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Disability - Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with the Developmental Disabilities Act (SSPSIPDA)

. Leroux v. Ontario

In Leroux v. Ontario (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered an appeal of a class action certification refusal from the Divisional Court, here regarding SSPSIPDDA applicants. The alleged causes of action were negligence and s.7 Charter.

These quotes set out some SSPSIPDDA law, and the regretful circumstances of it's applicants:
[2] The proposed class is composed of adults with developmental disabilities who, like the appellant, have been assessed and approved to receive three specific types of supports and services under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 14 (the “2008 Disabilities Act”), but did not receive them or experienced substantial delays.

....

[9] The statement of claim describes the appellant as a young adult residing in Timmins, Ontario. She has a developmental disability and is non-verbal, requiring 24/7 support and services to meet her basic living needs.

[10] The claim alleges that, prior to her eighteenth birthday in February 2016, Ontario provided services to the appellant through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (the “MCYS”). Despite her needs not changing, the MCYS terminated these services when the appellant turned 18 years old.

[11] In anticipation of MCYS services ending, the appellant’s family applied approximately six months before her eighteenth birthday for services and supports under the 2008 Disabilities Act, which is administered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (the “MCSS”).

[12] Section 3 of the 2008 Disabilities Act defines a person with a developmental disability as someone with significant limitations in cognitive and adaptive functioning that originated before the person reached 18, that are likely to be life-long in nature, and that affect areas of major life activity, such as personal care, language skills, learning abilities, or the capacity to live independently as an adult. Under s. 14 of the statute, if an applicant is an adult who resides in Ontario, has a developmental disability within the meaning of s. 3, and provides proof of the disability, they are eligible for supports and services, which the pleadings refer to as “Developmental Services”.

[13] In August and September 2016, the appellant was assessed for her eligibility under the 2008 Disabilities Act by the regional Developmental Services Ontario (“DSO”) office in Timmins, for which Ontario is responsible. She was assessed as eligible and approved by the DSO for Developmental Services. Despite this approval, Ontario neither provided nor funded such services to meet her daily living needs. Instead, the appellant was placed on a waitlist, referred to in the claim as a “DSO Waitlist”, with no estimate as to the length of wait. The claim alleges that the appellant has remained on a DSO waitlist, resulting in her receiving only the supports and services that her family have been able to provide at their own expense, through to the time of the commencement of the action in April 2017 and its amendment in January 2019.[3]

[14] On the basis that the appellant’s experience is one shared by others who are similarly situated, the action is brought on behalf of the appellant and all other persons who have, since July 2011, been assessed as eligible and approved for services under the 2008 Disabilities Act, and subsequently placed on one of three DSO waitlists (also known as “service registries”)[4] for approved services: (i) residential services and supports; (ii) caregiver respite services and supports, and (iii) "Passport" funding.

[15] The claim refers to and incorporates criticisms of the DSO waitlists found in three reports. First, it quotes from the 2014 report of the Legislative Assembly’s Select Committee on Developmental Services calling for the elimination of the waitlists. Second, it cites a 2014 report of the Auditor General which notes problems with the MCSS database, shortcomings in its computer system, as well as the lack of a consistent prioritization process and methods to tie funding to individuals' needs, and which called for the government to develop a consistent prioritization and waitlist management process across the province. Third, it references a 2016 Ombudsman Report decrying “interminable waitlist delays”.
. Leroux v. Ontario

In Leroux v. Ontario (Div Ct, 2021) the Divisional Court dismissed class action certification motions based on Crown negligence in the administration of the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with the Developmental Disabilities Act, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act. All of the case, which consists of an initial 118 paragraph dissent and a brief majority ruling, is useful for disability rights and crown tort liability.


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