Judicial Review of Alberta College of Pharmacists “Gift Card” Prohibition Moves Forward

Overview

Food and Drug Law
Food and Drug Regulatory LawIn the ongoing judicial review of the Alberta regulations prohibiting gift card rebates in pharmacies (filed by Sobeys), the Court of Queen’s Bench has released its reasons relating to the standard of review the court will apply.

Despite both Sobeys and the College stating that the review should proceed on the standard of reasonableness, the Court determined that the fundamental question was one of vires, whether the College’s actions were within its jurisdiction to act. Therefore, the Court determined that the proper standard was that of correctness.

This may make it more difficult for the prohibitions to stand, as the Court will not pay any deference to the College’s specialized expertise in this judicial review.

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