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 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 legislationShe has provided advice to organizations on compliance with privacy legislation and the handling of privacy breaches.

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

  • Repeatedly recognized by Best Lawyers® in Canada as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law
Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (1984)

  • LL.B., University of Toronto, 1982
  • B.A., University of Toronto, 1978
  • Diplôme de didactique des langues, Sorbonne University, 1979
  • Ontario Bar Association - Health Law Section, Privacy Law Section      
  • French

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Current Governance Issues for Regulators", WeirFoulds LLP Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, November 22, 2019
Speaker, "Sexual Abuse Achieving Zero Tolerance Part II", Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2018 Annual Education Conference, Philadelphia, September 26-29, 2018
Speaker, "Legal Framework in Ontario for Regulation of Diagnostic Medical Sonography", VCA Education Day, Toronto, ON, January 27, 2018
Speaker, "Sexual Abuse: Regulators' Scorecard in Achieving Zero Tolerance", Council of Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 2017 Annual Education Conference, Denver, CO, September 13-16, 2017
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" (CLEAR) 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
"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", (CLEAR) 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

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment