With the COVID-19 crisis, on 25 March 2020 Ontario has given it's administrative tribunals flexible rule-authority to facilitate the types of hearings and attendences that it may normally conduct (the choices are in-person, electronic and written). This authority is granted under the Hearings in Tribunal Proceedings (Temporary Measures) Act, 2020 (HTPTMA). The electronic form of hearing or attendence explained in this chapter has been very common in the last 10-15 years. As it facilitates 'social distancing' the electronic form are expected to be the dominant form of hearing [ZOOM hearings]. Written hearings as well are expected to be an option.
The HTPTMA applies to all tribunal proceedings [HTPTMA]:
under the SPPA,
those to which the SPPA "would apply if the application of that Act were not excluded under another Act" [ie. all tribunal proceedings that the SPPA would normally not apply to by virtue of an exclusion in another Act] [SPPA s.2(b)], and
those specified in HTPTMA Regulations [none at 14 April 2020].
Despite the complex conflict rules that apply to SPPA matters normally [see Ch.1, s.4 of the SPPA Guide] the HTPTMA prevails [HTPTMA s.4], and these rules apply immediately [HTPTMA s.5] (the normal rule that legislative and regulatory amendments only apply immediately to procedural matters, and not to substantive ones [Temporal Application of Legislation] is overridden).
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