CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 27, 2012) - The Hon. John Z. Vertes, Commissioner of the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry, has announced the lawyers who will serve as Counsel to the independent public inquiry established by the Government of Alberta, to look into the possibility of improper preferential access to publicly funded health services. Lead counsel will be Michele H. Hollins Q.C., with supporting counsel Jason L. Wilkins, both partners with the Calgary-based firm of Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP.
Ms. Hollins practices in civil litigation, with particular expertise in employment law, shareholder and contract disputes, restrictive covenants, product liability, debtor-creditor issues and other civil litigation matters. Michele has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta, is a past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch, and is currently the CBA National Second Vice-President, scheduled to assume the role of President in 2014-15. Ms. Hollins received her Queen's Counsel designation in 2008, as well as the National Canadian Bar Association's Louis St. Laurent Award in 2010, and is a regular speaker and respected writer on a variety of litigation and advocacy related topics.
Mr. Wilkins' practice includes family law, with expertise in all facets of property disputes, spousal support and child custody related issues, as well as a civil litigation practice. He has significant experience in both judicial and private advocacy and mediations at all levels of court in Alberta, including trial and appellate work. Mr. Wilkins is a long-serving volunteer with Calgary Legal Guidance, receiving the Allan D. Hunter Volunteer of the Year Award in 2008, and is a former board member of Cause Canada.
If evidence is found to substantiate concerns regarding improper preferential access to publicly funded health services, the terms of reference for the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry include a call for recommendations on preventing improper access in the future.
The public inquiry will be conducted in accordance with sections 17 to 22 of the Health Quality Council of Alberta Act and the Commissioner has all the powers, privileges and immunities granted under the Public Inquiries Act.
Information regarding the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry will be available on an ongoing basis at www.healthaccessinquiry.ca. The website will provide public access to relevant information including the inquiry's terms of reference, news, transcripts of hearings and a public communication feedback form.
For more information, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/927health_background.pdf.