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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 103417
Experience:  I have been a lawyer since 1985 and have been a professional on this site for 5 years.
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My sister is in a care home in Ontario. Recently a manager

Customer Question

My sister is in a care home in Ontario. Recently a manager witnessed a member of staff bullying her. The manager took action and reported the staff member who was sister was asked to stay silent about the confrontation and management would sort it out. They have and the member of staff is coming back to work in the same home, and my sister feels unsafe. I have asked the home for their account of the incident and their procedures and conclusions. Clearly I do not expect to have the member of staff identified I just want to check due process and that they have taken account of my sisters human rights. The home is refusing to give me an official version, referring me back to my anecdotal version. Are they not obliged to release an official version to me? My sister has given permission for me to have all relevant information. Is there also a pressure group that might also be able to help. I live in the UK so just turning g up and eyeballing them isn't possible.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

I am sorry to hear this.

The home does not need to give you the records but certainly needs to be able to assure your sister, and you given your sister's consent, that your sister is safe.

Asking her to stay silent is a scary thing. It sets off alarm bells for me as it did for you.

There are several things you can do, even from afar.

One would be to consult with a lawyer, over the phone and have the lawyer send the home a letter demanding they provide a full report of what was done and what will be done to protect your sister.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

416-947-3330 (within the GTA)

A second option is to call the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and ask for some guidanced as to how to deal with this.

Here is a link to their website:

They are in Toronto but serve the whole province.

Another would be to report this home to their licencing body. As I don't know what kind of home they are exactly I am not sure who that would be. The nursing homes, for example, are licenced differently than other homes that are not classified as nursing homes.

ACE would know once you explain what the home is to a staff member there.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is the case about data protection. Do the home not have to release records about my sister to her or me as her proxy? Also what protection is given under Canadian human rights legislation for protecting people's ability to be safe in their primary residence. At the moment I feel your answers are rather vague, tho the ace contact will be useful.but one email address isn't worth the fee quoted.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
They don't have to release internal records as they are their records in terms of ownership.

But if your sister sues them then they will need to release them.

Our Human Rights Code is about discrimination and doesn't apply.

But your sister has a right to be safe in her home as they owe her a duty of care and they could lose their licence if they are negligent or be sued for damages.

But that doesn't mean you or she gets to see their records.

I don't know what you mean about one email address. I don't see that I gave you any at all.

But your post stressed to me that you are in the UK and need to help your sister from afar. You asked about groups to help.

I told you about ACE. I told you how to find a lawyer for a free consultation, I told you that you could go to the governing body of the home.

So I really don't know what you mean.

Maybe you missed part of my answer? I am puzzled. Did you scroll to the top of the screen?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My apologies , one website address that will be useful.

So you are saying that the home are not obliged to give their version of events unless my sister sues them for breach of their duty of care? Here they are obliged to show records that have been made about an individual to that individual. I am surprised this is not the case in Canada . You cannot keep information here that the individual cant see. It is under tour data protection act.

To sue for breach of their duty if care what would we need to demonstrate? Physical and or emotional stress?

What sort of costs are involved in suing? Is there' a small claims court that deals with cases under $x?

When you say my sister has a right to feel safe in her home which right is that?

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
Your sister is owed a duty of care by the Home.

And she has a right to peaceful enjoyment of her premises.

The home is not obliged to give you their internal documents. This is their own property, in Canada.

But if they are sued then they are obliged to provide all relevant documentation pursuant to their duty to disclose this for trial.

You would have to show some sort of damages that can be proven and quantifiable to sue successfully.

And you can sue in Small Claims Court for up to $25,000 and self-represent.

The costs to file the claim would be around $100.

But you can also seek to have the home investigated by filing a complaint.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
You are very welcome.