Ewert v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., 2015 FC 1093

JudgePhelan, J.
CourtFederal Court (Canada)
Case DateSeptember 18, 2015
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations2015 FC 1093;[2015] F.T.R. TBEd. SE.066

Ewert v. Can. (A.G.), [2015] F.T.R. TBEd. SE.066

MLB being edited

Currently being edited for F.T.R. - judgment temporarily in rough form.

Temp. Cite: [2015] F.T.R. TBEd. SE.066

Jeffrey G. Ewert (plaintiff) v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (The Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, The Warden of Kent Institution and The Warden of Mission Institution) (defendant)

(T-1350-05; 2015 FC 1093)

Indexed As: Ewert v. Canada (Attorney General) et al.

Federal Court

Phelan, J.

September 18, 2015.

Summary:

The plaintiff brought a claim for relief in respect of violations of ss. 7 and 15 of the Charter based on the actions of the Commissioner of Correctional Services Canada in using various psychological risk assessment tools (actuarial tests) during the plaintiff's incarceration. Those actuarial tests were alleged to be unreliable in regard to Aboriginal prisoners.

The Federal Court concluded that: a) that the use of these assessment tools was both inconsistent with the principles in s. 4(g) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act by not being responsive to the special needs of Aboriginal people and further such use breached s. 24(1) of the Act; and b) use of these assessment tools violated the plaintiff's s. 7 Charter rights without s. 1 justification. The court intended to issue a final order enjoining the use of the assessment tools in respect of the plaintiff and other Aboriginal inmates until, at minimum, the defendant conducted a study that confirmed the reliability of those tools in respect to adult Aboriginal offenders. The court would issue a Remedies Hearing Order to address the best and fairest manner of implementing the intended final order. In the interim, the defendant would be enjoined from using the results of the assessment tools in regards to the plaintiff.

Civil Rights - Topic 646

Liberty - Limitations on - Prisoners and imprisonment - See paragraphs 87 to 113.

Civil Rights - Topic 1370.6

Security of the person - Inmates and prisoners - Assessment tools - See paragraphs 87 to 113.

Civil Rights - Topic 3107.2

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - General principles and definitions - Overbreadth principle (incl. arbitrariness) - See paragraphs 97 to 105.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - See paragraphs 110 to 112.

Indians, Inuit and Metis - Topic 3

General - Duty owed to Indians by Crown (incl. fiduciary duties, consultation duties and honour of the Crown) - See paragraph 86.

Prisons - Topic 1008

Administration - General - Rectifying prisoner's record (incl. inaccurate information) - See paragraphs 81 and 85.

Prisons - Topic 1027.1

Administration - Powers re prisoners - Risk assessment - See paragraphs 76 to 113.

Counsel:

Jason Gratl and Eric Purtzki, for the plaintiff;

Sean Stynes, Ainslie Harvey and Nicholas Claridge, for the defendant.

Solicitors of Record:

Gratl & Company, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the plaintiff;

William F. Pentney, Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the defendant.

This action was heard on May 25, 26, 28 and 29, and June 1, 2, 4 and 5, 2015, at Vancouver, British Columbia, before Phelan, J., of the Federal Court, who delivered the following decision on September 18, 2015.

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12 practice notes
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Mental Disorder and the Law. A Primer for Legal and Mental Health Professionals
    • June 24, 2017
    ...(2009), 249 CCC (3d) 178 (BCCA) .................................................................................... 305 Ewert v Canada, 2015 FC 1093 ...........................................................................288, 301 Frye v United States, 293 F 1013 (DC Cir 1923).................
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...183 Table of Cases   679 Ewert v Canada (Correctional Service), 2015 FC 1093, rev’d 2016 FCA 203, appeal heard and reserved 12 October 2017 (SCC), [2016] SCCA No 441 ..................................................................................... 558–59 Fales v Canada Permanent Trust C......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences
    • June 23, 2016
    ...ABQB 580 ...................................................................................265–66 Ewert v. Canada (Correctional Service), 2015 FC 1093 ................................................. 705, 706 Frazer v. Haukioja, 2008 CanLII 42207 (Ont. S.C.J.), aff’d 2010 ONCA 249 .............
  • 'The Admittedly Unattainable Ideal': Adverse Impact and Race under Section 15
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...that section 1 is not really a player in equality claims. They are won or lost at section 15. 47 Ewert v Canada (Correctional Service) , 2015 FC 1093 at para 109 “With great respect, I find it unnecessary to engage in a s 15 analysis. The facts in this case are not sufficiently developed to......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • R v Natomagan, 2022 ABCA 48
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • February 11, 2022
    ...also Ewert v Canada, 2018 SCC 30. A risk assessment score sticks with an offender “like a branding”: Ewert v Canada, 2015 FC 1093 at para 58. [116]     In its 2016-2017 Annual Report, the Office of the Correctional Investigator incredulously noted that......
  • R v Wolfleg, 2018 ABCA 222
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • June 13, 2018
    ...tests when applied to Aboriginal offenders. This validity question was brought to light in Ewert v Canada (Correctional Service), 2015 FC 1093 [Ewert (FC)]. In that case, Mr Ewert, an Aboriginal inmate, commenced a civil action alleging that actuarial assessment tools (the PCL-R, VRAG, SORA......
  • Ewert v. Canada, 2018 SCC 30
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 13, 2018
    ..., 363 C.R.R. (2d) 120 , [2016] F.C.J. No. 853 (QL), 2016 CarswellNat 3417 (WL Can.), setting aside a decision of Phelan J., 2015 FC 1093, 343 C.R.R. (2d) 15 , [2016] 1 C.N.L.R. 50 , [2015] F.C.J. No. 1123 (QL), 2015 CarswellNat 4551 (WL Can.). Appeal allowed in part, C......
  • Ewert v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., 2016 FCA 203
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • August 3, 2016
    ...7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At trial, he sought injunctive and declaratory relief. [2] For reasons cited as 2015 FC 1093, a judge of the Federal Court found that the use of the assessment tools in respect of Aboriginal inmates was contrary to subsections 4(g) an......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Mental Disorder and the Law. A Primer for Legal and Mental Health Professionals
    • June 24, 2017
    ...(2009), 249 CCC (3d) 178 (BCCA) .................................................................................... 305 Ewert v Canada, 2015 FC 1093 ...........................................................................288, 301 Frye v United States, 293 F 1013 (DC Cir 1923).................
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...183 Table of Cases   679 Ewert v Canada (Correctional Service), 2015 FC 1093, rev’d 2016 FCA 203, appeal heard and reserved 12 October 2017 (SCC), [2016] SCCA No 441 ..................................................................................... 558–59 Fales v Canada Permanent Trust C......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences
    • June 23, 2016
    ...ABQB 580 ...................................................................................265–66 Ewert v. Canada (Correctional Service), 2015 FC 1093 ................................................. 705, 706 Frazer v. Haukioja, 2008 CanLII 42207 (Ont. S.C.J.), aff’d 2010 ONCA 249 .............
  • 'The Admittedly Unattainable Ideal': Adverse Impact and Race under Section 15
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017
    • June 24, 2021
    ...that section 1 is not really a player in equality claims. They are won or lost at section 15. 47 Ewert v Canada (Correctional Service) , 2015 FC 1093 at para 109 “With great respect, I find it unnecessary to engage in a s 15 analysis. The facts in this case are not sufficiently developed to......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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