Supreme Court of British Columbia sets timelines for Court review of IAP decisions

December 8, 2016

In a decision released on November 29, 2016 and cited as Fontaine v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 BCSC 2218, the Honourable Madam Justice B.J. Brown of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has established deadlines for claimants who wish to have a Court review a final (re-review) decision in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).

Justice Brown found that while there is no right to appeal an IAP decision to the courts, there is "a limited right of judicial recourse" to the Courts from final decisions in the IAP, where the IAP decision is "exceptionally unreasonable" or exhibits a "patent disregard" for the compensation rules. Justice Brown's decision set the following timelines for requesting such a review:

  1. For matters in which a Re-Review decision has not yet been released, the deadline for filing any Request for Direction (RFD) seeking judicial recourse will be 30 days from the release of the Re-Review decision.
  2. For matters in which a Re-Review has already been determined, but no judicial recourse RFD has been filed, the deadline for filing any such RFD shall be February 27, 2017, 90 days from the date of her decision (November 29, 2016)

The decision confirms an earlier decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that Claimants can only access judicial recourse in very exceptional circumstances. Claimants who request review by the Courts must first exhaust all review rights within the IAP - first and second review (re-review).

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