Nowoselsky v. Saskatchewan Association of Social
Workers, 2015 SKQB 390, dismissing an appeal from a
Council decision upholding denial of registration
Mr. Nowoselsky disclosed in his application for registration
with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (the
"Association") that he had previously been registered by
the Alberta College of Social Work, but that his registration was
cancelled following a suspension in 2013.
An ad hoc Committee (the "Committee"), struck
by the Council of the Association to consider the application, was
concerned about whether Mr. Nowoselsky was of good character. The
Committee wrote to Mr. Nowoselsky to notify him of this concern and
to request his written input. After receiving Mr. Nowoselsky's
written input, the Committee denied his application on the basis
that he lacked good character, noting that Mr. Nowoselsky had
failed to recognize the seriousness of his conduct in Alberta and
failed to comply with the supervision requirements imposed.
Mr. Nowoselsky appealed to the Council of the Association,
providing further information of good character, including his
positive employment history and evidence of his community
involvement. Nevertheless, his appeal was dismissed. He then
challenged the dismissal to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's
Bench, filing a notice of appeal, which was subsequently treated as
an application for judicial review.
The Court dismissed the application for judicial review, holding
that the Committee was entitled to consider both the negative
aspects arising from Mr. Nowoselsky's suspension from practice
as well as the positive aspects of his career. It was open to the
Committee to decide as it did and its decision was reasonable and
supported by the material before it.
Comment: Nowoselsky supports the proposition that a
regulator is entitled to weigh multiple factors in a good character
assessment and come to an overall conclusion on the preponderance
of the evidence. So long as the outcome is reasonable, the
regulator's decision on how to weigh the factors and its
determination of whether the member possesses sufficient good
character will be entitled to deference.
Originally published June 2016
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