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Appeal-Judicial Review - Reasons - Failure to Address All Evidence

. Geddes v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector

In Geddes v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (Div Court, 2024) the Divisional Court dismisses a JR against the Animal Care Review Board (ACRB) under the PAWS animal welfare regime. The ACRB decisions confirmed orders that "certain animals— which had been removed from the Applicant’s property by Animal Welfare Services (“AWS”) — should not be returned to the Applicant. The Board also confirmed seven Statements of Account (“SOA”), payable by the Applicant in the total amount of $105,059.35."

The court comments on a presumption on assessing the adequate of reasons in the administrative context:
[44] Administrative decision makers are presumed to have weighed and considered all the evidence unless it is proven otherwise. The fact that a piece of evidence is not mentioned does not mean that it was ignored: Arvan v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2024 FC 223, at para. 20. Only where a decision maker does not deal with evidence that “squarely contradicts” its reasoning and conclusions will that render the decision unreasonable: Arvan, at para. 21.
. Tenn-Lyn v. Mackenzie Health

In Tenn-Lyn v. Mackenzie Health (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considers the extent to which a tribunal needs to address the presented evidence in it's reasons:
[56] HPARB is not required to address all of the evidence in its reasons [11] [Nfld and Labrador Nurses’ Union v Nfld and Labrador Treasury Board, 2011 SCC 62 at para 16]. This court considered this issue in Dr. Tenn-Lyn’s last appeal of the HPARB decision in her case against Trillium Health Partners, noting that HPARB has no obligation to “address each and every detail of the evidence and to explain why the Board did not accept each and every detail of the appellant’s version of events”.[12][Tenn-Lyn v Trillium Health Partners, 2022 ONSC 6329 at para 15. See also Caine v Ontario College of Teachers 2022 ONSC 2592 at para 51 citing R v Sheppard, 2002 SCC 26 at paras 33, 42, 53]. A decision maker not mentioning evidence “does not necessarily lead to a finding of palpable and overriding error”.[13][Mahjoub v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2017 FCA 157 at para 66].

[57] The hearing before HPARB in this matter was about one issue - whether Dr. Tenn-Lyn met the criteria for reappointment and whether her conduct met the criteria for revocation pursuant to the By-laws.

[58] A determination of whether reasons fulfill their purpose and allow for effective appellate review can only be made by examining those reasons in the context of proceedings that gave rise to the reasons. The context includes the nature of the issues raised before the tribunal, the evidence adduced, and the submissions made. For example, in a one-issue case the adequacy of the reasons given will turn on the treatment of that issue in the reasons and not on the treatment of matters that were peripheral or unchallenged at trial but have been the focus of the appeal.[14] [Law Society of Upper Canada v Neinstein, 2010 ONCA 193 at para 62].


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Last modified: 06-05-24
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