Debbie acts as general counsel to professional regulatory bodies, including providing ongoing advice to the Colleges' Registrars, boards of directors and committees on all of their policies, procedures and programs to regulate the professions in the public interest. She provides advice to the Colleges on legislative initiatives that affect their statutory mandate and the practice of the professions, and assists in preparing submissions to government advisory bodies and legislative standing committees. She also assists in the drafting and negotiation with government officials of regulations to be made under the relevant statute and their presentation to government from a policy and legal perspective. She has advised newly established regulatory bodies in developing their regulatory frameworks, by-laws, and policies and procedures, and existing regulatory bodies in adding and integrating a new profession into an existing regulatory framework.

In health law matters, Debbie provides advice on legislation affecting the health care sector and issues related to patient safety, scopes of practice of health professionals, regulation of new professions, privacy and confidentiality of personal health information, and policies and procedures related to registration, complaints, discipline, patient relations, quality assurance and fitness to practise processes. Debbie is recognized as a leading practitioner in Health Care Law by Best Lawyers® in Canada.

Debbie has developed leading expertise in the impact of privacy legislation on key stakeholders in the health care, research, professional regulatory and social services sectors. Debbie has provided advice on the impact of federal and provincial privacy legislation. She has provided advice to organizations on compliance with privacy legislation and the handling of privacy breaches.

Debbie Tarshis practises in the areas of professional regulation, health law and privacy. She acts as general counsel to professional regulatory colleges and provides advice on all policies, procedures and programs to regulate the professions in the public interest. She has also developed leading expertise in the interpretation and implementation of federal and provincial privacy legislation. Debbie is also chair of WeirFoulds' Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies Practice Group. 

Debbie acts as general counsel to professional regulatory bodies, including providing ongoing advice to the Colleges' Registrars, boards of directors and committees on all of their policies, procedures and programs to regulate the professions in the public interest. She provides advice to the Colleges on legislative initiatives that affect their statutory mandate and the practice of the professions, and assists in preparing submissions to government advisory bodies and legislative standing committees. She also assists in the drafting and negotiation with government officials of regulations to be made under the relevant statute and their presentation to government from a policy and legal perspective. She has advised newly established regulatory bodies in developing their regulatory frameworks, by-laws, and policies and procedures, and existing regulatory bodies in adding and integrating a new profession into an existing regulatory framework.

In health law matters, Debbie provides advice on legislation affecting the health care sector and issues related to patient safety, scopes of practice of health professionals, regulation of new professions, privacy and confidentiality of personal health information, and policies and procedures related to registration, complaints, discipline, patient relations, quality assurance and fitness to practise processes. Debbie is recognized as a leading practitioner in Health Care Law by Best Lawyers® in Canada.

Debbie has developed leading expertise in the impact of privacy legislation on key stakeholders in the health care, research, professional regulatory and social services sectors. Debbie has provided advice on the impact of federal and provincial privacy legislation. She has provided advice to organizations on compliance with privacy legislation and the handling of privacy breaches.

Notable Mandates

Team leader to two new professional regulatory Colleges in the development and establishment of their regulatory framework, by-laws and policies and procedures

Legal adviser to an established professional regulatory College on the addition of a new profession to its existing regulatory framework

Development and update of a Privacy Toolkit for Social Workers and Social Service Workers, Guide to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA)

Publications

"Protecting Patients Act, 2017 passed by the Government", WeirFoulds LLP, June 2017

"Bill 87: Government's Response to Recommendations of Sexual Abuse Task Force", WeirFoulds LLP, February 2017

"Sexual Abuse Task Force Recommendations: Why All Professional Regulators Should Pay Attention", WeirFoulds LLP, October 2016

"Proposed Changes to Ontario's Health Privacy Laws", Risk Management in Canadian Health Care, Vol.18, No.1, February 2016 (with Sarah Yun)

"Proposed Changes to Ontario's Health Privacy Laws", WeirFoulds LLP, December 2015 (with Sarah Yun)

"Regulatory Colleges Respond to Health Privacy Breaches", Canadian Privacy Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 9, August 2015 (with Sarah Yun)

"Information Sharing in Professional Regulation: What Does the Public Need to Know?", Risk Management in Canadian Health Care, Vol. 17, No. 3, June 2015 (with Lisa Feinberg)

"Regulatory Colleges Respond to Health Privacy Breaches", WeirFoulds LLP, June 2015 (with Sarah Yun)

"Regulatory Colleges Tackle Transparency", WeirFoulds LLP, March 2015 (with Lisa Feinberg)

Case Comment on Hooper v. College of Nurses of Ontario, Risk Management in Canadian Health Care", Volume 8, Number 5, published by Butterworths, October 2006

"Overview of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (Ontario)", Law & Governance, LegalFocus on Healthcare and Insurance, Volume 8, Number 4, published by Longwoods Publishing, June 2004

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "By-Laws", WeirFoulds LLP Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, March 30, 2017

Speaker, "I Know Something You Don't Know: Revelations on Regulatory Models from Around the World, Part 2" and "Rethinking Information Access in the Age of Accountability: Responding to Demands for More Information on Internal Regulatory Processes", Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2016 Annual Education Conference, Portland, September 15-16, 2016

Presentation, "Understanding Bill 119, Health Information Protection Act, 2015", College of Nurses of Ontario, February 4, 2016


Speaker, "Breach Notification Obligations in Canada", WeirFoulds LLP Seminar on Cyber Security - Meeting Modern Challenges, Toronto, Ontario, January 26, 2016

"What you need to know about Bill 119, Proposed Health Information Protection Act, 2015" (HIPA), PHIPA Connections Summit, December 3, 2015 

"Revelations on Regulatory Models from Three Continents - Regulatory Model in Ontario, Canada", Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2015 Annual Educational Conference, Boston, September 17, 2015

Panel member, "Openness and Transparency in Professional Regulation", Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2015 Regional Seminar, Toronto, March 12, 2015

Panel member, "Rethinking Information Sharing in Professional Regulation and Patient Safety", Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2014 Annual Educational Conference, New Orleans, September 11, 2014

"Primer on the Personal Health Information Protection Act", Seminar on Privacy Law, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, March 24, 2014

"What You Need to Know about Bill 78, Electronic Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2013", PHIPA Summit 2013, Toronto, Ontario, November 12-13, 2013

"Publication: Transparency versus Privacy" presented at the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2012 Annual Educational Conference, San Francisco, California, September 8, 2012

Co-presenter, "What do Risk Managers Need to Know about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)?", Canadian Healthcare Risk Management Network, Annual Conference, Toronto, October 24, 2011

"The Impacts of Apologies in Misconduct and Disciplinary Matters: Apology Legislation in Canada, presented at the Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation 2010 Annual Educational Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, September 23 – 25, 2010

"PHIPA Review and Latest Developments", Health Information Privacy and Security, Insight Information, January 29-30, 2008

"Implementation Issues under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, Medical Records Law in Ontario, Lorman Education Services, September 27, 2007

"Lock Box and Other Issues in the Administration of PHIPA", Health Information Privacy and Security, Insight Information, January 29-30, 2007

"Why Patient Safety" presented at the Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation  2006 Annual Conference, Expect the Unexpected: Are We Clearly Prepared? September 14-16, 2006, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

"Personal Health Information Protection Act: An Overview", presented at Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers Annual Meeting and Education Day, June 23, 2006

"PHIPA: Obligations of Health Information Custodians and their Agents", presented at Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers Annual Meeting and Education Day, June 23, 2006

Co-Chair, "Implementing the Personal Health Information Protection Act", The Canadian Institute, May 8-9, 2006

Moderator of Panel, "Personal Health Information Privacy Laws Across Provinces: What Works, What Doesn't, and What Can We Do About It?, The Canadian Institute, May 8-9, 2006

"Meeting the Challenges of Consent When Conducting Research", presented at The Canadian Institute Conference on "Implementing the Personal Health Information Protection Act ", May 8-9, 2006

"Professional Competency Issues – HR Discipline Processes and QCIPA", presented at the Ontario Hospital Association Education Day "Personal Health Information Protection Act and Quality of Care Information Protection Act – One Year Later, November 28, 2005

"Overview of PHIPA's 'Lock-Box' Provisions and Permitted Collection, Use or Disclosure of Personal Health Information Without Consent", presented at OBA Conference on Privacy Law Update: Current Developments and Practical Guidance, September 28, 2005

"Impact of PIPEDA on Regulatory Investigations" presented at Professional Regulation Summit, Acuity Conference, September 21-22, 2005

"Current Regulatory Issues Affecting MRTs", presented at The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences, September 10, 2005

"The Impact of PHIPA on Research: Rules and Risks", presented at Conference on Managing Your Legal Obligations Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 - Practical Advice and Best Practices in an Era of Privacy Transition, The Canadian Institute, May 4 - 5, 2005

"Ontario's New Privacy Legislation", 2005 Conference and Annual Meeting, Family Service Ontario, April 29, 2005

"Understanding Where You Fit Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)", 4th Annual Health Information Privacy Conference, Insight Information Co., January 17-18, 2005

"Overview: Practical Duties and Responsibilities of Hospitals under Proposed Privacy Legislation", Ontario Hospital Association Education Day, December 12, 2002

"Privacy Law Primer", Ontario Hospital Association Convention, November 18, 2002

"Proposed Privacy of Personal Information Act, 2002 - An Overview", Ontario Hospital Association, May 30, 2002

"Duties and Obligations of Directors and Officers of Charitable and Not-For-Profit Corporations", Annual Conference of the Association of Treasurers of Religious Institutes, September 26, 1999

"Regulation of Sonographers", Ontario Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, April 24, 1999

"Current Regulatory Issues Affecting Medical Radiation Technologists", GE Medical Systems, Sheraton Centre, September 11, 1998

"Health Practitioner's Duty to Disclose, Duty to Report and Duty to Warn", Canadian Medical Legal Conference, Toronto Hilton Hotel, June 6, 1997

"Who Sets Standards of Practice for Sonographers", Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, May 23, 1996

Awards & Recognition

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law

Affiliations

Ontario Bar Association - Health Law Section, Privacy Law Section

Counsel

Toronto
Direct 416.947.5037
Fax 416.365.1876
dtarshis@weirfoulds.com

Practice Areas

Professional Regulation

Health Sector

Privacy

Called to the Bar
Ontario (1984)
Education
University of Toronto
LL.B. 1982

University of Toronto
B.A. 1978

Sorbonne University
1979
Diplôme de didactique des langues

Languages
  • French
Awards & Recognition

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law

Affiliations
Ontario Bar Association - Health Law Section, Privacy Law Section

Called to the Bar

Ontario (1984)

Education

University of Toronto
LL.B. 1982

University of Toronto
B.A. 1978

Sorbonne University
1979
Diplôme de didactique des langues

Languages

  • French