British Columbia’s adult guardianship legislation were proclaimed in February 2000.

The legislation is made up of four Acts:
1. The Representation Agreement Act
2. The Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act
3. The Adult Guardianship Act
4. The Public Guardian and Trustee Act

These four acts were selectively proclaimed with some sections still waiting for proclamation. They work together to create a comprehensive and integrated system of support and assistance for adults who need help in making decisions about their health, personal care, and their financial or legal affairs.

Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act: Support and Assistance for abuse and neglected adults is the part of the legislation most closely connected to CRNs.

They are referenced as community organizations, supported by a Provincial support organization (BC CRN).  The legislation does not make it mandatory to report abuse, but mandatory for Designated Agencies to respond to reports.

For further information contact the Public Trustee’s Office at (604) 660-4444 or visit Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.

Guiding Principles

Early on in the process of developing the new legislation, it was acknowledged that the best guarantee of a secure quality of life for any adult is the active involvement of caring and committed people in their life.

The Acts are based upon some important guiding principles and presumptions.

Self determination and choice

All adults are entitled to live in the manner they wish and to accept or refuse support, assistance or protection as long as they do not harm others and they are capable of making decisions about those matters.

Most effective but least intrusive support

All adults should receive the most effective, but least restrictive and intrusive, form of support, assistance or protection when they are unable to care for themselves or their assets.

Court is a last resort

The court should not be asked to appoint, and should not appoint, decision-makers or guardians unless alternatives, such as provision of support and assistance, have been carefully considered.

Adults are presumed capable

Every adult is presumed to be capable of making decisions about personal care, health care, legal matters or about the adult’s financial affairs, business or assets until the contrary is demonstrated.

Different ways of communicating

An adult’s way of communicating with others is not grounds for deciding that he or she is incapable of making decisions.