Ontario Ministry of Health reverses course on guardianship requirement for disabled woman
The Ontario government has reversed its stand on a woman’s right to own property, a step many consider a significant step towards addressing the issue of a woman’s property not being seen as their own.
A case that began with a woman who was physically disabled and unable to work, has since spiralled into a battle over whether the woman should be able to “pass as” her dead husband’s widow.
A previous ruling by the provincial court of Appeal found the woman not to be the deceased’s lawful spouse, and that because the woman was unable to work, her property should be frozen until she can receive a grant of disability assistance.
However, the government then appealed to the Superior Court of Justice, where a ruling was issued earlier this year, which sided with the government, reversing the previous Superior Court ruling.
The government released a statement following the ruling explaining that this was the government’s “revised position,” and that “we disagree with the appellate court and are glad that it has seen the original position of the government as reasonable and necessary.”
Now the government is going back to appeal with the province’s highest court.
This is a huge step that is not only a victory for women like the woman we talked about, but for all of us.
I am so thankful for the province of Ontario for taking this important step, to change their position on this issue, and to allow Ms. Cusimano back to live her life as a woman. I pray that other women, especially women with disabilities, have the same opportunity, that they will be able to live their life as a woman without having to worry about their property being searched or seized by government.
This is a win-win situation for all. Now the woman and woman’s family can decide whether or not they want to continue using Cusimano’s assets to pay for the things necessary to get her to work, including her child, who would be living with his father and his mother until he is 18.
Ms. Cusimano is a mother who did not deserve this fight, and we’re glad the province of Ontario is now acknowledging that fact.
I’m so grateful for the government for recognizing the importance of a woman’s right