“Unlike the five health professions authorized to use the “Doctor” title, no class of audiologist certificate required an applicant to have passed a licensing examination. Furthermore, unlike the other professions, audiologists were not entitled to communicate a diagnosis as the cause of an individual’s symptoms”.This decision was largely based on provisions within the Regulated Health Professions Act (‘RHPA’), including a provision which states:
It might seem unfair, illogical even. But this can be a harsh reality and a source of confusion for some who believe they are entitled to use the abbreviation ‘Dr.’, including some holders of doctorate degrees who can find themselves prevented at law (by the RHPA and The Medicine Act, among others) from using this abbreviation or the title ‘Doctor’. The reason has less to do with verifying those using the title ‘doctor’ (or a variation, abbreviation or equivalent in another language) have appropriate qualifications and training, and everything to do with the various Colleges’ mandate of protecting the public through regulation in Ontario. First, you have to be a member of one of the groups of health professionals with prima facie entitlement to use the title (see section 33(2) of the RHPA). Second, even if you are a member of one of those professions, if you are not registered with the relevant regulatory College in Ontario, say the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, or the College of Chiropractors of Ontario, you cannot use the title ‘while providing or offering to provide healthcare in Ontario’. A primary objective for the Colleges seems to be preventing confusion among members of the public. Among others, a problem can arise for:
Restriction of title “doctor”33(1) Except as allowed in the regulations under this Act, no person shall use the title “doctor”, a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language in the course of providing or offering to provide, in Ontario, health care to individuals. 1991, c. 18, s. 33 (1).
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 The Act hopes to simplify a complex and outdated justice system by bringing changes to how legal aid services are delivered, how class actions are handled, and how court processes are administered.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.