The Motherisk Commission was established on January 15, 2016 by the Government of Ontario under Section 3 of the Public Inquiries Act in response to a report by the Honourable Susan Lang in December 2015. That Report found that the Motherisk laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children performed hair tests for drug and alcohol use in child protection and criminal cases that were inadequate and unreliable.
Justice Judith C. Beaman was appointed the Commissioner. The Commission’s two-year mandate is to offer appropriate support and assistance to persons affected by the Motherisk test results. The Commission has established a Review and Resource Centre which will offer information, counselling, legal referrals, alternative dispute resolution and other support to individuals involved in child protection matters that may have been affected by a flawed Motherisk test between 1990 and 2015.
The Commission has also started to design a process to identify and notify people affected by the Motherisk test results so that they may have access to the services and support. Cases will be reviewed on request or, on the Commissioner’s own initiative.
Once contact is made with potentially affected individuals, one of the first steps will be to inform them about the findings of the Motherisk Hair Analysis Review – the Report by Justice Lang – and about the resources available through the Review and Resource Centre.
Anyone who believes that they may have been affected by a Motherisk test can e-mail email@example.com or telephone 1-844-303-5476.
As of July 25, 2016, the Commission has received a total of 444 cases. Of these, 238 cases have been reviewed. Individual applicants who contacted the Commission totalled 97 and 40 of these were seeking counselling. In addition, 77 individuals who have contacted the Motherisk Commission on their own were seeking a legal review as […]