Pill press reconsiderations and complaints


  • In accordance with the principles of administrative fairness, and as embedded in Section 11 of the Act, if the Registrar refuses to grant, or suspends or cancels a Waiver or Registration, a person may request the Registrar to reconsider the decision.
  • A person’s request to the Registrar to reconsider a decision must be made within 30 days after receiving the notice of the decision or, in special circumstances that prevent the person from making a request within the 30-day time limit, and if an injustice would otherwise result, within the period of time specified by the Registrar.
  • The request for reconsideration must be made in writing and identify the error the person believes was made or the other grounds on which a reconsideration is requested.
  • Upon receiving the request, the Registrar will hold a hearing in writing, or as otherwise specified by the Registrar.
  • Within 90 days following receipt of the request for reconsideration, the Registrar must confirm, vary or cancel the decision, and notify the person in writing of the decision and the reasons for it. 
  • Unless alternate arrangements have been requested, the Registrar will notify the person via business email as agreed by the person on the Business Profile page of the Pill Press Online Registry.


Guiding principles

The complaints process is guided by the following principles:

Accessibility: Information about the complaints process will be readily accessible to members of the public and easy to understand and use. The Registrar will facilitate the awareness of the complaints process through various means of communication.

Timeliness: Complaints will be dealt within reasonable timeframes.

Transparency: The Registrar’s decisions relating to the complaint will be communicated to the complainant.

Informing the public and others about the complaints process

The Registrar will facilitate the submission of complaints by:

  • Providing information regarding the complaints process to members of the public, industry, and stakeholder organizations who contact SPD with a complaint.
  • Posting and maintaining a complaint form and information about the complaints process on the government Pill Press website at https://www.gov.bc.ca/pill-press

Submitting complaints

  • A person may make a complaint to the Registrar on any offence-related matter that relates to the Act. This includes complaints against businesses or individuals that may own, use, possess, or sell Controlled Equipment.
  • Whenever possible, a complaint should be in writing and submitted on SPD’s complaint form via email to PillPressComplaints@gov.bc.ca .
  • A complaint must:  
  • Identify the complainant; and
  • Provide the contact information of the complainant
  • Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

Investigating a complaint

  • Upon receiving a complaint, the Registrar will review the matter to determine whether to investigate the complaint.
  • If the Registrar decides to investigate the complaint, the Registrar will assign the complaint to an SPD employee for investigation.
  • During the investigation, the SPD employee may contact the complainant to discuss the matter in more detail.

Responding to a complaint

  • Within 30 days of receiving the complaint, the Registrar will send a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint and indicating whether the complaint has been accepted for investigation.
  • The Registrar may determine not to investigate a complaint if any of the following apply:
    • More than one year has elapsed between the date the complainant knew of the facts on which the complaint is based and the date the Registrar receives the complaint
    • There is a remedy available in law that is adequate for the complainant and there is no reasonable justification for the complainant’s failure to take advantage of the remedy
    • The complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith
    • Further investigation is not necessary in order to consider the complaint, or
    • Investigation would not benefit the complainant.
  • If the complaint has not been accepted for investigation, the Registrar will outline the reason for this decision in the letter and indicate any other resources that may be available to the complainant.

Requesting a review of a decision not to investigate

  • Within 30 days after the receipt of a letter from the Registrar informing the complainant that a complaint has not been accepted for investigation, the complainant may request that the Registrar review the decision not to investigate.
  • A request to the Registrar to review a decision not to investigate a complaint must be in writing and must state the reason why the complainant would like the Registrar to review the decision.
  • Within 30 days of receiving the request, the Registrar will send a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the request and indicating whether the complaint has been accepted for investigation.
  • Among the reasons the Registrar may decide to investigate a complaint that was previously not accepted for investigation, are:
    • When the nature of the complaint was misunderstood, or
    • When information, not available at the time the complaint was first considered, becomes available.

9.2.7 Determining whether to proceed with a sanction

  • Following an investigation, the Registrar will determine:
    • Whether the conduct that formed the basis of the complaint was a contravention of the Act, the Regulations, or a limit or condition of a certificate or registration, and
    • In the event of a contravention, whether to proceed with a sanction.
  • A sanction may include any of the following:
    • Verbal warning
    • Written warning
    • Issuance of a violation (fine) ticket
    • Imposition of limits or conditions on a certificate or registration
    • Suspension/ cancellation of a certificate or registration
    • Prosecution for an offence
    • Seizure of Controlled Equipment

Informing the complainant of the results of the investigation

  • The Registrar will send the complainant a letter at the conclusion of the investigation to inform the complainant of the outcome of the investigation.


  • The Registrar will establish and maintain a record of complaints received under the Act, including the results of complaints, and will compile statistical information respecting all complaints.