VPA Task Force

The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Task Force (the Task Force) has been created by the Honourable Heather Stefanson, Minister of Families, to provide recommendations on the way services for adults with intellectual disabilities are provided in Manitoba.  Select representatives from CLdS, The Manitoba Department of Families, and Abilities Manitoba have been invited to serve on the Task Force chaired by Dale Kendel.  The Task Force has been asked to complete its work and provide final recommendations by March 31, 2021. 

Specifically, the Task Force has been mandated to accomplish the following: 

  • Develop a strategy and a two year plan to encourage supported decision making and reduce reliance on substitute decision making. 
  • Examine and make recommendations on practices and policies around services for adults with intellectual disabilities in the following areas: 
  • The community engagement and education role of the Office of the Vulnerable Persons Commissioner 
  • The role of Community Services Workers 
  • Issues around the legal definition of abuse, as well as the process of investigating, verifying, and the penalty for substantiated cases of abuse 
  • The role of the Adult Abuse Registry 
  • Issues around supported decision making 
  • Individual planning issues 
  • The role of the Public Guardian and Trustee 

The work of this Task Force will build on a comprehensive review of The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act (VPA), completed in 2007.  The Task Force will also benefit from the recent work of community advocates, who submitted a report of recommendations for amending the VPA in August 2019.  The Department of Families has also reviewed the community advocate report, which makes this a good time for further conversations about advancing the recommendations of the report. 

Subcommittees of the Task Force have been tasked to collect feedback from Manitobans on the following areas and report their findings back to the Task Force: 

  1. Supported decision making 
  2. Substitute decision making  
  3. Issues around abuse (definition, reporting, investigating, punishing, the adult abuse registry)  
  4. Individual planning issues 
  5. Role of the Office of the Vulnerable Persons Commissioner  
  6. Role of the Public Guardian and Trustee  
  7. Role of Community Services Workers 
  8. Principles of the Act  
  9. Review Clause 

Abilities Manitoba Members are invited to share feedback on any/all of the above 9 areas by way of this Discussion Forum. It is important to have the voices of all stakeholders incorporated into this discussion – self-advocates, family members, care providers, agency employees, and other community members with vested interest. 

Click on any of the 9 topics above to join the discussions!  

If you have information that you would like to share privately, you can contact either Jeannie or Leslie at: 

Jeannie Alexander at 431-688-6108 jeannie@abilitiesmanitoba.org 

Leslie Udell at 431-688-6219 leslie@abilitiesmanitoba.org 


Some Guiding Resources: 

Employment and Income Assistance Consultation

The Province has announced consultations  for a new income support program for people with disabilities. They are seeking online feedback until January 31. We have put the survey into a document and added items you may want to consider as you respond to the survey.

It is critical that impacted citizens contribute their opinions on this important issue. Please support people to complete the online survey or assist to input their comments from the word document into the online survey.

Some ideas:

  • hold focus groups with people you support and compile all feedback into a single online response.
  • distribute this email to stakeholders connected to your agency and impacted by the current EIA system. This could include families, staff, board members, people you support.
  • brainstorm with your staff teams on ways to get people involved and contributing to this important discussion.
  • Share the survey link on your social media.

Thanks in advance; it would be amazing to see a large amount of responses to help design a separate income stream and is dignified, accessible and improves quality of life for people utilizing it. Remember the deadline is January 31!