Ontario Ministry of Health reverses course on guardianship requirement for disabled woman
Ontario’s cabinet on Thursday reversed its decision to add a restriction on who can manage an estate and a requirement to provide “support and care” to a disabled woman who can no longer care for herself and now has a disabled daughter, sources said.
The new rules announced Thursday by the cabinet would allow a disabled person with a child to continue to manage their assets and make life choices as they see fit with the permission of a guardian.
The changes reverse cabinet approval last year for a “guardianship” for the woman, a Toronto mother who has an adult daughter living in a facility for adults with autism, but who cannot care for herself anymore.
The woman, who cannot be identified, applied for guardianship under the Guardianship and Advocacy of People with Disabilities Act (GADA) in February. The move was approved by cabinet on April 10.
The woman’s daughter, whom she never met before the cabinet approval, was born in 2010, and had been living with her in a Toronto facility for adults with autism.
The woman’s husband asked the government to approve the guardianship for her and her daughter, saying they were “caring for each other.”
The woman’s daughter was living with them because family members could not get a spot for her at a Toronto facility, and she could not be “stuck” in a foster home.
But the government concluded that the application was “without merit” because under the GADA, a guardian can only be appointed by another person in the same family or household, the woman’s husband was not the same person as the woman.
The woman met with cabinet lawyers in November, when her husband asked for a new application that would allow another guardian to be appointed by the government, and “more flexibility on the terms and conditions,” according to a government statement.
When the cabinet approved the woman’s application on April 10, the government was criticized for not “looking at all the facts,” and for giving the “benefit of the doubt” to her husband.