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Mental Health Review Panel, Flawed Legislation

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March 2, 2018

The Honourable Ms. Kathleen Ganley
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
# 424, Alberta Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB.

Dear Madam Minister:



The perceived intent of an Alberta Mental Health Review Panel hearing is to determine whether the human being before the panel should be given freedom or continue to be detained behind locked doors, stripped of all rights.

Relevant legislation allows review panel decisions to be appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench. At present these quasi -judicial hearings are not transcribed or recorded. We submit if no transcription or recording is available, how can there be an ethical appeal?

We submit that in their capacity as Officer(s) of the court, the Chairmen of the review panel(s) have a duty to ensure fairness in their perceived administration of justice.

We respectfully allege that the present protocol is a troubling “he said”, “she said” process. No one can be held accountable for words spoken at the hearing.

We further allege that some of the submissions which we have heard made to the Review Panel, were somewhat less than accurate or even relevant. The erroneous submissions were then not totally reflected in the final Report.

There is no prepared agenda or even established direction, the result of which would never stand up in a court of law.


Therefore, we respectfully submit that a transcription and recording be made of
all Mental Health Review Panel hearings and that a Certified Realtime Reporter be provided in order to record and transcribe the said hearing.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Reporter should make a copy of the certified transcription available to the formal patient, as soon as possible.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. We would be grateful to be in receipt of your reply by Friday, the 16th of March, 2018.
Thank you.

Respectfully submitted.

Yours truly,

c.c. Mr. Philip Bryden, Deputy Minister, Office of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

R. Allen Harris QC