Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada

Nova Scotia

This section outlines:

  1. A snapshot of the law in Nova Scotia
  2. Key laws and regulations
  3. The Adult Protection Act
  4. The Protection for Persons in Care Act
  5. Reporting abuse by a regulated health care professional
  6. Exceptions to confidentiality and privacy rules
  7. Criminal prosecution policies
  8. Emergency protection orders under the Domestic Violence Intervention Act
  9. Substitute decision-makers in Nova Scotia and how to challenge their authority
  10. Employment protections
  11. Immigration sponsorship and income assistance
  12. Key government and community contacts

1. Snapshot

Key features of elder abuse and neglect law in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has standalone adult protection legislation, the Adult Protection Act, which provides a framework for responding to adult abuse and neglect of adults who cannot protect themselves or care for themselves due to disability. The legislation does not cover financial abuse.

Anyone who believes an adult needs protection is required to report elder abuse, neglect, or self-neglect to the Minister of Health and Wellness, through Adult Protection Services: 1-800-225-7225.

The Protection for Persons in Care Act provides the framework for responding to abuse or neglect of adults living in hospitals, residential care, nursing homes, home for the aged or disabled persons under the Homes for Special Care Act, and group homes. Call 1-800-225-7225 to report.

A person can obtain an emergency protection order under the Domestic Violence Intervention Act if they are experiencing domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined to include:

  • Assault;
  • Acts or threats that cause a reasonable fear of injury or property damage;
  • Forced confinement;
  • Sexual abuse; and
  • Harassment and stalking.

An older person who is an employee may be eligible for up to ten days job-protected leave of absence under the Labour Standards Code if they have experienced, or been threatened with, domestic or sexual violence (3 days of which are paid leave).

2. Key Laws and Regulations

Adult Protection

Health Care

Family Violence

Personal Planning


Employment Protections

3. The Adult Protection Act

The Adult Protection Act[39] provides the framework for responding to adult abuse and neglect in Nova Scotia.

3.1 Guiding principles

The law sets out its purpose, which is to protect adults who cannot care for themselves from abuse and neglect.

  • Purpose of Act
  • 2 The purpose of this Act is to provide a means whereby adults who lack the ability to care and fend adequately for themselves can be protected from abuse and neglect by providing them with access to services which will enhance their ability to care and fend for themselves or which will protect them from abuse or neglect.[40]

Section 12 of the Adult Protection Act provides that the welfare of the adult should be the most important consideration for a court or judge who hears proceedings under the statute. [41]

The Adult Protection Policy Manual sets out guiding principles for providing interventions under the Adult Protection Act, including:

  • There must be “significant risks compromising the life of an adult to justify an intervention;[42]
  • Decision-making autonomy is paramount;
  • All adults are presumed capable;
  • For capable adults, their wishes should be respected;
  • When an adult does not have capacity, best interests should be paramount; and
  • Any interventions should be the least intrusive as possible.[43]

3.2 Definitions of abuse and neglect

The Adult Protection Act defines an “adult in need of protection” as meaning an adult who is:

  • Living in a situation where they are subject to physical, sexual, or psychological abuse; and
  • Incapable of protecting themselves as a result of a physical or mental disability.

The definition also includes adults who are incapable of caring for themselves due to a physical disability or mental infirmity and not receiving adequate care and attention.

  • (b) “adult in need of protection” means an adult who, in the premises where he resides,
    • (i) is a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental cruelty or a combination thereof, is incapable of protecting himself therefrom by reason of physical disability or mental infirmity, and refuses, delays or is unable to make provision for his protection therefrom, or
    • (ii) is not receiving adequate care and attention, is incapable of caring adequately for himself by reason of physical disability or mental infirmity, and refuses, delays or is unable to make provision for his adequate care and attention;[44]

The Adult Protection Act does not define abuse. While the law contains provisions providing for adults who cannot manage their property, financial abuse is excluded.[45]

3.3 Mandatory reporting of abuse and neglect

In Nova Scotia, there is a public duty to report elder abuse, neglect, or self-neglect. Anyone who believes an adult needs protection must report this to the Minister of Health and Wellness, through Adult Protection Services. This reporting obligation applies regardless of whether or not the report involves confidential or privileged information [46] and regardless of where the adult is living.

The Adult Protection Act protects people who report abuse or neglect from an action being brought against them if the report was made reasonably in good faith. [47]

If a person does not report abuse or neglect, they may be charged with an offence and, if convicted, required to pay a fine of up to $1,000 or to serve a jail sentence.[48]

3.4 Investigating reports of abuse

Upon receipt of a report, the Minster of Health and Wellness must make inquiries.[49] Adult Protection Workers of Adult Protection Services (APS) are designated to make the initial inquiry, which considers the following factors. The factors include a consideration of risk. [50]

  • At the Intake part of Intake and Inquiry, the Adult Protection worker must demonstrate that there are reasonable grounds that the client:
    • 1. is living at a moderate, high or extremely high level of risk;
    • 2. is unable to protect him/herself from that risk due to a physical or mental incapacity;
    • 3. has a permanent, irreversible condition that affects his or her physical or mental capacity to protect him/herself from the identified risks.[51]

If the adult meets the above criteria, the Minister can have the adult assessed.[52] This assessment determines if the adult is an adult in need of protection. The adult protection worker will develop a care plan, which could include interventions, referrals for services, or court orders.[53]

The Department of Health and Wellness will assist the adult in obtaining services which will help them care for themselves or protect them from abuse or neglect. The older adult can choose whether or not to accept such assistance.[54] If the adult does not have capacity but has a substitute decision-maker under the Personal Directives Act, that decision-maker can consent to assistance on the adult’s behalf.[55]

Where the adult refuses to consent to an assessment, or the assessment cannot be carried out due to interference from a person having care or control of the adult, the Minister may apply to the court for an order authorizing entry to the adult’s location. The Minister or other person named in the order can then carry out the assessment. The court must be satisfied that there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the adult is an adult in need of protection.[56]

If, at any point, an Adult Protection Worker believes a criminal offence is occurring and the adult does not have decision-making capacity, Ministry policy requires a police report.[57]

3.5 Protective interventions

If the Minister finds the older adult is in need of protection, the Minister can apply to the court for a protective intervention order or an order authorizing the Minister to provide the adult with services. The court must first be satisfied that:

  • The adult is in need of protection;
  • The order is in the best interests of the adult; and
  • The adult either:
    • does not have capacity to decide whether to accept assistance; or
    • is refusing assistance due to duress.[58]

An order is valid for up to six months but can be renewed.[59]

A protective intervention order is an order that imposes certain restrictions on a person who is a source of danger to the adult. Restrictions could include:

  • Requiring the person to leave the adult’s residence;
  • Prohibiting or limiting communication with the adult; or
  • Requiring the person to pay for the adult’s maintenance. [60]

The court order may authorize the Minister to provide the adult with services, including moving the adult into a facility. [61]

3.6 Emergency powers

The Adult Protection Act also authorizes the Minister to remove an adult in emergency situations. These provisions apply when the Minister believes that:

  • The adult’s life is in danger; and
  • The adult is not mentally capable of deciding whether to accept assistance (or not accepting assistance due to duress).

The Minister may move the adult to another location for their protection. Within five days of such removal, the Minister must apply to the court for an order declaring the older adult is a person in need of protection.[62]

The Adult Protection Act authorizes the police to help execute a court order made under the law.[63]

4. The Protections for Persons in Care Act

Nova Scotia’s Protection for Persons in Care Act[64] provides the framework for responding to abuse or neglect of adults living in care facilities.

4.1 Definition of abuse

The Regulations define abuse. The definition includes physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.

  • 3 (1) Subject to subsection (2), in the Act and these regulations, “abuse” means, with respect to adult patients or residents, any of the following:
    • (a) the use of physical force resulting in pain, discomfort or injury, including slapping, hitting, beating, burning, rough handling, tying up or binding;
    • (b) mistreatment causing emotional harm, including threatening, intimidating, humiliating, harassing, coercing or restricting from appropriate social contact;
    • (c) the administration, withholding or prescribing of medication for inappropriate purposes;
    • (d) sexual contact, activity or behaviour between a service provider and a patient or resident;
    • (e) non-consensual sexual contact, activity or behaviour between patients or residents;
    • (f) the misappropriation or improper or illegal conversion of money or other valuable possessions;
    • (g) failure to provide adequate nutrition, care, medical attention or necessities of life without valid consent.
  • (2) “Abuse” does not occur in situations in which
    • (a) a service provider carried out their duties in accordance with professional standards and practices and health-facility-based policies and procedures; or
    • (b) a resident or patient who has a pattern of behaviour or a range of behaviours that include unwanted physical contact uses physical force against another patient or resident which does not result in serious physical harm, and the service provider has established a case plan to correct these behaviours.[65]

The Protection for Persons in Care Act only applies to adults who are living in a health facility. “Health facility” means a:

  • Hospital;
  • Residential care facility;
  • Nursing home;
  • Home for the aged or disabled persons under the Homes for Special Care Act; or
  • Group home or residential centre under the Children and Family Services Act. [66]

4.2 Reporting abuse and neglect

Whether a person has a duty to report abuse or neglect under the law depends on whether the person is a member of the public or an employee or administrator of a health facility.

The Protection for Persons in Care Act does not impose a duty on the public to report abuse or neglect. A member of the public can, but is not required to, report abuse or neglect of a person in care.[67] A resident or patient can also choose whether to report that they have been abused or neglected.[68]

A health facility administrator has a duty to report to the Minister any allegation of abuse of a patient or resident. The administrator also has a duty to protect residents of their facility from abuse and to maintain a reasonable level of safety for patients and residents.[69]

Similarly, a service provider must file a report with the Minister if they reasonably believe that a patient or resident is, or is likely to be, abused. Service providers are also required to take all reasonable steps to provide for residents’ and patients’ safety.[70] A service provider is anyone who:

  • Provides services to a patient or resident; and
  • Is employed by, or provides services on behalf of, a health facility.[71]

The Act protects people who report abuse from any action being brought against them, if the report was made in good faith. [72] The law also protects residents or patients of health facilities from having their services altered or ended because of a good faith report of abuse.[73]

A service provider or health facility administrator who fails to meet their duties under the Protection for Persons in Care Act is guilty of an offence and may be fined up to $2,000 for an individual or up to $30,000 for a corporation. A person who knowingly makes a false report of abuse is guilty of an offence and can be fined up to $2,000.[74]

4.3 Responding to reports of abuse and neglect

Upon receiving a report of abuse, the Minister must make inquiries. If the Minister reasonably believes the patient or resident was abused, they must appoint an investigator to carry out a detailed investigation. The adult’s substitute decision-maker (if any) must be informed that an investigation is occurring.[75]

The investigator should “accommodate all reasonable wishes of patients and residents throughout the course of an investigation.”[76] This is true regardless of whether the adult has decision-making capacity.[77] If the adult cannot express their wishes and does not have a substitute decision-maker, the investigator must consider the adult’s best interests.[78] Any person being interviewed during the investigation has a right to bring a support person with them.[79]

An investigator’s powers include the following:

  • Enter a health facility;
  • Require a person to provide information; and
  • Require a person to produce documentation and records, including personal health information, that relates to the matter being investigated. [80]

An investigator can apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant if they are prevented from exercising their powers.[81]

The investigator must provide a report to the Minister after concluding the investigation. The investigator is required to involve the adult as much as possible, and to accommodate their wishes as much as possible, in making this report. [82]

On receiving the investigator’s report, the Minister can take several actions:

  • Direct the health facility administrator to make operational or other changes to protect residents from abuse;[83] and
  • Refer the matter to a college if the Minister reasonably believes that a regulated health professional has abused a patient or resident or failed to comply with their reporting obligation.[84]

According to Ministry policy, if an investigator reasonably believes that a crime has been committed against a patient or resident who does not have the mental capacity to protect themselves, the investigator should refer the matter to the police.[85]

5. Regulated Health Professionals and Reporting

In Nova Scotia, there is no single legislation covering all health professionals. Instead, each health profession is regulated under their own statute. The duties to report a health professional who has potentially abused a patient will therefore depend on the provisions of the applicable legislation. This section will outline two of the laws governing health professionals. To find the duties which apply to a specific health profession, check the law that governs that profession. Links to each law are found in section 2.

5.1 Remedies

The college is responsible for regulating health professionals within their jurisdiction, including making sure members are fit for practice and are not committing any infractions. This process is limited to reviewing the regulated health professional’s actions. If a member has been found to be engaging in abuse, the college’s remedies are limited to restricting a regulated health professional’s practice. However, a complaint usually will not result in any remedies for the person who has been abused. The specifics of what actions a college can take in regulating a health professional’s actions will depend on the specifics of the Acts governing the practice area.

5.2 The Medical Act

The Medical Act[86] designates the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia as the regulatory body for the medical profession.

Any person may make a complaint against a member of the college.[87] When a complaint is received, the registrar of the college can appoint an investigator to conduct a preliminary investigation.[88] Based on the results of the investigation, the registrar may:

  • Dismiss the complaint;
  • Informally resolve the complaint;
  • Refer the member for an assessment for incapacity (if the member agrees); or
  • Refer the matter to an investigation committee.

The investigation committee may appoint an investigator and must give the member an opportunity to appear before the committee.[89]

The investigation committee may:

  • Dismiss the complaint;
  • Informally resolve the complaint;
  • Caution the member; or
  • Refer the member for a competence assessment.[90]

If the committee concludes there is sufficient evidence that could constitute professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetence or incapacity, then the committee may refer the matter to the hearing committee. The investigation committee may also issue a reprimand or attach conditions to the member’s licence if the member consents.[91]

If a hearing committee makes a finding of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetence or incapacity, then it can make disciplinary orders against the member. The possible orders include:

  • Revoke the member’s licence;
  • Suspend the member’s licence;
  • Place restrictions on a member’s practice;
  • Issue a reprimand;
  • Require the member to undergo further training or education; or
  • Issue a fine.[92]

5.3 The Nursing Act

Reporting a nurse’s practice

The Nursing Act[93] establishes the Nova Scotia College of Nursing as the regulator of all nursing designations in Nova Scotia, namely, practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners.

A registered nurse must make a report to the College if they reasonably believe another registrant:

  • Has engaged in professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming the profession;
  • Is incapacitated; or
  • Is a danger to the public.[94]

They must also report to the regulator of another health profession if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a member of that health profession has engaged in such conduct.[95]

An employer must report to the College if a nurse has been fired because of:

  • Suspected professional misconduct;
  • Unbecoming conduct;
  • Incompetence; or
  • Incapacity.

If a nurse resigns before they can be fired, a report is still required.[96]

Any person may make a complaint against a member of the College.[97]

College response to complaints

When the College receives a complaint, the Chief Executive Officer of the College may:

  • Dismiss the complaint;
  • Informally resolve the complaint;
  • Refer the matter to the fitness-to-practise process (if the respondent agrees); or
  • Start an investigation.[98]

After the investigation, the Chief Executive Officer may, in addition to the actions described above, refer the matter to the Complaints Committee.[99] The Complaints Committee has the power to caution the respondent or refer the matter to the Professional Conduct Committee. If the respondent agrees, the Complaints Committee may:

  • Issue a reprimand;
  • Impose conditions on their registration or licence; or
  • Refer the matter to the fitness-to-practise process.[100]

If the matter is referred to the Professional Conduct Committee, a public hearing will be held. If the Professional Conduct Committee finds professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity, it has a range of powers, including:

  • Revoke a nurse’s registration or licence;
  • Suspend a nurse’s registration;
  • Require the nurse to undergo further training or education;
  • Issue a reprimand;
  • Place restrictions on a nurse’s practice;
  • Order a nurse to obtain counselling or medical treatment; or
  • Issue a fine.[101]

5.4 Collaborative investigations involving multiple colleges

The Regulated Health Professions Network Act[102] authorized the creation of the Regulated Health Professions Network, which allows the regulated health professions in Nova Scotia to collaborate on regulating members and investigating complaints. The law allows for a collaborative investigation if a complaint about health professionals involves multiple regulated professions. This allows a complex complaint to be addressed via a single investigatory process. Members of the network can agree to a collaborative investigative process if:

  • They have related complaints;
  • A collaborative process would assist in the investigation; or
  • Members believe it would be in the public interest to collaborate .[103]

5.5 Other reporting duties

Regulated health professionals may also have some duties to report abuse or misconduct arising from their professional codes of conduct. If you are a regulated health professional, examine your professional codes of conduct or practice standards to see if you have any responsibilities under these rules, or contact your college for advice.

6. Confidentiality, Privacy, and Privilege

Confidentiality ensures vital information is kept private for professions which require a client to disclose private information, such as counsellors, doctors, and nurses. A lawyer must respect solicitor-client privilege. Requirements of confidentiality and privilege can be found in legislation, in common law, and in professional codes of ethics, codes of conduct, or professional standards.

Generally, professionals, staff, and volunteers must get consent from the older adult before disclosing personal or health information. However, exceptions to confidentiality and privilege have been created by various laws.

6.1 Confidentiality exceptions under adult protection law

The Adult Protection Act[104] requires all people to report information indicating that an adult is in need of protection. This applies regardless of whether the information is confidential or privileged.

  • Duty to report information
  • 5 (1) Every person who has information, whether or not it is confidential or privileged, indicating that an adult is in need of protection shall report that information to the Minister.[105]

The Protection for Persons in Care Act[106] requires administrators and service providers (such as employees) of health facilities to report abuse and neglect. This obligation applies even if the report is based on confidential information. There is no obligation to report if a belief of abuse or neglect is based on privileged information.

  • Duty of service provider
  • (2) The duty to report applies even if the information on which the person’s belief is based is confidential and its disclosure is restricted by legislation or otherwise, but it does not apply to information that is privileged because of a solicitor-client relationship.[107]
  • Duty to report abuse or likely abuse
  • (2) A person may report under subsection (1) even if the information on which the person’s belief is based is confidential and its disclosure is restricted by legislation or otherwise, but it does not apply to information that is privileged because of a solicitor-client relationship.[108]

6.2 Confidentiality exceptions under privacy law

In Nova Scotia there are two pieces of legislation that outline privacy rights:

  • The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to public bodies such as government departments and agencies.[109]
  • The Personal Health Information Act applies to personal health information collected or used by a custodian, which includes health care professionals, health care facilities, and public bodies.[110]

The federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act[111] also applies in Nova Scotia. See the federal laws section for confidentiality exceptions under this Act, which applies to private organizations conducting commercial activities and to federally regulated organizations such as banks.

The two acts govern the manner in which personal information may be collected, used and disclosed. Under the acts, personal information must be kept confidential, and generally, disclosure is permitted only if a person consents to the disclosure. Only in prescribed circumstances can information be disclosed without consent.[112]

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the circumstances under which personal information can be disclosed without consent include:

  • If the head of the public body determines that compelling circumstances exist that affect anyone’s health or safety;[113]
  • So that the next of kin or a friend of an injured, ill or deceased individual may be contacted;[114]
  • To assist with a police investigation;[115] and
  • As required by another law.[116]

Under the Personal Health Information Act, the circumstances under which personal information can be disclosed without consent include:

  • If the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the provision of health care to the individual, provided that this disclosure is to a custodian involved in the individual’s health care;[117]
  • If the disclosure will avert or minimize an imminent and significant danger to the health or safety of any person or class of persons;[118]
  • For the delivery, planning, and management of health care;[119]
  • To assist with a police investigation;[120]
  • As required by another law.[121]

6.3 Confidentiality exceptions that apply to solicitor-client privilege

Confidentiality and legal privilege are two similar, but legally distinct concepts. Both are based on the principle that a lawyer owes a duty of loyalty to the client.

Solicitor-client privilege is a legal principle that applies to all communications between a client and a lawyer where the communication was for the purposes of obtaining legal advice and was intended to be confidential.[122] It operates to protect such information from having to be disclosed in legal proceedings.

However, solicitor-client privilege will not apply:

  • Where privilege has been waived by the client;
  • Where there is a clear, serious and imminent threat to public safety;[123]
  • Where the innocence of an accused is at stake;[124]
  • Where limited by law.

Other types of privilege include litigation privilege, which protects communications created for the dominant purpose of preparing for litigation.

A lawyer’s duty of confidentiality is an ethical duty. Unlike privilege, this duty covers any communications made during the professional relationship – there is no requirement that the communications be made for the purposes of obtaining legal advice.

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has set out the duty of confidentiality and applicable exceptions in its Code of Professional Conduct.[125]

  • Confidential Information
  • 3.3-1 A lawyer at all times must hold in strict confidence all information concerning the business and affairs of a client acquired in the course of the professional relationship and must not divulge any such information unless:
    • (a) expressly or impliedly authorized by the client;
    • (b) required by law or a court to do so;
    • (c) required to deliver the information to the Society, or
    • (d) otherwise permitted by this rule.[126]

The Code also permits disclosure of limited confidential information where there is an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm, and disclosure is necessary to prevent this.

  • Future Harm / Public Safety Exception
  • 3.3-3 A lawyer may disclose confidential information, but must not disclose more information than is required, when the lawyer believes on reasonable grounds that there is an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm, and disclosure is necessary to prevent the death or harm.[127]

The Code provides an exception to solicitor-client privilege where disclosure is required by law.[128] This exception is relevant to adult protection legislation in Nova Scotia. The Adult Protection Act requires all people to file a report if they believe an adult is in need of protection. This requirement overrides solicitor-client privilege. A lawyer must report abuse or neglect, even if their knowledge of this abuse is from privileged or confidential information.[129] The Protection for Persons in Care Act requirements to report abuse of a resident of a health facility do not override solicitor-client privilege.[130]

7. Criminal Prosecution Policy

While criminal law is primarily under the federal jurisdiction, Nova Scotia’s Crown Attorney Manual[131] provides guidance to crown attorneys. There are no policies directly covering elder abuse, but a few of the policy documents in the manual could apply in an elder abuse context.

The Decision to Prosecute policy notes that prosecutions should be in the public interest. The policy lists factors which could be considered in determining whether prosecution is in the public interest. This includes the age, intelligence, physical health, mental health, or special infirmity of the alleged offender, a witness, or victim.[132]

The Direct Indictments policy lists several factors which would indicate a direct indictment. Factors relevant to elder abuse are:

  • Where the age, health, or other circumstances relating to witnesses requires their evidence to be presented before the trial court as soon as possible, or presents difficulties in having witnesses testify more than once;[133] and
  • Where the lives, safety, or security of witnesses or their families, informers, or justice system participants may be in peril, and the potential for interference with them can be reduced significantly by bringing the case directly to trial without preliminary inquiry.[134]

The Publication Bans policy discusses when the court should allow a ban on the publication of certain information. In most cases, publication bans on victim and witness identities are only allowed if they are necessary for the “proper administration of justice”. In determining whether that is the case, the judge can consider factors such as whether the victim or witness could be harmed from this information being public, or if they need protection from another person.[135]

The Investigation and Prosecution of Cases Involving Persons with Special Communication Needs policy discusses how prosecutors should work with victims or witnesses who have special communication needs because of age, level of literacy, or mental or physical disability. This policy includes the following provisions:

  • Victims and witnesses with special communication needs should be entitled to fair and equal access and participation in the criminal justice system.
  • Assistance should correspond with the degree of need.
  • Criminal justice officials should make every reasonable effort to provide victims and witnesses with the interpretation and assistance they need.
  • Crown attorneys should meet with the victim or witness as soon as possible after the charge is laid, to discuss the court process and understand the victim or witness’s communication abilities and needs. The Crown attorney should meet with the victim or witness again within a week of the court hearing.
  • Crown attorneys must communicate in a way that is appropriate for the individual’s communication methods.
  • When meeting with victims or witnesses, Crown attorneys must allow a support person to be present if it does not interfere with the case, and use interpretation aids if necessary. The Crown should ensure that the victim or witness and their support person are kept informed of the status of the case.
  • Crown attorneys must make reasonable efforts to help the witness or victim communicate with the judge or jury, including using aids or equipment and requesting publication bans.
  • Crown attorneys should request the trial be scheduled for an early date.[136]

The Spousal/Partner Violence policy is not directly aimed at elder abuse but can apply when the person abusing the older adult is their partner. The policy includes the following provisions:

  • In recognition of the serious nature and destructive effect of the cycle of violence, such cases should be prioritized by Crown attorneys.
  • Crown attorneys should consider if it would be appropriate to ask that bail be denied or that bail be subject to conditions (including a “no contact” provision). If the accused is released on bail, the Crown attorney should inform the victim of the terms of the release as soon as possible.
  • Crown attorneys should prosecute spousal or partner violence cases in all cases when there is a reasonable prospect of conviction, unless there are public interest reasons not to prosecute.
  • Crown attorneys should request the trial be scheduled for an early date.
  • The victim should be informed of available victim services.
  • Crown attorneys should consider the victim’s concerns on sentencing.[137]

8. Emergency Protection Orders under the Domestic Violence Intervention Act

The Domestic Violence Intervention Act[138] outlines how a person who is experiencing domestic violence can obtain an emergency protection order.

8.1 Definitions

A victim of domestic violence can apply for an emergency protection order.

Domestic violence is defined to include:

  • Assault;
  • Acts or threats that cause a reasonable fear of injury or property damage;
  • Forced confinement;
  • Sexual abuse; and
  • Harassment and stalking.

Occurrence of domestic violence

  • 5 (1) For the purpose of this Act, domestic violence has occurred when any of the following acts or omissions has been committed against a victim:
    • (a) an assault that consists of the intentional application of force that causes the victim to fear for his or her safety, but does not include any act committed in self-defence;
    • (b) an act or omission or threatened act or omission that causes a reasonable fear of bodily harm or damage to property;
    • (c) forced physical confinement;
    • (d) sexual assault, sexual exploitation or sexual molestation, or the threat of sexual assault, sexual exploitation or sexual molestation;
    • (e) a series of acts that collectively causes the victim to fear for his or her safety, including following, contacting, communicating with, observing or recording any person.
  • (2) Domestic violence may be found to have occurred for the purpose of this Act whether or not, in respect of any act or omission described in sub-section (1), a charge has been laid or dismissed or withdrawn or a conviction has been or could be obtained.[139]

The Act applies to “victims” as defined in the statute. The abuser must be someone with whom the person:

  • Is living together in an intimate relationship (or was in the past); or
  • Has a child (even if they never lived together).
  • (g) “victim” means a person who is at least sixteen years of age and has been subjected to domestic violence by another person who
    • (i) has cohabited or is cohabiting with the victim in a conjugal relationship, or
    • (ii) is, with the victim, the parent of one or more children, regardless of their marital status with respect to each other or whether they have lived together at any time;[140]

8.2 Emergency protection orders

Applications for an emergency protection order are made to a Justice of the Peace. The Justice of the Peace can grant an emergency protection order if they are satisfied that there has been domestic violence and the situation is urgent. In deciding whether to grant the order, the Justice of the Peace must consider:

  • The nature of the domestic violence;
  • The history of domestic violence towards the victim;
  • Whether there is immediate danger to persons or property; and
  • The best interests of the victim and the victim’s child (if any). [141]
  • Emergency intervention order
  • 6 (1) Upon application to a justice, the justice may make an emergency protection order to ensure the immediate protection of a victim of domestic violence if the justice determines that
    • (a) domestic violence has occurred; and
    • (b) the order should be made forthwith.
  • (2) In determining whether to make an order pursuant to this Section, the justice shall consider, but is not limited to considering,
    • (a) the nature of the domestic violence;
    • (b) the history of domestic violence by the respondent towards the victim;
    • (c) the existence of immediate danger to persons or property; and
    • (d) the best interests of the victim and any child of, or in the care and custody of, the victim.[142]

The following people can apply for an emergency protection order:

  • The adult who experienced the domestic violence;
  • A peace officer (such as the police), with the adult’s consent;
  • A victim service worker or officer, with the adult’s consent;
  • A transition home employee or director, with the adult’s consent; or
  • Any other person with leave of the court.[143]

Possible terms of the emergency protection order include:

  • Granting the victim or other family members exclusive occupation of the residence for a defined period;
  • Removal of the abuser from the residence by a police officer;
  • Police accompaniment to collect belongings;
  • No direct or indirect communication with the adult or another specified person;
  • Staying away from specified locations;
  • Granting the victim temporary possession of personal property, including cars, bank cards and identification;
  • Restraining the respondent from dealing with the victim’s property;
  • Seizure of weapons by police; and
  • Any other terms the court considers necessary.[144]

All emergency protection orders must be reviewed by a Justice of the Supreme Court within seven days.[145] The hearing can be conducted in private. The court can also order a publication ban on any report of the hearing, if it believes that publication would not be in the adult’s best interest or would identify or adversely affect the adult or the adult’s child.[146]

Criminal charges do not have to be laid for an order to be granted.[147] The order can be in effect for up to 30 days and can be extended a further 30 days.[148]

9. Financial Abuse by Substitute Decision-Makers

This section explains the different substitute decision-maker in Nova Scotia and identifies some actions that can be taken to remove their authority if they are abusive.

9.1 Substitute decision-makers in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, a substitute decision-maker could be:

  • An attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA), chosen by the older adult;  or
  • A representative appointed by the court under the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act.[149]

9.2 Attorney under an EPOA

Appointing an Attorney

An adult can appoint a person to be their attorney under an EPOA. The EPOA should set out what the attorney’s powers are, such as whether the attorney has the general power to do anything on the adult’s behalf, or whether their power is limited to a specific situation.

An EPOA must state that the attorney continues to have authority to act on the adult’s behalf even after the adult becomes mentally incapable.[150] An EPOA can designate multiple people to jointly act as attorneys. If one of the joint attorneys cannot or will not act, the remaining attorney can continue to act.[151]

Court powers to intervene to protect the adult

Under the Powers of Attorney Act,[152] the court has several powers to monitor the actions of the attorney and make changes to an EPOA. The court can, upon application and for cause:

  • Require the attorney to account for transactions made after the adult loses capacity;
  • Require the attorney to explain why they failed to fulfill their responsibilities;
  • Replace the attorney; or
  • Any other actions that the judge considers appropriate.[153]

9.3 Court-appointed representative

Appointing a representative

If the older adult does not have decision-making capacity for financial decisions and needs someone to make these decisions, the court can appoint a representative under the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act.

Section 2 sets out the purpose of the Act.

  • Purpose of Act
  • 2 The purpose of this Act is to
  • (a) recognize that adults may experience an impairment of their capacity;
  • (b) provide a fair and respectful legal framework for protecting the safety and security of adults whose capacity is impaired and who may be made vulnerable thereby;
  • (c) promote the dignity, autonomy, independence, social inclusion and freedom of decision-making of adults who are the subject of this legislation; and
  • (d) ensure that the least restrictive and least intrusive supports and interventions are considered before an application is made or a representation order is granted under this Act.

To appoint a representative, the court must be satisfied that:

  • The adult does not have capacity in respect of the matters referred to in the order;
  • The adult needs to make decisions on those matters;
  • The adult needs a representative; and
  • There are no less intrusive and less restrictive options available.[154]

The authority of a representative

The scope of a representative’s decision-making power depends on what is set out in the court’s order. The order could, for example, grant authority in respect of:

  • Financial matters;
  • Personal decision such as where to live;
  • Social and recreational activities;
  • Employment;
  • Education; and
  • Legal matters, with some restrictions.[155]

The court will grant authority in respect of a matter only if it is not already subject to an EPOA and if this is the most effective, but least restrictive and intrusive, form of assistance that is required to promote and protect the adult’s well-being and interests in financial matters.[156]

Duties of a representative

A representative has several duties under the Act:

  • Act in good faith;
  • Not make secret profits;
  • Not delegate authority;
  • Not make decisions that would personally benefit the representative or any person other than the adult;[157]
  • Exercise the care and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in managing their own affairs;[158]
  • Keep their property separate from the older adult’s property;[159]
  • Keep records of any financial decisions;[160]
  • Make decisions in the least restrictive and intrusive way that will protect and promote the adult’s well-being and financial interest;
  • Encourage the adult to become capable of caring for themselves and to participate in decision-making;
  • Inform the adult of the representative’s appointment, role, and authority;
  • Inform the adult about significant decisions that are made on their behalf;[161]
  • Not make a decision if the representative reasonably believes the adult has the capacity to make the decision;[162]
  • Follow any instructions that the adult gave when the adult was capable. If there are no instructions, the representative must follow the adult’s current wishes if they are reasonable. If there are no instructions or wishes, the representative must act according to the adult’s values and beliefs. If values and beliefs are not known, the representative must act in the adult’s best interests.[163]

Court powers to intervene to protect the adult

The adult, the representative, or any interested person may apply to the court for review of the representation order.[164] The court can continue, vary, or rescind the order on any terms or conditions that it considers appropriate.[165]  In particular, the court may rescind the order, replace the representative, or make any other order it deems appropriate where:

  • The older adult is no longer in need of a representative;
  • The representative is not fulfilling their duties;
  • The representative is unable or unwilling to act;
  • The representative has acted improperly or in a way that might endanger the adult’s well-being or interests;
  • The representative has committed a breach of trust or is no longer suitable to be representative.[166]

The court also has the power to inquire into a complaint of misconduct, neglect, or default on the part of the representative, and to require the representative to reimburse the adult for any misconduct, neglect, or default. Any interested person can make an application for the court to do so. [167]

The court can order the representative to account for financial transactions or other decisions.[168] The representative must provide the court with financial accounts after the older adult dies or when the appointment ends.[169]

If the adult’s capacity is likely to improve or the court believes it is appropriate, the court must set a date by which the representative has to apply to have the order reviewed.[170]

9.4 The role of the Public Trustee

The Public Trustee has a limited role in adult abuse or neglect. Since financial abuse is not included in the adult protection regime, the Public Trustee is limited primarily to administering estates for adults who do not have capacity and do not have an appropriate substitute decision-maker.

Under the Adult Protection Act, the court may notify the Public Trustee if the court makes an order authorizing services or a protective intervention order and the adult does not have a guardian or attorney, or does not have a guardian or attorney who is fulfilling their obligations.[171]

The Minister must inform the Public Trustee If:

  • An adult has been removed from their home under the Adult Protection Act; and
  • There is immediate danger of loss or damage to the adult’s property due to the adult’s inability to deal with the property.[172]

If there is no attorney under a power of attorney or a court-appointed representative, the Public Trustee can assume the immediate management of the adult’s estate and look after the adult’s property.[173] This would end when:

  • the older adult no longer needs the Public Trustee to manage their estate;
  • the court appoints a guardian;
  • the court finds the adult does not need protection; or
  • the court order declaring the adult in need of protection has ended.[174]

The Public Trustee can act as a guardian of estate of an older adult if the older adult’s estate is in danger because the adult cannot attend to their business affairs due to a physical disability.[175]

10. Employment Protections

10.1 Whistleblower protections

The Protection for Persons in Care Act prohibits health facility administrators from retaliating against employees who report abuse of residents of health facilities when the report is made in good faith.

  • Prohibition of retaliation
  • 14 (1) No administrator of a health facility shall take adverse employment action against a service provider of the facility because that person made a report of abuse in good faith under this Act.[176]

10.2 Statutory employment leave

An employee who experiences domestic violence may have access to Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence under the Labour Standards Code.[177]

The employee, or a child of the employee, must have experienced domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined in the Code to mean abuse or threatened abuse by the employee’s intimate partner, child, or other adult who lives with and is related to the employee. Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse, stalking, harassment, or financial control. [178]

  • (b) “domestic violence” means
    • (i) an act of abuse between
      • (A) an employee and
        • (I) the employee’s current or former intimate partner,
        • (II) a child of the employee or an individual under eighteen years of age who resides with the employee, or
        • (III) an adult who resides with the employee and is related to the employee by blood, marriage, foster care or adoption, or
      • (B) a child of the employee and
        • (I) the child’s current or former intimate partner, or
        • (II) an individual who resides with the child of the employee,
  • whether the abuse is physical, sexual, emotional or psychological and may include an act of coercion, stalking, harassment or financial control, or
    • (ii) a threat or attempt to do an act described in sub-clause (i);[179]

The leave may only be taken if it is for the purposes of obtaining medical care, counselling, housing, victim services, legal advice, or criminal remedies.[180]

An employee may take ten days of leave, either intermittently or continuously, and an additional 16 weeks that must be taken in a continuous period. Three days per year must be paid leave. To qualify for the leave, the employee must have been working for their employer for at least three months.[181]

The employee must give notice in writing that they are taking this leave. If possible, notice should be given prior to starting the leave. The employer can require the employee to state why they are taking the leave and provide proof. For example, an employee may have to state they are taking the leave to obtain victim services and provide a written statement from the victim service worker.[182]

The Act states that employees must make reasonable and practicable efforts to schedule their appointments to obtain the services described above during non-working hours.[183]

11. Income Assistance Policies

In Nova Scotia, the income assistance policy manual[184] contains policies relevant to elder abuse.

A person is generally not eligible for employment support and income assistance unless they have pursued every feasible source of income, including spousal support. However, the policy provides that this requirement can be temporarily suspended if potential abuse by the absent spouse poses a serious threat to the applicant or other family members.[185]

For Family Class immigrants, the policy states that if the sponsor refuses to provide support, the applicant must attempt to obtain sponsorship funds. However, there are no policies discussing a sponsored immigrant who is being abused by their sponsor.[186]

The policy manual contains protocols for caseworkers and staff dealing with three types of family violence:

  • Spousal/intimate partner violence;
  • Abuse of children; and
  • Abuse of adults.

The spousal/intimate partner violence guidelines set out how an employee should work with a victim of violence, such as validating the person’s experiences and providing information on services and options for helping the person. The policy directs employees to document the information received from the applicant and what the employee did, and to record a brief summary of the abuse.[187]

The adult abuse and neglect guidelines outline relevant provisions of the Adult Protection Act and the Protection for Persons in Care Act, including when a referral to adult protective services is required. The policy requires the caseworker to document the fact that the applicant was referred to adult protective services, but not the details of the abuse. A supervisor must be informed about the referral.[188]

12. Key Contacts

Reporting Elder Abuse

Adult Protection Services, Protection for Persons in Care

To report a suspected case of abuse or neglect, call 1-800-225-7225

Government Agencies

Nova Scotia Department of Seniors (Seniors Abuse Information and Referral Line)

Call the Seniors Abuse Information and Referral Line for information about senior abuse or to talk about a situation of abuse. Your call will be kept confidential. This is not a crisis line. The Department of Seniors cannot investigate, but it can tell you about resources in your community.

Barrington Tower, 15th floor
1894 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2A8

Seniors’ Safety Program

The Seniors’ Safety Program addresses the safety concerns of seniors by promoting education and awareness about senior abuse prevention, crime prevention, and safety and health issues.

Find contact information for the Senior’s Safety coordinator in your region at:

Victim Services

Find contact information for the Victim Service Centre closest to you at:

Community Organizations

Community Links

Community Links is a province-wide organization that supports the establishment of age-friendly, inclusive communities by linking with others to promote needed changes. It supports Aging Well Together Coalitions across Nova Scotia. Coalition members include agencies and individuals who are interested in making communities more age-friendly and in promoting healthy aging.

201-1531 Grafton St.
Halifax, NS
B3J 2B9

Chebucto Links

Chebucto Links is a community outreach association based in Halifax. It provides social and recreational programs and assists with information and resources.

PO Box 29084 Halifax Shopping Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4T8

Legal Information Line and Lawyer Referral Service

Call for information about the law, the justice system, or how to find a lawyer in Nova Scotia.


[1] Adult Protection Act, RSNS 1989, c 2 [APA].

[2] Nova Scotia, Department of Health and Wellness, Adult Protection Policy Manual (8 February 2011), online: <> [APA Manual].

[3] Protection for Persons in Care Act, SNS 2004, c 33 [PPCA].

[4] Protection for Persons in Care Regulations, NS Reg 364/2007 [PPCA Regulations].

[5] Nova Scotia, Department of Health and Wellness, Protection for Persons in Care Act Policy Manual (30 September 2013), online: <>.

[6] Regulated Health Professions Network Act, SNS 2012, c 48 [RHPNA].

[7] Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Act, SNS 2015, c 3.

[8] Chiropractic Act, SNS 1999, c 4.

[9] Counselling Therapists Act, SNS 2008, c 37.

[10] Dental Act, SNS 1992, c 3.

[11] Dental Hygienists Act, SNS 2007, c 29.

[12] Dental Technicians Act, RSNS 1989, c 126.

[13] Denturists Act, SNS 2000, c 25.

[14] Dispensing Opticians Act, SNS 2005, c 39.

[15] Medical Act, SNS 2011, c 38 [MA].

[16] Medical Practitioners Regulations, NS Reg 225/2014.

[17] Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals Act, SNS 2013, c 7.

[18] Medical Laboratory Technology Act, SNS 2000, c 8.

[19] Midwifery Act, SNS 2006, c 18.

[20] Nursing Act, SNS 2019, c 8 [NA].

[21] Occupational Therapists Act, SNS 1998, c 21.

[22] Optometry Act, SNS 2005, c 43.

[23] Paramedics Act, SNS 2015, c 33.

[24] Pharmacy Act, SNS 2011, c 11.

[25] Physiotherapy Act, SNS 1998, c 22.

[26] Professional Dietitians Act, RSNS 1989, c 361.

[27] Psychologists Act, SNS 2000, c 32.

[28] Registered Nurses Act, SNS 2006, c 21.

[29] Respiratory Therapists Act, SNS 2007, c 13.

[30] Social Workers Act, SNS 1993, c 12.

[31] Domestic Violence Intervention Act, SNS 2001, c 29 [DVIA].

[32] Domestic Violence Intervention Regulations, NS Reg 75/2003 [DVI Regulations].

[33] Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act, SNS 2017, c 4 [ACDMA].

[34] Powers of Attorney Act, RSNS 1989, c 352 [POAA].

[35] Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, SNS 1993, c 5 [FOIPPA].

[36] Personal Health Information Act, SNS 2010, c 41 [PHIA].

[37] Labour Standards Code, RSNS 1989, c 246 [LSC].

[38] General Labour Standards Code Regulations, NS Reg 298/90.

[39] APA, supra note 1.

[40] Ibid, s 2.

[41] Ibid, s 12.

[42] APA Manual, supra note 2, at s 1.4.1.

[43] Ibid.

[44] APA, supra note 1, s 3(b).

[45] Ibid, s 3, 13.

[46] Ibid, s 5(1).

[47] Ibid, s 5(2).

[48] Ibid, ss 16-17.

[49] Ibid, s 6.

[50] APA Manual, supra note 2, at s 2.6.

[51] Ibid, at s 2.4.1 (I).

[52] APA, supra note 1, s 6.

[53] APA Manual, supra note 2, at s 2.4.1 (II).

[54] APA, supra note 1, s 7.

[55] APS Manual, supra note 2, at Appendix I.

[56] APA, supra note 1,, s 8.

[57] APA Manual, supra note 2, at s 2.13.1, 5.5.1.

[58] APA, supra note 1, s 9(3).

[59] Ibid, s 9.

[60] Ibid, s 9.

[61] Ibid, s 9(3)(c).

[62] Ibid, s 10.

[63] Ibid, s 15.

[64] PPCA, supra note 3.

[65] PPCA Regulations, supra note 4,s 3.

[66] PPCA, supra note 2, s 2; PPCA Regulations, supra note 4,s 4.

[67] PPCA, ibid, s 6.

[68] Ibid, s 7.

[69] Ibid, s 4.

[70] Ibid, s 5.

[71] Ibid, s 2.

[72] Ibid, s 13.

[73] Ibid, s 14.

[74] Ibid, s 17.

[75] bid, s 8.

[76] PPCA Policy Manual, supra note 4, at 13.

[77] Ibid, at 13.

[78] Ibid, at 14.

[79] Ibid, at 24.

[80] PPCA, supra note 3, s 9.

[81] Ibid, s 9(4).

[82] Ibid, s 10(2).

[83] Ibid, s 11.

[84] Ibid, s 12.

[85] PPCA Policy Manual, supra note 4, at p. 29.

[86] MA, supra note 15.

[87] Ibid, s 36.

[88] Ibid, s 37; Medical Practitioners Regulations, supra note 16,s 88.

[89] Medical Practitioners Regulations, ibid,ss 95, 99.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid, s 99.

[92] Ibid, s 115.

[93] NA, supra note 21.

[94] Ibid, s 45(1)(g).

[95] Ibid, s 45(1)(h).

[96] Ibid, s 156.

[97] Ibid, s 62.

[98] Ibid, s 63(1).

[99] Ibid, s 65(1).

[100] Ibid, s 76(1).

[101] Ibid, s 103.

[102] RHPNA, supra note 6.

[103] Ibid, ss 2, 5, 6, 19; Nova Scotia Regulated Health Professions Network, “Collaborative complaint and investigation process”, online: <>.

[104] APA, supra note 1.

[105] Ibid, s 5(1).

[106] PPCA, supra note 3.

[107] Ibid, s 5(2).

[108] Ibid, s 6(2).

[109] FOIPPA, supra note 36, s 4.

[110] PHIA, supra note 37, s 5.

[111] Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act,  SC 2000, c. 5.

[112] FOIPPA, supra note 36, s 27; PHIA; supra note 37, s 43.

[113] FOIPPA, ibid, s 27(o).

[114] Ibid, s 27(p).

[115] Ibid, s 27(m).

[116] Ibid, s 27(d).

[117] PHIA, supra note 37, s 36.

[118] Ibid, s 38(1)(d).

[119] Ibid, s 38(1).

[120] Ibid, s 38(1)(n).

[121] Ibid, s 38(1)(l).

[122] Descôteaux v Mierzwinski, [1982] 1 SCR 860 at 870–876, 141 DLR (3d) 590 [Descôteaux cited to SCR].

[123] Smith v Jones, [1999] 1 SCR 455 at para 35, 169 DLR (4th) 385, [Smith cited to SCR].

[124] R. v. McClure, [2001] S.C.R. 445, [McClure cited to SCR].

[125] Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Code of Professional Conduct, Halifax: Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2011 (amended 24 January 2020).

[126] Ibid, ch 3 (3.3-1).

[127] Ibid, ch 3 (3.3-3).

[128] Ibid, ch 3 (3.3-1(b)).

[129] APA, supra note 1, s 5(1).

[130] PPCA, supra note 3, ss 5(2), 6(2).

[131] Nova Scotia, Public Prosecution Service, Crown Attorney Manual: Prosecution and Administrative Policies for the PPS (Halifax: Public Prosecution Service), online: <>.

[132] Ibid, The Decision to Prosecute (Charge Screening) (23 November 2015), at p 8.

[133] Ibid, Direct Indictments (26 May 2015), at p 3.

[134] Ibid.

[135] Ibid, Publication Bans (23 November 2015), at p 2-4.

[136] Ibid, Investigation and Prosecution of Cases Involving Persons with Special Communication Needs (3 September 2002) at 1-5.

[137] Ibid, Spousal/Partner Violence (14 May 2004), at 1-6

[138] DVIA, supra note 32.

[139] Ibid, s 5.

[140] Ibid, s 2(g).

[141] Ibid, s 6.

[142] Ibid, s 6.

[143] Ibid, s 7; DVI Regulations, supra note 33, s 3.

[144] DVIA, supra note 32, s 8.

[145] Ibid, s 11; DVI Regulations, supra note 33, s 15.

[146] DVIA, supra note 32, s 13.

[147] Ibid, s 5(2).

[148] Ibid, ss 8(2), 12(4).

[149] ACDMA, supra note 34.

[150] POAA, supra note 35, s 3.

[151] Ibid, s 7.

[152] Ibid.

[153] Ibid, s 5.

[154] ACDMA, supra note 34,s 7.

[155] Ibid, ss 27, 30-31, 34.

[156] Ibid, s 27.

[157] Ibid, s 47.

[158] Ibid, s 48.

[159] Ibid, s 49.

[160] Ibid, s 50.

[161] Ibid, s 39.

[162] Ibid, s 41.

[163] Ibid, s 40.

[164] Ibid, s 58.

[165] Ibid, s 59.

[166] Ibid, s 59.

[167] Ibid, s 62.

[168] Ibid, s 51.

[169] Ibid, ss 52-53.

[170] Ibid, s 29.

[171] APA, supra note 1, s 9(4).

[172] Ibid.

[173] Ibid, s 13.

[174] Ibid, s 13(2).

[175] Public Trustee Act, RS 1989, c. 379, s 8

[176] PPCA, supra note 3, s 14(1).

[177] LSC, supra note 38.

[178] Ibid, s 60Y.

[179] Ibid, s 60Y.

[180] Ibid, s 60Z; LSC Regulation, supra note 39, s 7H.

[181] Ibid, s 60Z.

[182] Ibid, ss 60ZA, 60ZB; LSC Regulation, supra note 39, s 7G.

[183] Ibid, s 60ZA(4).

[184] Nova Scotia, Department of Community Services, Policy Manual: Employment Support and Income Assistance (Halifax, NS: Department of Community Services, 1 January 2020), online: <>.

[185] Ibid, at s 5.1.4(d).

[186] Ibid, at s 5.3.3.

[187] Ibid at s A.3.2.5, A.3.2.6.

[188] Ibid at s A.3.4.1 – A.3.4.7.