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An Alberta judge has found parts of the province’s Mental Health Act unconstitutional after it was used to hold a man against his will for nine months.

The man, a member of a B-C First Nation, was originally brought into a Calgary hospital in 2014 for injuries suffered in a hit and run.

After a time living at a shelter for substance abusers, he was returned to hospital for further treatment.

After 20 days, the man improved and asked to be released.

But doctors noted what they called a cognitive decline and used the Mental Health Act to hold him against his will.

The judge noted the man was given psychiatric drugs despite the fact his admission and renewal documents were inadequate.

His family was not informed, nor did he have access to a lawyer or a fair process.

The judge listed six ways the Act breached the man’s right and gave the government 12 months to fix the legislation before it is struck down.

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