Ontario Superior Court of Justice rules on the question of childhood vaccines in appeal

February 12, 2021

A.P. v. L.K., 2021 ONSC 150

On January 7, 2021, Justice Jasmine Akbarali of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice allowed the appeal of a 2018 arbitration decision, in which the arbitrator had determined that it was not in the best interests of the two children of the parties, A.P. and L.K., to be vaccinated.  The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto was also present as intervenor in the appeal.

The ruling follows after A.P., the Appellant, raised several issues, including that the arbitrator erred by failing to admit the Canadian Immunization Guide and a provincial publication as public records, failing to take judicial notice about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and allowing the respondents’ experts to give evidence outside the scope of their expertise. The intervenor also presented on the issue of the public documents exception and judicial notice promoting access to justice, and asked the court to take judicial notice of that vaccination is promoted and supported in Ontario and across Canada and that vaccinations in Canada are safe.

In her judgment, Justice Akbarali concluded that there were reviewable errors on the part of the arbitrator, including his failure to admit public documents issued by the government and relying on the evidence of unqualified experts as provided by the respondent. The Appellant was granted control over vaccination decisions related to the children, and the Respondent was ordered not to suggest to the children, directly or indirectly, that vaccines  are untested, unsafe, ineffective, or that they are particularly at risk from vaccinations.

The Respondent is seeking leave to appeal.

Caroline Kim and Kaitlin Jagersky of Miller Thomson represented the Appellant in the appeal.