Project Status: Completed
Project Contact: Krista James
Telephone Number: (604) 822-0564
Email Us About this Project


The British Columbia Law Institute was retained by the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support, on behalf of the BC Adult Abuse and Neglect Prevention Collaborative, to conduct an international review (1) the laws governing capability for decision-making which currently inform guardianship practice, and (2) the existing body of policies, protocols and guidelines that inform capability assessment.  As part of this contract the BCLI  produced a final report that includes an inter-disciplinary best practices tool to guide practitioners working in health care, medicine, law and criminal justice who deal with adults with capability issues.

The Final Report is entitled Provincial Strategy Document: Vulnerability and Capability Issues in British Columbia.

© British Columbia Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support

The Provincial Strategy Document is copyrighted by the British Columbia Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BC CEAS). BC CEAS encourages wide distribution of the Provincial Strategy Document and use of this material by other individuals and organizations, with the understanding that you agree not to make any modifications to this material.  We also ask that individuals and organizations inform us prior to reproducing and distributing copies of the Provincial Strategy Document in order to assist us with evaluation of this material.

Any changes to this document require approval of BC CEAS.  BC CEAS will consult with the BC Adult Abuse and Neglect Prevention Collaborative prior to agreeing to or making changes to the material.

A number of additional documents were published as supplemental reading to the Provincial Strategy Document.  They can be downloaded from the OTHER Tab above.  These documents include:

  1. Background paper on housing and capability issues by Charmaine Spencer
  2. Background paper on immigration, abuse and capability issues by Charmaine Spencer
  3. Tips for good practice by legal professionals in relation to capability and vulnerability issues
  4. A lengthy overview of abuse and neglect legislation conducted by the BCLI in 2007

Update on the Status of Guardianship and Substitute Decision-making legislation in BC (April 2011)

Bill 29, The Adult Guardianship and Planning Statutes amendment Act, 2007, was not law at the time of writing the Provincial Strategy Document; however, the Provincial Strategy Document was written with the expectation that the legislation would come into effect shortly.  Section 4 of the Provincial Strategy Document provides a brief overview of a number of the changes included in Bill 29 and compares the current regime under the Patients Property Act with the proposed legislation. 

The BC government has recently announced that a number of the incapacity planning provisions of Bill 29 (the Bill 29 amendments to Representation Agreement Act, the Power of Attorney Act, and introduction of Advance Directives) will be effective September 1, as well as a number of amendments to Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act, and the Public Guardian and Trustee Act.  The parts of the Bill that would replace the Patients Property Act with a new regime for court appointed guardians remain unproclaimed at this time.

The Options to Consider Table (pp 52-54 of the Provincial Strategy Document) is written as though the Bill 29 guardianship provisions were in effect, and contains no row for the Patients Property Act.  See the Public Guardian and Trustee website for a publication entitled A Guide to the Certificate of Incapability Process under the Adult Guardianship Act which contains a 2-page version of the table that reflects the current law in BC (pp 62-63) Please note: this information was edited in May 2019 to reflect recent updates


This website and its publications are not legal advice. Need legal assistance? Visit our Resources page.


Provincial Strategy Document: Vulnerable Adults and Capability Issues in BC

Download document (5224 KB)


Backgrounder: The Vanguard Project – Vulnerability and Capacity Issues in British Columbia

Download document (1225 KB)

Other Publications

Immigration, Abuse and Capability Issues Background Paper

Download document (324 KB)

Housing, Abuse and Capability Issues Background Paper

Download document (307 KB)

Tips for Good Practice for Legal Professionals: Vulnerability and Capability

Download document (46 KB)

Vanguard Findings Working Meeting Report

Download document (121 KB)

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