A regulator for horse racing imposed an interim suspension on a jockey after he had made threatening and abusive comments to another jockey, to a horse owner, and to racing officials. Subsequently he engaged in a destructive rampage at the home of the horse owner (who had reported the concerns to the officials), which resulted in criminal charges. The appeal tribunal set aside the interim suspension and the resulting notice of proposal to revoke the jockey’s licence on the basis that the conduct did not involve his acting as a jockey (i.e., on the race track).
The Divisional Court disagreed and restored the interim suspension: Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing v. MacLaren, 2018 ONSC 6576, <http://canlii.ca/t/hw31g>. The test for the tribunal in this case was whether there were “reasonable grounds to believe that, when acting as a licensee, the applicant will not act in accordance with the law, or with integrity, honesty, or in the public interest, having regard to the past conduct of the applicant.” The Court said:
Acting as a licensee under the Act encompasses more than just one’s activities while engaged in a race; it also involves having a relationship with the regulatory agency charged with enforcing the Act that does not undermine that body’s ability to fulfill its important public mandate.
The Court also said:
… what the Tribunal does not acknowledge or deal with is the connection between the Respondent’s criminal conduct and the Respondent’s responsibility as a licensee to allow himself to be governed by his regulatory body. This is important because the conduct was directly related to the disciplinary action that the racing officials had taken against the Respondent. It occurred in reaction to the suspension and it was directed at another licensee whose complaint had led to that disciplinary action. This raises a real question about the Respondent’s governability as a licensee.
The matter was sent back for a rehearing before a differently constituted panel. This case illustrates how an individual’s governability is relevant to their practice of a profession.