Parents of Babies Gosselin, Gionas, Lutes, Turner, Inwood, Cook, Hines, Lombardo, Dawson and Pacsai v. Grange, Commissioner, (1984) 4 O.A.C. 242 (DC)

Judge:Southey, Saunders and Hollingworth, JJ.
Court:Superior Court of Justice of Ontario
Case Date:July 04, 1984
Jurisdiction:Ontario
Citations:(1984), 4 O.A.C. 242 (DC)
 
FREE EXCERPT

Gosselin v. Grange (1984), 4 O.A.C. 242 (DC)

MLB headnote and full text

Parents of Babies Gosselin, Gionas, Lutes, Turner, Inwood, Cook, Hines, Lombardo, Dawson and Pacsai v. Grange, Commissioner

(No. 577/84)

Indexed As: Parents of Babies Gosselin, Gionas, Lutes, Turner, Inwood, Cook, Hines, Lombardo, Dawson and Pacsai v. Grange, Commissioner

Ontario Divisional Court

Southey, Saunders and Hollingworth, JJ.

July 4, 1984.

Summary:

The Province of Ontario appointed a Royal Commission under the Public Inquiries Act to investigate the deaths of several infants at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. The Commissioner divided the inquiry into two parts: Phase I, concerning how and by what means the children came to their deaths and Phase II, concerning the investigation, institution and prosecution of charges of murder against Susan Nelles respecting the deaths of four of the babies. The Commissioner gave the parents of the children standing to participate in Phase 1, but ruled that they had no standing in Phase 2. The parents requested the Commissioner to state a case to the Ontario Divisional Court under s. 6(1) of the Public Inquiries Act for a ruling on the correctness of his denial of standing. The Commissioner refused to state a case. The parents applied to the Ontario Divisional Court for an order requiring him to state a case.

The Ontario Divisional Court dismissed the application and affirmed that the parents had no interest in the outcome of the police investigation, because its outcome had no practical consequences for them.

For a prior judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal on the scope of the Commissioner's powers, see 3 O.A.C. 40.

Administrative Law - Topic 7972

Public inquiries - Powers - Stating a case - The Grange Commission refused standing to the parents of deceased children in an inquiry into the police investigation of the children's deaths - The Commission refused to state a case to the Divisional Court respecting the correctness of the ruling on the ground that the parents had no arguable case for standing - The Ontario Divisional Court refused to order the Commission to state a case after finding that the parents had no standing in the inquiry into the police investigation and the Commission's discretion should not be interfered with.

Administrative Law - Topic 7999

Public inquiries - Practice - Standing - The Grange Commission ruled that the parents of children who died under suspicious circumstances at the Hospital for Sick Children had standing in the inquiry into how and by what means the children died, but ruled that they had no standing into the inquiry into the investigation, institution and prosecution of murder charges against a nurse - The Ontario Divisional Court affirmed that the parents had no interest in the inquiry into the police investigation, because its outcome could have no practical consequences for them and their only interests had been adequately represented in the inquiry into the deaths.

Cases Noticed:

Re Royal Commission on Conduct of Waste Management Inc. et al. (1977), 17 O.R.(2d) 207, consd. [para. 15].

Re Royal Commission On The Northern Environment (1983), 144 D.L.R.(3d) 416, consd. [paras. 20, 25].

Statutes Noticed:

Public Inquiries Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 411, sect. 5(1) [para. 4]; sect. 6(1), sect 6(2) [para. 8].

Counsel:

Morris Manning, Q.C., and S.M. Labow, for the parents of babies Gosselin, Gionas, Lutes, Turner, Inwood and Cook, applicants;

W.W. Tobias, for the parents of baby Hines, applicants;

F.J. Shanahan, for the parents of babies Dawson and Lombardo, applicants;

Jack Shinehoft, for the parents of baby Pacsai, applicants;

P.S.A. Lamek, Q.C., for the Commissioner, respondent;

D.M. Brown, for Susan Nelles, respondent;

D.S. Young, for Metropolitan Toronto Police, respondent;

L.A. Cecchetto, for the Attorney General of Ontario, respondent.

This case was heard on June 28 and 29, 1984, at Toronto, Ontario, before Southey, Saunders and Hollingworth, JJ., of the Ontario Divisional Court.

On July 4, 1984, Southey, J., delivered the following judgment for the Divisional Court:

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP