February 20, 2017

Reinstatement of license: Factors that may bear on decisions to reinstate

Administrative Law
Professional Regulation
Registration and Fitness

Where an applicant with a discipline and criminal history applies for reinstatement, a committee considering that issue may account for various factors, including the impact of the applicant being reinstated on the public interest: Manoukian v. Ontario College of Pharmacists, 2017 ONSC 589.

In that case, a pharmacist’s certificate was revoked twice, first after he pled guilty in 1983 to trafficking in oxycodone [2-3], and after he obtained reinstatement in 1989 [5], a second time in 1996, after he was convicted of fraud based on his submitting false claims to the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan. [6] The pharmacist applied for reinstatement and submitted psychological and psychiatric assessments which indicated that his risk of reoffending was minimal. [8] A majority of a discipline hearing panel decided, however, to dismiss his application to be reinstated. [1]

The Ontario court decided the panel’s decision was reasonable. First, the panel properly had regard for the impact of the decision on the public. [10] Second, the panel did not improperly apply a standard of proof that was higher than a balance of probabilities. [11] Third, the panel was entitled to conclude that neither reinstatement with conditions nor the education programs taken by the applicant were sufficient to protect the public. [12] Fourth, the panel could determine the weight of the expert evidence of the risk to reoffend. [13] Finally, the court decided that its role was not to second-guess credibility findings of the panel. [14] Accordingly, the court concluded that reinstatement would pose a risk to the public, and also not reflect well on the profession, was reasonable. [15]

Manoukian v. Ontario College of Pharmacists, 2017 ONSC 589

Lisa C. Fong and Michael Ng