"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."

Government Legislation

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Financial institutions such as banks, credit unions and trust companies may offer customers the option to set up a joint account.
When the phrase “joint bank account” or “joint account” is used in this brochure it refers to joint accounts at financial institutions.


Joint accounts are bank accounts in which two or more people have ownership rights over the same account.
These rights include the right for all account holders to:

– deposit,
– withdraw,
– deal with the funds in the account,
– no matter who puts the money into the account.


1) As a joint account holder, you share equal access to the account and responsibility for all the transactions made through
the account.

2) In most cases, unless you state otherwise, the other account holder can make transactions without your consent.

3) In some cases, it may be possible to specify that the consent of all joint account holders is required to access the funds in the account.

4) In many cases, joint accounts include the right of survivorship. This means that if one of the account holders dies, the surviving account holder becomes the owner of the account, with the right to deposit, withdraw, and deal with the funds in the account.

5) However, in some cases this could be challenged by others who may think they have an interest in the money in the account as an inheritance. The surviving joint account holder may have to demonstrate that the deceased account holder intended the remaining funds be a gift to the joint account holder. This could potentially lead to delays in the surviving account holder being able to access funds in the account


• If one of the account holders has unpaid debt, the funds in your joint account may be used to pay that debt
• You’re responsible for all account fees, including any fees (like overdraft fees) incurred by other joint account holders
• You may lose full control of your money; depending on your account privileges, your joint account holders can withdraw all funds from the account without your permission
• You lose privacy because your joint account holders can view your account transactions
• In the case of a marital breakdown of one of the joint account holders, the account could be considered a matrimonial asset and divided accordingly
One must understand that there is always a chance that the other account holder could misuse their authority.

As we all age, there might come a time when we need help with managing our money. In fact, recent research shows that one of the first signs of cognitive decline is the inability to manage finances..

Alternatives to joint accounts:
a) CONVENIENCE ACCOUNT: These accounts allow someone, whom you have authorized, to use it for your benefit. It’s similar to having a financial power of attorney, but for only one bank account. The person can make transactions on your convenience account but doesn’t inherit the money from the account, and you are still the sole owner of the account, so the money would be protected from the other person’s creditors.

Rather than using a joint account as a way to allow another to watch your account for fraud, consider opening a view-only account. A view-only account allows you to give someone you trust, like a loved one, the ability to monitor your account without having access to the money.
View-only access could be as simple as receiving an extra bank statement in the mail or asking your bank to provide online access without the ability to make a transaction.



Having the mental capacity required for making an Enduring Power of Attorney means that you:

• know what property you have and its approximate value;

• are aware of your obligations to the people who depend on you financially;

• know what authority you are giving to your Attorney;

• know that your Attorney is required to account for the decisions they make about your financial affairs;

• know that, as long as you are mentally capable, you can revoke (cancel) your EPA;

• understand that if your Attorney does not manage your property well, its value may decrease; and

understand that there is always a chance that your Attorney could misuse their authority.

Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta



If you have a personal directive, the person or people you’ve picked to be your agent would have legal authority to make personal decisions for you.

You can register your personal directive with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) so healthcare providers can easily find your agent or agents if something happens to you.

What is it

A personal directive is a legal document that you write in case you can’t make your own personal decisions in the future. The document:

• names a person or people you’ve picked to act on your behalf as an agent or agents to make personal decisions for you
• makes sure your written instructions are known in case something happens to you
• is optional and voluntary
• comes into effect if you’re found to lack capacity

Kinds of instructions to write

Your instructions can be about any or all personal matters that are non-financial, such as:

• medical treatments you would or wouldn’t want
• where you’d like to live
• who you’d like to live with
• who you want to temporarily care for your minor children
• choices about other personal activities:
o recreation
o employment
o education
• any other personal and legal decisions

Presently, it is not law to register a Personal Directive with government. Therefore there is no assurance of accountability. One must understand that there is always a chance that your agent could misuse their authority.

The following is a critical review of legislation currently in place.

The Canadian Human Rights Declaration proclaims that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principals of fundamental justice,” however as one ages, one’s rights diminish. Justice becomes an elusive hope for the elderly pioneers of this country.

We wish to help you understand the severe problems of injustice endured by the elderly by calling your attention to the legislation which has been put forward in Alberta over a period of 29 years. Legislation which has been prepared by Legislative Council lawyers on the instructions of the Justice Department of the Crown in Right of Alberta; legislation which purports to protect the elderly while in fact it is largely ineffective, unworkable and even discriminatory.

Alberta Legislature

Indeed these are Charter issues.

1972 Health Facilities Review Committee Act


1998 Protection For Persons in Care Act

The Protection For Persons in Care Act appears to be an embellished version of the Health Facilities Review Committee Act of 1972. The Protection For Persons in Care Act was passed in 1995 and proclaimed on January 5, 1998. After a quarter of a century the government has again provided us with a seriously flawed piece of legislation that purports to protect vulnerable seniors of this Province but is not able to do so.

The name itself, Protection For Persons in Care Act Protection For Persons in Care Act (PPCA) is a misrepresentation inferring that it protects all Albertans who are in care when in fact all Albertans in private care facilities and even some who are in public facilities such as Alberta Hospital Edmonton and Alberta Hospital Ponoka are not included. Furthermore, in some large facilities such as the 700 person Kensington Shepherds Care, Edmonton, a complaint was dismissed because according to the dismissal report, the particular room that the victimized senior was in — was private.

With encroaching privatization, there are more and more large facilities across Alberta like the Terra Losa, Edmonton, which has a locked Alzheimer unit or the Dr. Hemstock of Lloydminster, AB. which do not fall under the Protection For Persons in Care Act.

In fact, the Terra Losa is licensed by the city of Edmonton with a “rental accommodation” license and the Dr. Hemstock has a “catering”license posted.

In Summary, the Limitations of The Protection For Persons in Care Act are:

  1. Impotent, government appointed body which fields complaints, investigators often having no background in health care field.
  2. Has no power to enforce regulations, recommendations or impact decisions. They investigate and report to the Office of the Minister, the Minister cannot be held accountable by the Officeof the Ombudsman.
  3. Section 7 of the Act prohibits investigators to access medical or financial records. The medical and clinical records of persons in care are private and will not be examined with out the consent of the person or their legal guardian, though the person may not be able to give consent. According to one interpretation, the Act prohibits the investigator from applying for a Court Order to gain access. Therefore their reporting is superficial, anecdotic hearsay which would never stand up in a Court of Law.
  4. Investigations are carried out by persons on contract to the government. Because they are not government employees, they cannot be investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman or in any way held accountable for their reporting.
  5. The legislation is contradictory (does not make common sense.) Consider this: Section 2 (1) states that it is:
    “mandatory for people (every individual or service provider) who believe abuse is occurring to report it”
    Section 2(5) specifies a penalty for failing to do so in all instances of elder abuse.

    1. As noted above, many facilities both large and small, private and public, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Act. If the complaint fails to fall within the authority of the Act, the complaint is summarily dismissed even though there may be clear evidence of elder abuse or neglect.
    2. There are those who consistently fail to report elder abuse and neglect such as nursing staff, physicians, physiotherapists, undertakers or officers of the Public Examiners office. Has anyone been fined or jailed?
    3. In dismissing a complaint made to the Protection For Persons in Care Act Office, Report of a Decision Respecting Complaint , No. # 3537, a Ph.D. Seniors, Deputy Minister, wrote on May 21, 2002 “The dismissal of alleged abuse, per the definition of abuse in the Act, does not indicate that the care or practices that occurred are acceptable”
  6. The final Report of Decision contains recommendations; the investigated agency is not obligated to implement any of the recommendations. According to a government publication explaining the Act, “It should be emphasized that the recommendations are simply recommendations.”
  7. The Complaint is not recorded such as a 911 call would be.
    1. The complaint is made verbally to the Intake person, then must be
    2. repeated to the person who assigns the complaint and
    3. repeated to the investigations person. Because of the shoddy, hearsay, intake process, PPCA personnel may accuse the complainant prior to, during and after the process, of not having made certain statements or of not having included certain issues in their complaint.
  8. The legislation requires no mandatory Fatality Inquiry into the sudden death which occurs in an elder care facility contrary to a federal prison sudden death.
  9. The Protection For Persons in Care Office is open 8:00AM to 4:00 PM, closed during the lunch hour, for several weeks during the Christmas season and other holidays so frequently no one is accessible to accept complaints.
  10. The Report of a Decision Respecting Complaint is a report which frequently fails to address the issue or distorts the issue. It does not contain the name of the victimized person, is vague and sometimes dishonest. Complaints which we have made, have been trivialized, dismissed, disregarded, lost or never investigated.

According to the Protection For Persons in Care Act – Alberta Regulation 159/98

applies to a person residing in an institution or organization operated by the Government of Alberta or receives part or all of its operating funds, directly or indirectly, from the Government of Alberta nevertheless, the following institutions and organizations are not included:

  1. Alberta Hospital Edmonton;
  2. Alberta Hospital Ponoka;
  3. Raymond Care Centre;
  4. Claresholm Care Centre;
  5. a housing accommodation as defined in the Alberta Housing Act; (seniors apartment housing where the government is the Landlord.)
  6. a correctional institution as defined by the Corrections Act.

Note: Most of the above are government owned Institutions or government subsidized and yet the seniors in these facilities are not considered persons in care.

The Act provides no appeal mechanism!

A review of this legislation was undertaken in spring of 2002. In March of 2003, a Report on the Review of the Protection For Persons in Care Act was submitted to the Legislative Review Committee at which time we made a strong objection to the Honourable Mr. Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Community Development concerning the proposed recommendations of the Report.

We strongly stated to him, that:

“if the recommendations are accepted, it will mean that the Protection For Persons in Care Act will continue to be an embellished version of the unenforceable, ineffective, unethical Health Facilities Review Committee Act of 1972 and continue to provide little or no protection to vulnerable Albertans.”

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1972 The Social Care Facilities Review Committee Act

The Social Care Facilities
Review Committee
administers this piece of legislation is a Government, appointed body
which is mandated to investigate mistreatment in adult daycare centers,
group homes and some unique lodges. They field complaints, and mislead
the public into believing that the quality of care for the frail,
elderly in such facilities is being monitored and that their Committee
can intervene in regard to elder abuse and neglect issues when in fact
they have no power to enforce regulations, recommendations or
impact decisions. Sections 10 and 11 of the Act disallow access medical
or financial records. They report to the committee Chairman which is an
elected MLA, presently the Chairman is Ms. Cindy Ady, MLA Calgary-Shaw,
Chairman is Ms. Jean Wilkinson.

Their reporting is superficial, anecdotic hearsay. The Committee has
never been listed in the phone book.

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1972 The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission

The Alberta Human Right
and Citizenship Commision proclaims that Alberta is for ALL Albertans,
but the under girding
legislation contradicts this. It would probably amaze most Albertans to
know that our elderly pioneers are not protected by the legislation of
the Alberta Human Rights Commission
in the area of services in which they are most

Although the Alberta Human Rights Commission
will act on complaints of discrimination because of race, religious
beliefs, colour, sex, ancestry, and place of origin, they are not
mandated to protect the rights of the aged. Alberta’s Act does not
prevent discrimination in obtaining goods, service and

What does this mean to the ordinary Albertan? Eviction without notice!
In another matter, in most Lodges, it is POLICY that residents, if they
are ill in bed, do not have to be served a breakfast tray, tea or any
nourishment. Seniors must come to the dining area. They must get up and
get the liquids or nourishments or do without. In central
Alberta, an employee was dismissed because she served breakfast to an
elderly Lodge resident who was sick in bed.

In a nursing home, an elder can be chemically restrained; psychotropic
drugs can be prescribed and administered without the informed consent
of the resident, the resident’s guardian or other authorized
representative. A nursing home resident can be permanently relegated
to bed, without the informed consent of the
resident, the resident’s guardian or other authorized representative.

A continent elder can be diapered without consent and told to use
his/her diaper. A story emanated from Calgary concerning a strapping
six foot man who had been institutionalized. He
was crying inconsolably. It turned out that he had been diapered, given
a laxative and told to use his diaper (soil himself).

When personal belongings are stolen from lodge or nursing home
residents, nothing is done; in facilities where we have received a
complaint or made a complaint, no protocol was in place. Elders and
family members are informed that items are “missing.”
As a matter of fact most residents are afraid to complain that theft
has occurred. It is our experience that if you make complaints in an
elder care facility, you may be disciplined, evicted to a mental health
ward or even declared incompetent.

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1980 Dependant Adult Act D32




Instrument of protection or instrument of abuse?
The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act is unjust legislation that disregards citizenship rights and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The proclamation of this Act opens the floodgates of the financial abuse of thousands of Alberta citizens and human rights abuses on an unprecedented scale.

The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act is parallel to the Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928/72. Then, it was the academia who determined who should have their organs removed. Today it is the same academia who determines who should be stripped of rights and personhood.

Some of the more virulent legislative abuses contained within the Act, are as follows:

Under this legislation, you are no longer safe in your own domicile.

Section 104 The court has the ability to compel a senior to undergo a capacity assessment and permits the assessor “to enter the adult’s residence” for the assessment & strip you of rights.

Section 105 The Court may determine your competency in your absence, without an assessment, no matter where you may be. In 2008. the court determined Vera C. was “over the threshold” (incompetent),was apprehended at her home by the police, (where she was functioning and not a cost to taxpayers), taken to the Royal Alex Hosp. & declared a “confidential patient”, (hidden patient).

Section 26(1) Any “interested person” may apply for the guardianship of any resident in Alberta. No senior citizen in Alberta (who has money & estate) can safely assume that they will be able to enjoy retirement, the fruits of their labours in peace & dignity.

Section 40(1) allows Application to the court for a review of any Order. How can one who has been stripped of legal rights & money, retain a lawyer to go to court? 20MM man, Mr. PM, had to rely on a pro bono lawyer. Mr. PM was unjustly locked up for 3 yrs.in an Alzheimer ward.

Section 63, you will not be allowed to view your financial records to see how your money is being spent (or stolen). L.B. found that her daughter, trustee, was unlawfully taking money from her account. The police have yet to lay charges.

Section 67, a trustee can disregard your last wishes, Will & Testament & liquidate property that has been specifically bequeathed in your Will, without notifying you. This is happening.

Section 74 allows ex parte Applications by Office of Public Guardian. On July 2010, Public Guardian & an RCMP Officer apprehended wealthy, 87 yr. old Myrtle Hofer of Lethbridge, stripped her of her cell phone, detained her over 3 mos. in a back, service room of a storage area, Raymond Good Samaritan Care Center. Restricted her visitors, all under the guise of protection.

It must be clearly understood, that to be declared incompetent, a senior is stripped of all rights, access to monies, bank account statements, birth certificate, etc. There are no standardized guidelines/protocol to regulate competency assessments.

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1980 Fatality Inquiries Act Chapter F9

The Act states that:

Deaths that require notification . . . to a
medical examiner or an investigator:
(2) (c) deaths that occur as the result of violence, accident
or suicide;
(e) deaths that may have occurred as the result of improper or negligent treatment by any person;
(20) The Chief Medical Examiner may at any time
(a) direct a medical examiner to make an investigation into any death at any place in Alberta.

reporting to the Medical Examiner, the Act
makes no requirement to hold an Inquiry in regard to the sudden or
violent death of a senior resident of an elder care facility.

In one instance, a male resident of a private nursing home, 1988, was
severely scalded in a tub of hot water. He died two weeks later at the
University Hospital. The Public Examiner’s Office informed
us that they did not interview anyone except some personnel at the
nursing home. This was the same nursing home where, a year previously,
a man had been beaten to death by a long time violent resident; and
where also, another elderly man had taken suicide by jumping from the
third floor window of the nursing home, in no instance was a Fatality
Inquiry held. Later, a despondent lady also took her life from the same
third floor of the home.

A horrific 1989 scalding of a senior who was in care in another
facility which resulted in immediate death of the senior, also did not
result in a Fatality Inquiry. Silence surrounds the
violent death of elderly persons.

1980 Medical Profession Act

The Medical Profession
governs the College
of Physicians and Surgeons
which allows it to be a
self-governing and according to its legislation, its’ members
cannot be held accountable by the public.

The College
has failed to deal with such issues as the failure of
those physicians who visit nursing homes and auxiliary hospitals who
fail to visit their patients though making regular entries in the
patient files. For those entries, the physician receives payment. For
example, one senior complained to us that she had never seen her
doctor. This lady, like many, had been declared to have dementia,
although we were not fully convinced of this. Hence we inquired of the
charge nurse as to the name of the physician and would he have visited
this resident. The reply was that this physician visited the facility
between 6:00 and 7:00AM and therefore the resident would probably not
have been seen by him.

These physicians do not take responsibility for the neglect which some
nursing home residents suffer such as bedsores, injuries due to neglect
/ falls. A physician, whose patient had developed an advanced
3″diameter bedsore which exposed the spine, had caused the
person to have generalized septicemia. In his office, the physician
informed us, that he had no knowledge of the bedsore.

We have documentation that demonstrates that at times, physicians act
as the enforcers in a systemic culture of neglect.

Detailed, documented complaints made to the College of
physicians and Surgeons
have been trivialized and serious
issues disregarded.

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1984 Nursing Profession Act

The Act was granted to the
Alberta Association of Registered Nurses (AARN) in 1984.

The Alberta Association of Registered Nurses is
self governing and its’ members cannot be held accountable by
the public.

In 1984, the AARN discontinued confirming the
status of
nurses by way of employer’s submission of personnel lists and
deleted the requirement for orientation to Canadian nursing. This
regressive legislation places the onus to have a permit or registration
on the individual “nurse” and on the employer.

An out of province/country person may qualify for RN
status or Certified Graduate Nurse (CGN) by
obtaining a permit without having written any provincial examination.

We have knowledge of complaints of elder abuse including a fourteen
page complaint of elder abuse, which was made to the Alberta
Association of Registered Nurses
which was dismissed without
being investigated.
Should the professional association be held culpable for the deaths and
injuries which resulted after their failure to discipline their members.

We maintain that there is strong failure, to provide safe, ethical,
compassionate, nursing care to clients in many elder care facilities
which should be the goal of organized nursing in Alberta. Therefore,
we have asked the professional association, the Alberta
Association of Registered Nurses
take on the primary role of advocacy for those in care and confront the
significant issues which result in less than safe, ethical,
compassionate, nursing care to vulnerable clients.

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1985 Nursing Home Act

The Nursing Home Act has minimal requirements. The
regulations have not been upgraded for over twenty years.

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1985 Criminal Code

The Criminal Code is not applied. It clearly states:

Section 215
(1) Everyone is under a legal duty

(c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person
(i) is unable, by reason of detention, age illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge and
(ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life.

(2) Everyone commits an offence who, being under a legal duty within the meaning of subsection (1), fails without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to perform the duty, if

(a) the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed, or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be endangered permanently; or
(b) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(c), the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be injured permanently.

(3) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (2) is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

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1980 Alberta Mental Health Act

physician / psychiatrist, has a powerful quasi-judicial
position in society by virtue of the privileges conferred on him by the
state and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in that he has the
legal authority to detain lawful citizens behind locked doors.

Therefore, he has an ethical and moral obligation, to safeguard the
processes which are carried out in a hospital for the mentally ill and
to safeguard all vulnerable, elderly or unwilling participants who
become part of that system”.

The Form 1 Admission
Certificate of the Mental Health Act (c.
M-13.1, S.A. 1988) Section 2, is information obtained from
hearsay and requires the physician to fill in the following:

“I have formed my opinion (ii) on the following
facts communicated to me by others”

“This hearsay opinion
(evidence inadmissible as testimony) cannot be challenged according to
the Mental Health Act – Part 7, Section #5a.”

For example: A senior had complained about blood
sausage which had
been served to eat at the lodge where she resided. She attended at the
North Edmonton Health Center, and then was transported to Alberta
Hospital by ambulance. Prior to her admission, a psychiatrist on
September 29, 1999 filled out the Form 1 as
follows, although he had never interviewed, assessed or even met her.

In the Form I, he wrote that he “observed the
following facts” @1:30 PM:

Pt. is paranoid, delusional and extremely
distressed. She speaks
of food at the lodge being “rotten, contaminated, with blood
all over
it”. She displays depressive symptoms and has not been
compliant with

A complaint concerning
this physician’s untruthful,
written statement recorded on a legal document, which abrogated this
person’s right to self determination, was made to the Alberta
College of Physicians and Surgeons, but the complaint was
summarily dismissed.

The Review Panel Hearing which is an
appeal mechanism for
detainees, is conducted by a lawyer/judge. There is no recording of the
hearing, it is an anecdotal, “he said, she said”
forum. Four
panel members and fifteen minutes later may determine whether the
detainee will obtain his/her freedom or spend further months behind
locked doors at the facility. The hearing which we attended was
frightening, the attending psychiatrist made allegations about a car
accident which we knew were not true. We had a police report verifying
the detainee’s account.

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1990 Patient Advocate Regulation under the Mental Health Act

Section 3. Power
to act on a complaint relating to a formal patient.
Unfortunately most admissions to Alberta Hospital are encouraged to
sign a voluntary admission Form which makes them
ineligible for advocacy by the Patient Advocate.

We are aware that persons are frequently detained
in breach of the Mental Health Act, by means of the Voluntary Admission
Form. The large
numbers of voluntary patients at Alberta Hospital,
as cited by the Acting Medical Director of the Alberta
Hospital Edmonton, bears this out. The practice of the Voluntary
Admission Form
is built into the system. Professional nursing staff cooperate in this
deception which allows professionals to illegally detain vulnerable

The signing of this Form by a patient, declares him/her to be a
voluntary patient. A voluntary
patient, cannot appeal for advocacy because allegedly he/she is being
hospitalized by choice. In 1987, the Office of the Ombudsman
had jurisdiction to receive complaints from patients at the Alberta
Hospital Edmonton. Since 1990, the Patient Mental
Health Advocate has been given jurisdiction to assist and
investigate concerns of certified persons.

During a Fatality Inquiry Hearing (Norregard), a psychiatrist gave the
following answer when asked concerning the “purpose and
function” of the Alberta Hospital Edmonton.
He makes strong reference to the voluntary admission process:
(Transcript, dated July 13/99, page 88)

Q: Could you, Doctor, describe for us the purpose and function of
Alberta Hospital Edmonton?

The response:

“Alberta Hospital Edmonton is one of 14 designated facilities in the Province that is able to admit psychiatric patients. It is designated in order to be able to take certified patients, that is formal patients under the Mental Health Act. We also admit voluntary patients. Approximately half of our admissions are voluntary. In other words, the patient agrees to be admitted for treatment. The other half on admission are detained in some way, usually under one or more certificates of the Mental Health Act and after admission that group of patients, almost two thirds of them at each month end are, in fact, voluntary.”

The response would seem to indicate that the purpose and
function of the hospital is to detain persons. The Alberta
Hospital Edmonton and Ponoka are not
included under the Protection For Persons in Care Act.
The response reflects that he is very much aware of the Voluntary
admission process, participates
in the process, and even dares to explain the
process of admitting and detaining persons in a process which is a
breach of the Mental Health Act.

We have knowledge of vulnerable persons who have been detained under
the Mental Health Act, who have had their rights
revoked, been medicated, threatened, disciplined and detained behind
locked doors

  • “no therapy, no compassion”.
    Such detainees have few advocates, and those advocates who they may
    have, have little understanding of the process by which the elderly
    person is being confined.

    In a number of situations where we advocated for detainees who had been
    certified under the Mental Health Act, the detainees were abruptly told
    to leave the facility. The Mental Health Certificates were not
    discharged and no apology was offered to the persons that had been
    detained and who had to endure a frightening ordeal behind locked doors.

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    1986/87 Health Disciplines Act

    Health Disciplines Act was
    passed which opened the flood gates of the health care system to
    untrained, unskilled workers. Previously the administration of
    medications, IV injections, the drawing of blood, patient assessment,
    etc. was the exclusive domain of registered nurses, interns or even

    In 1986, we strongly objected to this legislation because we perceived
    it to be an intended “final solution”
    regarding the care of the frail, dependent elderly, cheap, unskilled
    labour, persons hired off the street. Our predictions came true. In
    some instances, kitchen staff are administering medications.

    During recent labour negotiations, managers of some Alberta
    long term care facilities are attempting to cut the requirement to have
    any RN’s on duty.
    Indeed, care standards for seniors and infirm people are constantly
    being reduced, it strongly appears that there is deliberate de-skilling
    – dumbing down.

    The Office
    of the Ombudsman has
    authority to act on behalf of elderly citizens or the behaviour of
    caregivers in Long Term care Facilities.
    He can only intervene when an individual has a grievance against a
    government agency or government employee. Because of the move to
    regionalization, the entire long Term Care System is
    beyond the reach of the Office of the Ombudsman. He
    has no power to investigate the conduct of elected Ministers of

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    1991 Legal Profession Act

    Legal Profession Act governs the Law Society of
    Alberta. The Law Society is
    self governing and its’ members cannot be held accountable by
    the public. The Law Society according to
    their own Web Site had 7442 members, received 3742 complaints from the
    public in 2003.

    We have been informed by the Justice Department that even though a
    lawyer may speak untruthfully in Court, he cannot be held
    accountable or charged with perjury because he is “not
    under oath”. Far too often, lawyers, by
    their written Orders and Court submissions, prove
    to be the enforcers in Surrogate Court matters,
    denying the rights of elderly persons. There is systemic failure by the
    Law Society to discipline members when
    they have acted improperly and are in contravention of their Act, –
    PART 3, Section 47(1) – CONDUCT OF MEMBERS.

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    1992 Residential Tenancies Act

    governs tenancy agreements and often discriminates against
    seniors in that it does not apply to or protect those seniors residing
    in nursing homes as defined in the Nursing Homes Act
    or protect those in Senior Citizens Lodges operated
    by the Government of Alberta or by a Foundation
    incorporated under the Senior Citizens Housing Act 1980
    or a social care facility licensed under the Social
    Care Facilities Licensing Act.

    Seniors can be evicted, without notice from an elder care facility.

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    1994 Alberta Housing Act

    decrees that when older persons apply to move into subsidized
    senior’s apartment facilities, they must declare
    their total assets, income and holdings.
    Having to declare all this information to persons who frequently are
    unskilled and unbonded, often persons hired off the street, is a
    frightening prospect to many seniors. The value of the
    senior’s assets
    and income will determine how much they will pay for the rental unit.
    Seniors may have to pay some inappropriate payment because they are
    seniors, because they have carefully saved money for retirement years
    and are now penalized by having to pay inappropriate rent.

    The rules for qualifying applicants for seniors’
    self-contained housing are contained in the Social
    Housing Accommodation Regulation of the Alberta
    Housing Act. This regulation was also drafted to be
    consistent with a federal/provincial cost-sharing agreement.

    Certainly, prospective tenants on the free market would not tolerate
    this declaration process. It is a disturbing, demeaning humiliation,
    violation of privacy and a blatant abuse of the human rights of an
    older person.

    Prior to the introduction of The Alberta Housing Act, those who
    operated seniors’ housing
    facilities had to provide monthly statements to government
    for auditing and review. Since then, the governing
    administrative body of Municipal Affairs (now under Ministry of
    changed from a monitoring role to an advisory role.
    This has resulted in breach of legislation, financial and other abuses
    by seniors’ housing management bodies; i.e. failure
    to return damage deposits.

    Surrogate Court

    Court does not demand accountability if “Officers of
    the Court” present untruths to the Court, if there
    is failure to pass accountsor
    if there is disregard for the rights of seniors. Seniors can be
    declared incompetent, their assets seized, without a Court Hearing.
    They do not have to be notified that their estate has been taken over
    by the Office of the Public Trustee.

    In regard to these disturbing accounts of injustice, we ask you to
    decide whether there is legislation which protects the elderly.
    Consider, why after over three decades, our legislation is much the
    same it was.

    Seniors have been disenfranchised; they are
    frequently disengaged
    from the basic privileges of citizenship. THESE ARE CHARTER ISSUES.

    The deep rooted abuse of the elderly exists
    because it is allowed, promoted and even validated by:

    • impotent, unenforceable legislation which in many instances
      discriminates against the elderly.
    • legislation that legislates only the most basic standards and care.
    • Ministers and agencies of government who publish and volunteer
    • politicized self-governing professional associations who act in
      violation of their own governing legislation and who dismiss and
      silence issues of elder abuse.
    • Judicial Council which has no mandate to review or impact the
      decisions of Judges.
    • existing legislation which is not upheld, applied or enforced.
    • the failure to bring to accountability and discipline abusers, the
      failure to apply the criminal code which gives a loud clear societal
      message that those who harm or neglect elderly persons can act with
      impunity; that it is in fact acceptable, to abuse and neglect
      vulnerable persons.

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    Our conscience must be stirred!