Elizabeth Grace was recently interviewed by Law Times News
about the limitation on cash entitlements that Ontarians who are
receiving benefits under the Ontario Works Program or Ontario
Disability Support Program (ODSP) are permitted to receive when
winning a lawsuit or arriving at a settlement that includes the
payment of damages. Those who receive benefits under the Ontario
Works Program are required to turn over to the government any
amount in excess of the $25,000 if they want to continue receiving
benefits. For those receiving benefits under the Ontario Disability
Support Program, the cap is $100,000. These caps leaves the poor
and disabled in Ontario with an unjustifiably small portion of
their total cost awards.
Elizabeth Grace's view is that "these are already
people who are obviously living on a shoestring and are
economically impoverished by definition in order to get ODSP...And
if they have been wronged in some way . . . there's further
hardship on them. Right away that creates an obstacle for that
group of people from basically getting perhaps the justice
they're entitled to."
The cap could ultimately discourage plaintiffs from seeking
recourse, says Grace. "It certainly creates a concern for me
taking on those clients and acting for them because it's a lot
of work to bring those cases forward – and to think that my
client may be very damaged and they may only be able to keep
$100,000," she says.
The Ontario Disability Support Program Act passed in 1998
implemented the same cash cap as the General Welfare Act, passed in
1990. Therefore, "it hasn't even kept up with
inflation over the years," notes Grace, who describes the
limitation as "another kick" to wronged plaintiffs.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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