The applicant is seeking an Order of mandamus requiring the Minister of Health (the "Minister") to investigate and prosecute breaches of the Regulations prohibiting direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs by American entities in magazines imported into Canada from the United States, US television commercials that appear on Canadian television and Internet publications that are accessed by Canadians. The Minister brought a motion to dismiss the proceeding on the basis that the applicant does not have standing to bring the application.
The Court held that the applicant cannot establish any direct interest in the application for judicial review. Because it is seeking mandamus, only the US entities identified as allegedly being in breach are directly affected. Furthermore, the applicant had not established any commercial impact of a successful judicial review proceeding. The Court held that a commercial interest was not enough to make the party 'directly affected' and there was not, therefore, a sufficient basis for standing.
The Court went on to consider public interest standing. However, the Court determined that, while the applicant had a genuine interest in trying to create a level playing field, this is not sufficient to grant standing. Thus, this was not an appropriate case in which to exercise judicial discretion to grant public interest standing to the applicant.
The motion to dismiss the judicial review application was granted.
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