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:
Chief Adjudicator, IAP