Canada: Truman V Association Of Professional Engineers Of Ontario: Ontario Divisional Court Applies Reasonableness Standard To Decision From The Discipline Committee Of The Association Of Professional Engineers
In its recent decision in Truman v Association of Professional Engineers of
Ontario, 2016 ONSC 472 the Ontario Divisional Court
applied a reasonableness standard of review to a decision from the
Discipline Committee of the Association of Professional Engineers
of Ontario (the "Discipline Committee"). This case also
confirmed that the Divisional Court has the jurisdiction to award
costs to the appellants of a Discipline Committee hearing.
The Professional Engineers Act, RSO 1990, c P.28 (the
"Act") stipulates that complaints against professional
engineers are investigated by a Complaints Committee. The
Complaints Committee investigates and then decides whether to refer
the matter to the Discipline Committee. Allegations are
articulated by the Complaints Committee, and where the Complainants
Committee deems appropriate, referred to the Discipline Committee.
In this case, the appellants appealed the Discipline
Committee's decision to refuse them costs of the Discipline
The parties agreed, and the court accepted, that the standard of
review to be applied in this case was reasonableness. The court
determined that the Discipline Committee's decision to deny the
appellants costs was unreasonable because the decision drew "a
conclusion without providing any justification for the conclusion
reached." The court then went on to consider whether it had
the jurisdiction to award costs to the appellants. As section 31(3)
of the Act allows the court to "exercise all powers of the
committee" the court concluded it had jurisdiction to award
costs to the appellants, and issued an award of $21,000 for the
hearing as well as $5,000 for the proceeding before the Divisional
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In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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