Melissa Miller Testifies at House of Commons Committee Studying Elder Abuse

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UPDATE – June 23, 2021

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has released its report entitled Elder Abuse: Identifying the Issue and Combatting All Types of Abuse. Please view the report here.

Howie, Sacks & Henry Partner Melissa Miller appeared before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on May 11, 2021, testifying in relation to the committee’s study of elder abuse and the law.

Melissa spoke eloquently about the systemic causes of elder abuse in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and answered committee members’ questions about available legal remedies and other ways to hold negligent institutions accountable.

Throughout her testimony, Melissa emphasized the need to “bookend” accountability for nursing homes with “appropriate government oversight and enforcement at the front end, and accountability (criminally and civilly) at the back end.”

Melissa agreed with committee members that changes to Canada’s Criminal Code such as new criminal endangerment and whistle-blower provisions could help to improve accountability, but she noted that senior nursing home executives are not charged with wrong-doing even when evidence of institutional liability is available. She explained that the federal government can effect real change through amendments to the Criminal Code and through the draft legislation on national standards for long-term care that was commissioned by her advocacy group Canadians4LTC.

Visit the committee’s website to view Melissa’s full testimony.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights periodically undertakes studies on subjects related to its mandate. The committee is currently performing a study of elder abuse and the law in Canada.

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