Addressing Systemic Abuse in Quebec Long-term Care Homes: The Class Action Solution

AuthorShidvash Bayat
Addressing Systemic Abuse in Quebec Long-term
Care Homes: The Class Action Solution
Shidvash Bayat
: The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the systemic
inequalities facing elderly residents in long-term care facilities. In the
Quebec context, the province’s class action scheme goes much beyond
a mere procedural tool but of‌fers a critical avenue towards challenging
the pervasive harms that are engrained within the dominant practices
and norms of long-term care facilities. Dealing with systemic discrimin-
ation requires giving victims a platform to voice their experiences with
discrimination and allowing them to take an active role in the process
of making change. I argue the class action mechanism’s inherent goals
towards collective justice provide the potential to give victimized elderly
populations the ability to both voice their negative experiences in long-
term care facilities and challenge these inequalities. Alongside Quebec’s
Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and punitive remedies, the plaintif‌f-
centred process for authorizing a class action helps remove barriers that
commonly limit elderly populations from engaging with the legal system.
By using the class action mechanism in greater frequency, the elderly
population will be able to challenge the abuses of large operators of long-
term care facilities and pressure change.

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