CPSO Creates a More Independent and Efficient Discipline Process


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Toronto — The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s (CPSO) Council has taken another step to modernize its discipline process by appointing five experienced adjudicators and also approved a new brand to emphasize its independence and neutrality. Effective September 1 2021, the Discipline Committee will become the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal (OPSDT)/Tribunal de discipline des médecins et chirurgiens de l’Ontario (TDMCO).

The changes, which were initiated by CPSO Council in March, are consistent with recommendations made by retired Justice Stephen Goudge in 2015. A central purpose of the changes is to signal the independence of the Tribunal from the College – given that the College is the prosecutor and a party before the Tribunal – enhancing the quality of adjudication.

The newly-appointed adjudicators, who were selected through an open and competitive recruitment, all have a strong understanding of and experience with the legal process, administrative law, case management, conflict resolution and mediation. Their involvement will lead to a more efficient process, fewer delays for both physicians and members of the public, and increased confidence in the independence of the Tribunal and its decisions.

“The changes being enacted will result in a more effective and efficient disciplinary process for physicians and the public, but it’s also important to note that they will also reiterate the independence of the Tribunal and its decisions so that all Ontarians can have confidence in the discipline process,” shared the College’s Registrar and CEO, Dr. Nancy Whitmore.

The Tribunal’s new name advances the perception of the independence of the tribunal from the College, and makes the purpose of the Tribunal clear to the public and the profession.

David Wright, Chair of the OPSDT, explained additional benefits anticipated from the changes to the disciplinary process. “It is our expectation that incorporating more experienced members will lead to greater use of active adjudication and case management, reduce legal costs, improve the quality of decisions and reduce the amount of time taken to draft and edit them.”

Below are biographies of the OPSTD Chair and the five newly-appointed adjudicators:

David A. Wright has been Tribunal Director and Chair of the Discipline Committee at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario since 2020. Previously, he was the founding Chair of the Law Society Tribunal, spearheading the reform of adjudicative processes at the Law Society of Ontario. He has also been an adjudicator at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, serving as Vice-chair, Interim Chair, and Associate Chair. Mr. Wright articled as a law clerk to Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada and then completed his LL.M. at New York University.  Prior to becoming an adjudicator, he practised labour and employment law. He speaks frequently at conferences, has taught at Osgoode Hall Law School as an adjunct professor, and is the author of several law journal articles. Mr. Wright is vice-chair of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals.

Raj Anand is a lawyer at WeirFoulds LLP. He is a member of the Law Society Tribunal and was previously its Vice-Chair. His experience also includes serving as an adjudicator under the Human Rights Code and Police Services Act and as co-chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal. He was chair of the Tribunal Reform Working Group of the Law Society of Ontario that proposed the new model for professional discipline adopted there, upon which CPSO has drawn in our enhancements. He has been Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, chair of the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre and is currently chair of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario. He has taught for many years as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. He lives in eastern Ontario.

Shayne Kert practices criminal law in Toronto. She is currently an Alternate Chair of both the Ontario and Nunavut Review Boards, a member of the Law Society of Nunavut Discipline Committee and a member of the Law Society Tribunal. She was a Senior Legal Member of the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board for 13 years and served as Acting Chair of the Nunavut Review Board.

Sherry Liang is Assistant Commissioner, Tribunal Services at the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and will be retiring from that position this summer. She has served as a Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Grievance Settlement Board and Ontario Labour Relations Board. She also worked as a private mediator and arbitrator and was co-chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal.

Sophie Martel is a workplace investigator and trainer at Rubin Thomlinson LLP. Between 1999 and 2017, she served as a Vice-Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal. She has also been a Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and a member of the Law Society Tribunal. She is franco-Ontarian and fluently bilingual in English and French.

Jennifer Scott is a Vice-Chair at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and will be leaving that position at the end of June. She was previously Associate Chair of the Child and Family Services Review Board, Custody Review Board and Ontario Special Education Tribunals and Lead of the Child and Youth Division of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario. She was recently appointed as a presiding coroner. She has had a private mediation practice and been counsel at the Ontario Human Rights Commission.