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Notices to Counsel

Supreme Court of British Columbia sets timelines for Court review of IAP decisions

December 8, 2016

In a decision released on November 29, 2016 and cited as Fontaine v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 BCSC 2218, the Honourable Madam Justice B.J. Brown of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has established timelines for claimants who seek judicial recourse from decisions made within the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).

The decision follows a hearing held in Vancouver on November 7-10 in which five Requests for Direction (RFDs) were heard together to determine whether they met the criteria of "exceptional circumstances" articulated by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Fontaine v. Duboff Edwards Haight and Schachter to warrant judicial recourse.

The five RFDs involved challenges to individual re-review decisions. Justice Brown found that "None of the five Requestors made out any exceptional circumstances that would warrant intervention by a Supervising Judge. they amounted to ordinary appeals rather than possessing the "very exceptional circumstances" warranting recourse to the Courts." [para. 224]

While declining to decline to grant the relief sought in any of the RFDs, Justice Brown recognized that there is "a limited right of judicial recourse" to the Courts from final decisions in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and set the following deadlines for requesting such recourse:

  1. For matters in which a Re-Review decision has not yet been released, the deadline for filing any RFD seeking judicial recourse will be 30 days from the release of the Re-Review decision.
  2. For those matters in which a Re-Review has already been determined, but no judicial recourse RFD has been filed, the deadline for filing any such RFD shall be February 27, 2017, 90 days from the release of these reasons (November 29, 2016).

Decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Fontaine v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 BCSC 2218, November 29, 2016

Dan Shapiro,
Chief Adjudicator, IAP