FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 16th, 2022
FREDERICTON, NB – Inclusion Canada and Inclusion New Brunswick are celebrating the passage of a historic new law, the Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act, which received Royal Assent today. This transformative law will empower people with intellectual disabilities to make their own decisions through supported decision making.
New Brunswick is now one of the few jurisdictions in the world to provide a court-recognized “supported decision-making” alternative to guardianship. This alternative recognizes that when people have decision-making supporters who know them well and can interpret their wishes and preferences, they too can exercise the right to decide just like anyone else.
“This is a monumental moment for persons with disabilities and their families in New Brunswick and across Canada,” said Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada. “People with intellectual disabilities can make their own choices. We’re happy to see the Government of New Brunswick uphold their right to choose, just like anybody else, and hope other provinces will follow suit.”
The Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act represents a significant shift in adult decision-making laws in New Brunswick, and replaces the incredibly outdated Infirm Persons Act. It is deeply rooted in a human rights approach and respects the dignity of all adults. It ensures adults with a disability can make decisions – big and small – about their lives, with support if needed, and to have those decisions respected by others and the law.
“Our policy team has been instrumental in helping shape this bill,” says Tanya Whitney, President of Inclusion NB, “Progress like this doesn’t just happen overnight, and we are grateful for the collaboration that led to this historic day. Not only did we work closely with our government colleagues, but the bill also received unanimous support by all parties.”
Inclusion Canada and Inclusion New Brunswick will continue to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and advance inclusion in all aspects of society.
To learn more about the Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act and Inclusion New Brunswick’s advocacy efforts on this bill, see our brief here. For others, please visit our website at www.inclusionnb.ca
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For more information, please contact:
Marc Muschler, Inclusion Canada,
416-661-9611 ext. 232
Donna Gates, Inclusion New Brunswick
About Inclusion Canada
Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.
About Inclusion NB
Inclusion NB is a provincial, non-profit organization that works to support children and adults with an intellectual or developmental disability and their families. Our movement leads in the creation of opportunities for everyone to live full and valued lives in all aspects of society. Together, we are building a more inclusive New Brunswick. To learn more, visit www.inclusionnb.ca