Inclusive Investing: Respecting the Rights of Vulnerable Investors through Supported Decision Making

Project Status: Work in Progress
Project Contact: Valerie Le Blanc
Telephone Number: 604-822-0981
Email Us About this Project


The Canadian Centre for Elder Law has embarked on a project that examines how vulnerable investors are using supported decision making in their lives. These investors include adults with a range of cognitive impairments arising from a variety of circumstances, including adults with intellectual disabilities and people living with dementia. The project will focus on how to facilitate supported decision making during the investment process to maximize an investor’s access to investment options while minimizing the loss of autonomy and unnecessary intervention through court-ordered guardianship. The key research question is: How can Canadian investment advisors, adults with cognitive and decision-making challenges, and supporters incorporate supported decision making into the investment decision-making process while guarding against undue influence and financial abuse?

The project will explore the experiences of BC and Ontario, and be supported by a volunteer inter-disciplinary advisory committee representing adults with diminished capacity, supporters pursuant to supported decision-making relationships, the investment industry and relevant regulators.


The Canadian Centre for Elder Law conducted a public consultation
to learn about how people with a range of cognitive impairments (for
example, adults living with intellectual disabilities, dementia, or
Alzheimer’s) use supported decision-making to make decisions about
their investments. Our project examines the experiences in both British
Columbia and Ontario.

We spoke with people who have the following lived experience:

  • Adults living with living with intellectual or developmental
    disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia
  • Supporters of adults living with the above challenges, and who
    assist those adults to make decisions about their investments

We also discussed:

  • What people know about supported decision making.
  • How people use supported decision making to make investment
  • People’s experience working with investment advisors when using
    (or attempting to use) supported decision making.
  • Any barriers, concerns or issues identified from their

Objectives of the Project

This project aims to:

  • Enhance understanding of and access to supported decision making in the investment context;
  • Identify how Canadian investment advisors, adults and their supporters can incorporate supported decision making into the investment process while guarding against undue influence and financial abuse; and
  • Assist IIMs and regulators to better understand supported decision making and their professional responsibilities in giving and taking instructions in a supported decision-making context;
  • Increase confidence for adults and their supporters to assert their rights and demonstrate their ability to move forward with investment choices and decisions; and
  • Increase an adult supporters’ ability to be a supported decision maker.

Project outputs will include:

The project will produce:

  • a report summarizing research and consultation findings for BC and Ontario; and
  • a suite of tools for persons with capacity challenges, their supporters and investment industry members.

Upon completion of the project, research findings, resources and tools will be shared online and through a variety of knowledge exchange channels, including conferences, community organizations, and the investment industry and regulators.

Please contact Valerie Le Blanc, Project Manager, at if you would like to share your views.

The Advisory Committee

The work of this project is being guided by a project advisory committee. The Advisory Committee members are:

Jim Emmerton—Chair
Senior Fellow of CCEL

Stephanie Debisschop
Executive Director, Plan Institute

Lauren Bates

Emily Clough
Lawyer, Clark Wilson LLP
BCLI/CCEL Board of Directors Member

Kurt Goddard
Director of Policy and Program Operations
Canadian Association for Community Living

Ken Gracey
Manager, Investor Education and Engagement
British Columbia Securities Commission

Mario Gregorio
Person living with dementia

Robert Lattanzio
Executive Director, ARCH Disability Law Centre

Alison Leaney
Provincial Coordinator, Vulnerable Adults Community Response
Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

Barbara Lindsay
Director, Advocacy & Education; Marketing & Communications
Alzheimer Society of BC

Karla Verschoor
Executive Director, Inclusion BC

Eleanor Wong
Community Investment Portfolio Manager
Community Business & Investment Department, VanCity Credit Union

View a list of committee members’ biographies.

Related Blog Posts

Update on CCEL’s Inclusive Investing Project (26 May 2020)

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Inclusive Investing: Respecting the Rights of Vulnerable Investors through Supported Decision Making—Project Backgrounder No 2

Download document (600 KB)

Project Backgrounder—Inclusive Investing: Respecting the Rights of Vulnerable Investors through Supported Decision Making

Download document (173 KB)

Other Publications

Inclusive Investing Consultation Poster

Download document (102 KB)

Project Advisory Committee Biographies – Inclusive Investing

Download document (288 KB)

Media Releases

Media release no. 1—CCEL Forms Inclusive Investing Project Advisory Committee

Download document (270 KB)

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