Brief by the Québec Ombudsman to the Committee on Citizen Relations concerning Bill 18
As part of the consultations on Bill 18, Act to amend the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Public Curator Act and various provisions as regards the protection of persons, the Ombudsperson presented a brief to the Committee on Citizen Relations. In the Québec Ombudsman’s opinion, this bill constitutes an advance in protecting vulnerable persons, while safeguarding their autonomy. However, the proposed courses of action could stand being spelled out.
Overall, the Québec Ombudsman cautions vigilance. If the bill were to be passed into law as it is now, the timeframe for reassessing people under tutorship would have to be watched. It would no longer be uniform but be established case by case by the court and not exceed five years.
The Québec Ombudsman also made five recommendations to the Committee:
- The main conditions for the court and health professionals to consider in assessing the need for tutorship should be specified;
- The rules governing tutorship supervision should apply to the new concept of "temporary representative," while being adapted to the situation;
- The assistant of a person of full age should be able to access the information needed to fulfil his or her role properly;
- The assistant should also be obliged to report any situations that place or are likely to place him or her in a conflict of interest;
- The Director for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons should provide guidance and information about the procedure for opening protective supervision or for applications for temporary representation to those who so request.