Couillard government tables Bill 115 to fight elder abuse


QUEBEC — Quebec wants to fight elder abuse by making it easier for them and their families to report incidents, and by putting in place an intervention process in institutions across the province.

On Wednesday, the minister responsible for seniors and anti-bullying, Francine Charbonneau, tabled Bill 115 — an Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations.

Under the bill, institutions such as long term care facilities, public and private, must “adopt and implement a policy to combat maltreatment of persons in vulnerable situations who receive health and social services whether the services are provided in a facility or … are in-home services.”

The government wants to encourage people to denounce abusive acts committed either by staff or “any other person.”

The bill promises denunciations to a “local service quality and complaints commissioner” will be confidential, thus protecting elders against reprisals “and to grant them immunity from proceedings after making such a report in good faith.”

The bill defines “maltreatment” as “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action that occurs in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, and that causes harm or distress to a person.”

Lastly, the government proposes to use “monitoring mechanisms, such as cameras or any other technological means” to fight elder abuse in the province.