Pubdate: Wed, 20 Apr 2016
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Lucie Edwardson
Page: 3


Appeal Board called position 'extreme' in April decision Canadians
spend $166 a month on gifts. Business

A Calgary man suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) who has a legal
marijuana grow operation at his home says he isn't quite sure what
Alberta Health Services has against him.

Keith Gall, whose MS confines him to a wheelchair, grows his own
medicinal marijuana out of his Calgary home, and last September he
received notice of a routine inspection to be done by a city of
Calgary Safety Codes Officer. On the day of the inspection, six
individuals, including two police officers and an uninvited,
unannounced AHS executive officer showed up for the inspection - which
goes against regulations in the Public Health Act (PHA).

"They asked for permission for the safety officer to come in but they
never asked permission for the AHS inspector to come in - which is a
total different thing," said Gall.

After the AHS executive officer Ryan Lau completed his inspection of
the home, he issued an order to discontinue plant production due to
alleged evidence of mould and other non-compliances with the PHA. In
addition, Lau contacted Gall's mortgage lender - which is not standard
AHS practice - advising of the order and perceived damages due to the

Gall appealed the order in front of the Public Health Appeal Board
(PHAB), and after attempts to resolve the matter outside of the board
were unsuccessful, a hearing took place in December 2015 and a
decision was issued April 6 of this year.

The board found in favour of Gall due to lack of consent for AHS to
enter the private dwelling and called their position "extreme" and
said their evidence was "deficient."

"The board finds the evidence provided by the Alberta Health Services
was deficient regarding the heat and humidity in the Premises and
other conditions required for mould growth," reads the PHAB decision,
obtained by Metro.

In the documents, AHS counsel said if the order was reversed, they
would be forced to take the case to the Court of Queen's Bench as a
"means to enforce" the PHA.

"A new inspection could then take place and a new order of an
executive officer could then be issued. We would thus be back in the
same position we are in now; except that AHS would be forced to take
enforcement steps and would seek indemnity costs from the Appellant,"
reads the document.

AHS would not provide someone to comment on the case and in an emailed
response, told Metro that the decision is currently under review and
they're considering their next steps.

Gall said he hopes not to go through a court process again, as the
initial situation caused him much stress, including developing a case
of shingles and problems sleeping. He said he hopes what he called an
unnecessary use of AHS resources is over.

"I'm hoping it's a wild goose chase, but they're pretty strong and
have a lot of expensive lawyers," he said. "If they continue I will
probably continue to fight it."

He said if AHS is successful in their pursuit and he's forced to shut
down, however, it will have cost him a pretty penny.

"At that point I've already spent all that money to have renovations
done on my house to be able to grow," he said. "I'd be out about $40,000."
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