December 14, 2015

BC College of Veterinarians: allegations of ongoing discrimination and 10-day judicial review

Administrative Law
Human Rights
Professional Regulation

We recently blogged about the human rights decision against the BC Veterinary Medical Association (now the BC College of Veterinarians) here. Complainants have now alleged in the press, as reported by the Vancouver Sun here  that one day after the decision, a friend of the complainant Hakam Bhullar, posing as a disgruntled ex-employee, spoke to an investigator of the College, and secretly recorded him saying that the College was out to “nail” Dr. Bhullar, and would never give him back his licence because he is “unmanageable”. He also reportedly said the College planned to “get” Bhullar by reporting him to Canada Revenue Agency and other government departments. In the same article, the College’s registrar was reported as describing the investigator’s statements as “part of an investigative technique”, with the investigator stating in another interview that his statements were a “ploy” to elicit evidence.

Upon the College announcing its intention to judicial review the human rights decision, the Minister of Agriculture issued a press release on November 12, 2015, indicating he was “disappointed with the College of Veterinarian’s decision to challenge the findings,” and sent a letter setting out the Ministry’s expectations. Notably, the Minister set out his expectation that, “The College, its members and its agents must not engage in bullying or any other inappropriate conduct compromising the integrity of the College or its members or applicants….” The letter to the College is available on the B.C. government’s website here.

On December 7, 2015, the College filed a 56-page Petition to the Court for judicial review, alleging various errors, seeking to have the decision quashed, and estimating a 10-day hearing. We’ve attached that public document here.

Lisa C. Fong and Michael Ng