Judicial Inquiries and Inquests
Public or judicial inquiries are called by the municipal, provincial or federal government to review events that cause public concern or outcry. Unlike a trial, the inquiry process is investigative, rather than adversarial – its purpose is to review those events, in order to determine what happened and why, and most importantly, how to prevent them from ever happening again.
While the inquiry is led by a commissioner, usually a judge, lawyers play a critical role in the inquiry process. Lawyers may be appointed by the commissioner to work with him or her as commission counsel, or they may represent the parties who have an interest in the process and its outcome.
Even before the firm’s inception, the lawyers at Paliare Roland have brought their expertise in advocacy and commitment to the public interest to their work for judicial inquiries. They have been actively involved in the Province and the City’s inquiries in both capacities – as commission counsel and as counsel to a party with standing in the process.
Paliare Roland’s extensive involvement in judicial inquiries includes acting as counsel to the Hospital for Sick Children at the inquiry into baby deaths at the hospital; to the Durham Regional Police Association at the Guy Paul Morin Inquiry; to the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union at the Walkerton Inquiry; to the Ontario Provincial Police Association and its members at the Ipperwash Inquiry; to the City of Toronto at the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry and the Toronto External Contracts Inquiry; and to the developer World Class Developments Ltd. at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry.
The lawyers at Paliare Roland have also acted as commission counsel to the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, the Alaska Highway Pipeline Inquiry, the Dionne Quintuplet Review, and most recently, the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario.
- Representative Work
Linda Rothstein and Denise Cooney represented the College of Nurses of Ontario in The Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry, ordered as a result of Elizabeth Wettlaufer’s conviction of eight counts of first degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault, offences she committed while working as a registered nurse in Long-Term Care Homes.
Chris Paliare, Linda Rothstein and Karen Jones represented the College of Chiropractors of Ontario in the coroner's inquest into the death of Lana Dale Lewis.
Linda Rothstein and Jean-Claude Killey represented a developer at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, which inquired into a failed agreement between private parties to purchase land in Mississauga's City Centre for the purpose of building a luxury hotel and conference centre, the subsequent purchase of the same land by the City of Mississauga for the purpose of constructing a Sheridan College campus, and the relationship of Mayor Hazel McCallion to the various parties involved.
Ian Roland, Don Eady and Rob Centa represented OPSEU and certain of its members at the Walkerton Inquiry.
Linda Rothstein and Rob Centa acted as commission counsel, assisting Commissioner, the Honourable Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario at the Pediatric Forensic Pathology Inquiry into the oversight of Ontario’s pediatric forensic pathology system, including the work of Dr. Charles Smith.
Ian Roland and Karen Jones, represented the Ontario Provincial Police Association and its members at the Ipperwash Inquiry. More than 30 OPPA members were called as witnesses to testify at the Inquiry.
Linda Rothstein, Gordon Capern, Lily Harmer, Andrew Lewis and Rob Centa acted as counsel to the City of Toronto at the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry, into all aspects of leasing contracts and related software between the City of Toronto and MFP Financial Services and Oracle, and the Toronto External Contracts Inquiry, into certain other external contracts entered into by the City of Toronto.