada;

(g) for research purposes if authorized by and in accordance with section 47 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Annual report

10          By March 31 of each year, the minister must prepare a report about the number of elder abuse reports made or shared under this Part.

PART 3

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Tabling annual reports in Assembly

11          The minister must table a copy of each annual report prepared under this Act in the Assembly within 15 days after preparing it if the Assembly is sitting or, if it is not, within 15 days after the next sitting begins.

Offence and penalty

12(1)       A person who contravenes section 7 is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction,

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $2,000; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $30,000.

Offence of making a false report

12(2)       A person who makes a report of elder abuse under this Act, knowing it to be false, is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $2,000.

C.C.S.M. reference

13          This Act may be referred to as chapter S85 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

14          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill

  • establishes a bill of rights for Manitoba's seniors;
  • establishes an elder abuse protection team;
  • imposes a duty to report elder abuse;
  • prohibits reprisals for reporting elder abuse;
  • permits information sharing about elder abuse with the Adult Abuse Registry Committee, the minister responsible for The Protection for Persons in Care Act, and the executive director appointed under The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act;
  • makes it an offence to make a false report; and
  • requires the minister to table annual reports in the Assembly.