THE ADVOCATE 251
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
guardianship tribunal would be better able to protect rights because tribunal
members would have specialized training on capacity and be more sensitive
to the needs and rights of vulnerable adults.
Returning Canadian Elder Law Conference alumna Clare Burns, a partner
at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto, and Kevin Love of the Community Legal
Assistance Society discussed the legal, ethical and practical issues related to
representing adults who may have capacity issues. The session covered
recent court decisions of note and identified strategies lawyers can employ
to advocate more effectively for their clients who have disabilities and
enhance their capacity to understand information and make decisions.
Other highlights included the opening address on the first day from Justice
Eileen E. Gillese of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Reflecting on Ontario’s
public inquiry into long-term care, Justice Gillese challenged us to look
beyond the inquiry and to consider the role we all can play in helping
ensure residents can live safely in their homes. Dr. Deborah O’Connor, codirector
of the Centre for Research on Personhood and Dementia and a professor
at the UBC School of Social Work, provided an informative practical
overview of the process for understanding and assessing (in)capacity in different
contexts. Also, another conference alumna hailing from Toronto,
Kimberly A. Whaley of Whaley Estate Litigation Partners, provided a thorough
review of cases from across Canada applying a wide range of civil and
criminal law remedies to address elder abuse in our communities. Interested
readers can access her paper on her website at <welpartners.com/
To find out more about our conference and to read interviews of some of
our presenters, visit CCEL’s conference webpage at <www.bcli.org/ccel/
canadian-elder-law-conference>. Our conference partner, CLEBC, will
replay the conference sometime in 2020, providing those of you who
missed this fabulous learning opportunity with the chance to catch up.
Thanks to presenters, sponsors, registrants and our conference chairs, Jan
Goddard, Hugh McLellan and Geoff White. Finally, we encourage readers to
watch for the next conference in 2021!
We anticipate two vacancies on the BCLI board in the fall of 2020—one
member at large and one stakeholder appointment. Participating on
the board and in BCLI projects has been a highlight of my volunteer work.
The work of BCLI and CCEL is unique. The expertise of the staff and the
many expert volunteers on project committees is inspiring. The work is
recognized provincially and nationally by practitioners, the courts and