Case Name:

Canada (Attorney General) v. Fetherston



Robert Fetherston


Attorney General of Canada


[2005] S.C.C.A. No. 239


File No.: 30951



 Supreme Court of Canada


Record created: May 24, 2005.

 Record updated: October 27, 2005.


Appeal From:




Application for leave to appeal dismissed with costs (without reasons) October 27, 2005.




 Administrative law -- Procedural fairness -- Reasonable apprehension of bias -- Whether the Federal Court of Appeal erred in applying a standard of appellate review of correctness -- Whether it is a principle of fundamental justice that no one will judge their own cause -- Whether the lack of statutory or regulatory guidelines of an administrative tribunal still necessitates compliance with the guarantees of fairness and the principles of fundamental justice.


Case Summary:

The following facts were taken from the reasons of the Federal Court of Appeal. By agreement effective March, 2001, the Applicant, veterinarian, Robert Fetherston was authorized, for a period of three years, to perform certain duties and functions for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ("CFIA"), including the inspection and certification of horses for export to the United States. By Veterinary Health Certificate for the Export of Horses to the United States dated July 4, 2001, Dr. Fetherston certified that he had inspected a horse named "Yankee Leader" on July 3, 2001, at McIntosh Stables near Windsor, Ontario, and that the horse was in good health. In fact, Dr. Fetherston had not inspected Yankee Leader on July 3, 2001, as that horse had been transported to Michigan State University on July 2, 2001, and did not return to Canada until July 16, 2001.

The matter came to the attention of Dr. Small, who conducted an investigation. As a result of a report prepared by her, Dr. Clark, Program Specialist for the CFIA advised Dr. Fetherston by letter that his agency accreditation was suspended. He also advised Dr. Fetherston that the CFIA proposed to cancel his accreditation and that a hearing would be held at which time Dr. Fetherston would be given an opportunity to be heard. The hearing was conducted by Dr. Clark's immediate superior at CFIA, Dr. Wilson as adjudicator.

Dr. Wilson ordered the cancellation of Dr. Fetherston's authority to perform duties and functions as an accredited veterinarian for the CFIA and that the College of Veterinarians of Ontario be notified of the cancellation. Dr. Fetherston successfully sought judicial review of the adjudicator's decision. The Federal Court judge remitted the matter to the CFIA for redetermination. The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the decision of the applications judge and restored the adjudicator's decision.



Raymond G. Colautti (Raphael Partners), for the motion.

Suzanne M. Duncan (A.G. of Canada), contra.







1.            Application for leave to appeal:


                 FILED: May 24, 2005. S.C.C. Bulletin, 2005, p. 825.

 SUBMITTED TO THE COURT: October 3, 2005. S.C.C. Bulletin,

 2005, p. 1306.

 DISMISSED WITH COSTS: October 27, 2005 (without reasons).

 S.C.C. Bulletin, 2005, p. 1462.

 Before: Major, Fish and Abella JJ.

Procedural History:



at first instance: Applicant's application for judicial



review allowed; Decision of the Canadian Food



Inspection Agency cancelling the authority of the



applicant as an accredited veterinarian set aside and



referred back to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency



for reconsideration.



Federal Court of Canada, Gibson J., July 4, 2003.




on appeal: Appeal allowed; Decision of the Canadian



Food Inspection Agency restored.



Federal Court of Appeal, Rothstein, Sharlow and Malone



JJ.A., April 5, 2005.



[2005] F.C.J. No. 544.