Advocacy: your rights


We're still researching specifics for individual provinces but these guidelines may help. In general, schools, employers and government services providers have a duty to accommodate under Canadian human rights laws and interpretations/case law. 

School principal and school board: If a school is not following a provincial or territorial policy, you have a right to complain. If there is no policy or you have a problem with the policy, you may find schools that are receptive to your concerns, but most will likely defer to local or provincial health authorities and ministerial guidelines due to the complexity of the issue. Schools are required to follow the school act and ministerial orders and policies in each province. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws and policies of your province using provincial web sites and, and also local school board policies and by-laws. Issues and concerns may be raised with a teacher, but the school principal, or the school board Superintendent or trustees may be part of the process.

Health authorities and Ministerial complaints and resolution offices: You should ask for copies of policies relating to complex health needs in school and the community, if the are not available online. These policies may be developed by ministries of health, education or other ministries. For example, in BC, the Ministry of Children and Family development develops these policies, but local school boards are responsible for staff resources. Ministries and Health Authorities may have complaints or resolution consultants that can be contacted if there are problems with service delivery.

Provincial Ombudsman and Child Advocacy/Protection offices: can provide additional information and act as an impartial investigator into enquiries and  complaints.

Human rights commission/tribunal:
all provinces and territories have a human rights commission or tribunal that can accept complaints and either mediate or adjudicate a human rights complaint. 


We would like to see insulin administration via injection or pump, insulin dosing, and insulin pump management as services delegated by BC Nursing Support Services. We've been informed by Ministry of Children and Family Development that a pilot project is underway in the Vancouver Island Region involving a family, VIHA, Nursing Support Services, the school and the diabetes clinic. We look forward to this becoming the standard of care for children with diabetes in the province.

BC Ministry of Children and Family Development - complaints process

Representative for Children and Youth - mandate to improve services and outcomes for children in B.C. through advocacy, accountability and review

School Board - the school has a duty to accommodate a disability under Canadian human rights law.

BC School Act - Ministerial Orders - Support Services for Schools - M149/89

5. (1) If complex health procedures are carried out in schools, the board shall ensure that staff designated to carry out these procedures have been trained, and are supervised, by appropriate health professionals.

BC Human Rights Tribunal

BC Human Rights Coalition - advice, and one can apply for representation after a complaint has been filed with and accepted by the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick may have the most comprehensive policies supporting the rights of children with diabetes in all aspects of their diabetes care, including insulin and insulin pumps.

You should be familiar with New Brunswick Education Policy 704 and related documents such as the Handbook for Type 1 Diabetes Management in Schools.

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has released updated guidelines for Type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately the guidelines fall short: they do not assist students who can't self-administer insulin : "Daily routine administration of insulin injections at school is the parent’s responsibility if the student is unable to self-administer insulin."


Support Ontario Bill 5:

School Health Services Support