N.S. to house people with disabilities who fought for release from hospital

Nova Scotia's government has committed to finding homes in the community for two complainants in a human rights inquiry who have fought for years to move out of a psychiatric unit and other hospital-like settings.

The inquiry is examining a 2014 complaint by 46-year-old Beth MacLean and 45-year-old Joseph Delaney alleging the province has violated the Human Rights Act by failing to move them into a small options home with appropriate care.

Following his testimony on Tuesday afternoon, Jim Fagan, director of resident services at the Regional Residential Services Society, said in an interview the Department of Community Services has asked his service to find a small option home for MacLean and Delaney.

Asked by lawyer Vince Calderhead under cross examination if he believed that both MacLean and Delaney were ready for this move ``many, many years ago,'' Fagan replied, ``Yes.''

After 15 years on waiting lists, MacLean was moved from an acute care unit at the Nova Scotia Hospital to a hospital-like setting at the Community Transition Program facility in Halifax in 2016, and briefly was able to live in a group home, but has since returned to the Community Transition Program.

Delaney is still at the Nova Scotia Hospital awaiting a placement in a small options home, even though there has been testimony he was medically discharged in 2010.

Fagan said in an interview that the plan to place the two in the community was at the early stages and he didn't know precisely when a home will be available.

A third complainant, Sheila Livingstone, has since died but her story is being told by family members and the complainants' lawyers.