The Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act

In December 2022, after many years of advocacy by Inclusion NB, the Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act (Bill 20) was passed unanimously in the New Brunswick legislature.

The Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act represents a significant shift in adult decision-making laws in New Brunswick and is deeply rooted in a human rights approach. When proclaimed into law later this year, it will replace the very outdated Infirm Persons Act. The new legislation will ensure the right for people with a disability to make their own decisions based on their wishes and preferences, even if they need some support.

It’s an important time in our province. On January 1, 2024, The Supported Decision-Making and Representation Act was proclaimed into law. This legislation represents a significant shift in how we think about decision making rights, self-determination and legal mechanisms for assisting people who may require help with making decisions.

This Act ensures that New Brunswickers, including seniors and adults with a disability, can make their own decisions – big and small – about their own lives.

This can happen with support, if needed, and most importantly, will result in having those decisions recognized under the law.

This approach – true to the principles of inclusion – has been many years in the making. Protecting the autonomy and dignity of everyone to participate in their decision-making is the very cornerstone of an independent and full life.

Next steps:

  • Inclusion NB is developing training around supported decision-making and the new Act for various audiences, including self-advocates, families, lawyers, and others.
  • Inclusion NB is exploring funding to create training for those authorized to complete capacity assessments (physicians, nurse practitioners, and psychologists) under the new Act.

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