Reasonable Rejection of Reinstatement Request

In Manoukian v Ontario College of Pharmacists, 2017 ONSC 589, the former pharmacist had a significant discipline and criminal history. After being revoked for trafficking narcotics he was reinstated only to be revoked again for fraudulent billing. However, those findings were decades old and he was now a licensed paralegal. In support of his application for reinstatement to the College he had letters of reference from respected sources, including judges; expert reports from both a psychologist and a psychiatrist stating that his risk of re-offending was low; and he successfully completed various educational courses including one on professional ethics. In upholding the refusal of the Discipline Committee to reinstate the applicant the Court made the following points:

  1. The standard of review by the Court was reasonableness.
  2. The Discipline Committee applied the balance of probabilities standard to the evidence at the reinstatement hearing.
  3. The Discipline Committee was entitled to consider the reputation of the profession and the impact of the decision on the public.
  4. The Discipline Committee was entitled to reject the option of reinstatement upon terms, conditions and limitations in the circumstances of the case.
  5. The Discipline Committee could discount the significance of successfully completing the educational courses given what was required to complete those courses.
  6. The Discipline Committee did not have to accept the expert reports put before them (even though they were not contradicted).
  7. The Court would not re-weigh the evidence where the Discipline Committee found the applicant’s evidence to be “self-serving and not forthright” and where the Committee explained why it reached that conclusion.

The Court said: “The panel concluded that to reinstate the applicant, a second time, would not only pose a risk to the public, but it would also not reflect well on the profession. That was a reasonable conclusion for the panel to reach. It was certainly a decision that ‘falls within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law’ ….”

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