The issue in the present case, therefore, is whether the College’s irregular treatment of G.V.’s complaint and allowing the withdrawal of the complaint constituted a breach of its duty of fairness to the respondent despite a properly commenced Registrar-initiated investigation, encompassing the complaint made by G.V. If it did, then proceeding with the Registrar-initiated investigation would be an abuse of process and the College would have exceeded its jurisdiction, as found by the Divisional Court. However, in our view, it did not.The HPPC codifies well-established rules of natural justice and statutorily impose a duty of procedural fairness on the College, even at the investigatory stage of its processes. However, a failure to follow them does not automatically cause a loss of jurisdiction to process a complaint. Quoting the Discipline Committee with approval:
The Panel agrees that, on the surface, ‘abuse of process’ by the College may be a concern given the requirement to process the information in a timely manner. However, given the seriousness of the allegations against the Member and the potential for harm to the public, the irregular process used by the College, in this case, is not sufficient to warrant quashing the allegations against the Member.In addition, the OCA found no prejudice to the member. The College’s failure to abide by its own procedural guidelines did not create any prejudice. The hallmark is prejudice and none existed. At Wise Health Law,we focus on health and administrative law. Our lawyers have significant trial and appellate experience and are passionate about helping health professionals and healthcare organizations understand and protect their legal rights. Based on our highly-specialized knowledge and experience in healthcare litigation, we often receive referrals from other lawyers and legal professionals. Contact us online, or at 416-915-4234 for a consultation.
In December 2019, Ontario’s Attorney General introduced Bill 161, the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act (the “Act”), which became law on July 8, 2020. The Act hopes to simplify a complex and outdated justice system by bringing changes to how legal aid services are delivered, how class actions are handled, and how court processes are administered.
Of note, the Act has amended the Judicial Review Procedures Act (JRPA) to establish new rules as to when an application for judicial review may be brought.
Any decisions made on or after July 8, 2020 are now subject to a 30-day limit for bringing an application for judicial review unless another Act provides otherwise. Courts, however, retain powers to extend the time for making an application for judicial review if satisfied that there are apparent grounds for relief and that no prejudice or hardship will be incurred by the delay. Before these amendments, the JRPA did not set out any time limits for bringing an application, but courts had powers to extend the time to bring an application if another Act prescribed the limit.
In early August 2020, the Federal Minister of Health granted an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to four terminally ill Canadians to use psilocybin in their end of life care.
Psilocybin is one of the active ingredients/chemicals in “magic mushrooms,” the other is psilocin. Both psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances under Schedule III of the CDSA. The sale, possession, production, etc. are prohibited unless authorized for clinical trial or research purposes under Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations. Both have been illegal in Canada since 1974. According to Health Canada, there are no approved therapeutic products containing psilocybin in Canada. However, the purified active ingredient, i.e. psilocybin, is being studied in supervised clinical settings for its potential to treat various conditions such as anxiety and depression.