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PUBLIC HEALTH - Health units - Powers - To inspect premises

Friday, July 05, 2019 @ 6:24 AM  

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Application by Alberta Health Services (AHS) for an order requiring the respondents to facilitate inspections of all residential rental accommodations they owned, managed or controlled and an order compelling any tenants of those accommodations to cooperate with the inspections. Cross-application by the respondents seeking a declaration of invalidity of the Public Health Act as it related to residential rental accommodations. In the first action, AHS was denied access to Property A, a three-suite residential property, by Vuong, the registered owner, and Shah. In the second action, AHS was denied access to Property B, a five-suite residential property owned by Home Placement Systems, by Shah, who advised the tenants refused to consent to an inspection. No tenants were named in the application or cross-application.

HELD: Application allowed; cross-application dismissed. Shah was a person who was in apparent possession or control of Property A and Property B and of the properties owned by Home Placement Systems and was therefore an owner of those properties. The Public Health Act allowed routine inspection of residential rental accommodations under s. 59. The respondent owners had private interest standing to challenge the constitutionality of s. 59 of the Act. The searches authorized by s. 59 were reasonable and did not offend s. 8 of the Charter. The section did not confer a power to conduct unreasonable inspections of residential rental accommodations. The section was constitutionally valid. The respondent owners actively refused, hindered or interfered with AHS in the exercise of its legislative authority.

Alberta Health Services v. Shah, [2019] A.J. No. 627, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, M.D. Slawinsky J., May 15, 2019. Digest No. TLD-July12019012