3 S.C.R. 247,  S.C.J. No. 48, 2009 SCC 48; Alberta v. Elder
Advocates of Alberta Society,  2 S.C.R. 261,  S.C.J.
No. 24, 2011 SCC 24. The general obligations of a fiduciary are
obligations of loyalty including the duties to keep the beneficiary’s information confidential (a duty of confidentiality), to not
keep secrets from the beneficiary (a duty of disclosure) and a
duty to avoid conflicts of interest (good faith and acting in the
interests of the beneficiary).
[ 120] Generally speaking, fiduciary relationships are of two
types. First, fiduciary relationships can be categorical because
the law has historically regarded particular types of relationship as fiduciary and as requiring the supervision of equity.
Second, a fiduciary relationship can arise ad hoc because the
circumstances of a particular relationship require the supervision of equity.
[ 121] In the case at bar, the defendant physicians categorically
had a fiduciary relationship with the plaintiffs who were their
patients at Oak Ridge because physicians, like trustees, lawyers,
partners, priests, parents, guardians of children and teachers,
are categorically fiduciaries. In the case at bar, the Crown had a
fiduciary relationship with the plaintiffs either vicariously as
the employer of the defendant physicians or directly as being the
operator of a mental health facility. I need not decide whether
the Crown had an ad hoc fiduciary relationship based on the
indicia for such a relationship. In any event, for the purposes of
testing the defendants’ limitation period defence, it can be taken
that the defendants had a fiduciary relationship with the plaintiffs and attendant fiduciary duties that were breached. The
defendants submit, however, that the plaintiffs’ claims for
breach of fiduciary duty are subsumed or encompassed by statute-barred claims for breach of the common law and that equity
has no role to play in the circumstances of the case at bar.
[ 122] How equity may have a role to play in determining the
civil responsibilities and liabilities of a physician that are independent from the duties provided by statute and the common
law is demonstrated by McInerney v. MacDonald, 
2 S.C.R. 138,  S.C.J. No. 57. This case has several
important lessons for the case at bar.
[ 123] The issues in McInerney v. MacDonald were whether
Ms. MacDonald had a property interest in her personal
medical records or whether the records were the property of
her physicians, one of whom was Dr. McInerney, or if
Ms. MacDonald did not have an ownership interest in her medical records, then did she, nevertheless, have an enforceable