Decision did not comply with statutory requirement that Minister give reasons

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Decision did not comply with statutory requirement that Minister give reasons

Appeal by accused, who was Canadian citizen being held in United States prison, from court decision that dismissed his application for judicial review of decision of Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Minister denied accused’s application, that was made under International Transfer of Offenders Act (Can.), to serve remainder of his prison sentence in Canada. Court found Minister’s decision to be reasonable and upheld it. Appeal allowed. Judgment set aside. Accused’s application for judicial review of Minister’s decision was allowed. Decision was set aside and matter was remitted back to Minister to decide on transfer request in accordance with reasons of this decision. Standard of review was reasonableness. Minister disagreed with advice provided by Correctional Service of Canada that accused was not likely to commit act of organized crime. In Minister’s view likelihood that accused would commit act of organized crime outweighed positive factors. Minister failed to answer two questions. First was on what basis Minister departed from CSC’s advice. Second was how Minister assessed relevant factors so that factors which did not favour accused’s return outweighed those which favoured his return. In this case, where there were factors that supported transfer, Minister had to demonstrate some assessment of competing factors so as to explain why he refused to consent to transfer. Without such assessment Minister’s decision was unreasonable because it was neither justified, transparent and intelligible. Nor did it comply with statutory requirement that Minister was to give reasons.

Lebon v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness)
(Apr. 27, 2012, F.C.A., Letourneau, Sharlow and Dawson JJ.A. File No. A-351-11) Decision at 97 W.C.B. (2d) 296 was reversed. 101 W.C.B. (2d) 465 (14 pp.).

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