The Nidus Personal Planning Centre & Registry releases Community Alert regarding the New B.C. Societies Act and its impact on board members who have a disability.
Under the UN Convention we have a right to full inclusion & participation in community & society.
We are permitted to vote, run for government, get married, take out a mortgage or loan, have credit cards etc… and we can’t sit on boards??
Community Alert – BC Societies Act
Pre-existing non-profit organizations must meet the requirements of the new Societies Act on November 28, 2018.
The new Act includes new qualifications for who can be appointed as a director. The law says that someone who has been found incapable of managing their financial affairs by a court, in Canada or elsewhere, is disqualified.
Some community living agencies (organizations that provide services to adults with developmental disabilities) are discussing this requirement as if it applies more broadly than those under a court order. This kind of thinking is very concerning, especially for those of us who have worked for years to change attitudes and laws about disability and incapability.
Nidus provides clarification on the new law and calls on leaders in the non-profit community – such as the Alzheimer Society of BC, Disability Alliance BC and others – to speak up for the value, need and rights of people they support to be involved in all aspects of the organization.
Click to read details – Alert on BC Societies Act
further to this
This from The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) law states
Article 29 – Participation in political and public life
States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others, and shall undertake:
a) To ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia, by:
i. Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use;
ii. Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate;
iii. Guaranteeing the free expression of the will of persons with disabilities as electors and to this end, where necessary, at their request, allowing assistance in voting by a person of their own choice;
b) To promote actively an environment in which persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs, without discrimination and on an equal basis with others, and encourage their participation in public affairs, including:
i. Participation in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country, and in the activities and administration of political parties;
ii. Forming and joining organizations of persons with disabilities to represent persons with disabilities at international, national, regional and local levels.