Friday, December 25, 2015

Bulletin; Motherisk: (Aftermath 8): Ontario government announces "an independent commission" that will provide support to people who have been affected by a Motherisk hair test. This Blog raises concerns about the thus far vague mandate of the Commission and asks whether it wil be truly public, open and transparent. HL.

 PUBLISHER'S VIEW:  The journalist in me has drummed up quite a few questions relating to the "independent commission" announced by the Ontario government. The stress on 'independence' - reinforced by the appointment of a judge as commissioner - is a good thing.  But what is missing is any acknowledgment that the commission will be held  publicly, in a setting accessible to the public, that the Hospital for Sick Children officials who conceived and ran the program and later deceived the public and the press will be required to testify, and that those victims who choose to do so, should be given the opportunity to testify.  Justice Lang served a valuable purpose by exposing the flaws in Motherisk's hair testing processes after conducting her research behind closed doors - leaving the public with nothing but her report.  Much more public interface is required.  This Blog will be watching closely for further announcements that clarify the Commission's mandate and hopefully answer our concerns about openness and transparency.

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

"Today Attorney General Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur made the following statement regarding the selection of an independent commissioner to assist individuals who may have been affected by Motherisk's flawed hair testing methodology: "Our government continues to be deeply concerned by the Honourable Susan Lang's findings regarding the adequacy and reliability of hair tests conducted at the Motherisk laboratory. We are committed to moving as quickly as possible to help those who may have been impacted by the laboratory's flawed testing practices. That's why I wish to announce that the Honourable Justice Judith C. Beaman has agreed to lead an independent commission that will provide support to people who have been affected by a Motherisk hair test. Justice Beaman was first appointed to the bench of the Ontario Court of Justice in 1998 and has led a distinguished career presiding over Ontario's criminal and family courts in the Toronto and Ottawa areas. Rising to the rank of Regional Senior Justice for Eastern Ontario in 2008, she has served as a per diem judge since January 2014..........In the meantime, we recognize that many potentially impacted people will have questions. Anyone who believes that they may have been impacted by a Motherisk test can call 1-855-235-8932 for short-term counselling assistance and to request that their name be provided to the commissioner."