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Involuntary transfer successfully challenged over information reliability concerns

In Wood v Canada (Attorney General), 2019 ONSC 2697, Justice Tranmer granted an application for habeas corpus brought by an inmate involuntarily transferred from Joyceville Institution minimum security to Joyceville Institution medium security.

The applicant’s roommate alleged that he was threatened and bullied by the applicant. An unspecified number of members of the applicant’s house also confirmed that the applicant had threatened his cellmate. As a result, the applicant’s parole officer recommended a security reclassification and involuntary transfer. The applicant denied having threatened his cellmate.

As stated in Mission Institution v Khela, 2014 SCC 24, there needs to be a procedure to verify the reliability of information that forms the basis of a transfer recommendation.

Justice Tranmer noted that CSC failed to perform a reliability assessment of some of the information. Moreover, there were inconsistencies regarding whether other information came from “believed reliable sources”. Accordingly, Justice Tranmer was not satisfied the information relied upon was reliable, and the decision to reclassify and transfer the applicant was found unlawful.


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