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Appeal-Judicial Review - Reasons - High-Volume Tribunal

. Shearer v. Oz

In Shearer v. Oz (Div Court, 2024) the Divisional Court dismissed an appeal in an extended RTA struggle that continued years after the tenant had "moved out of the house about eighteen months later [SS: after the tenants taking possession], on July 26, 2019".

Here the court gives a reality check on the limited services that parties should expect from the LTB, as a high-volume administrative tribunal:
II. Sufficiency of Reasons

[56] The Board is a high-volume tribunal which must manage its resources carefully. The Tenants complain bitterly about delays they experienced in their own case. If every LTB file consumed the resources dedicated to the disputes between these parties, the process before the Board would grind to a standstill. The Board provided extensive reasons for its decision and thereby reasonably explained why it decided as it did.

[57] In particular, the Board was not required to wrestle minutely with all aspects of the evidence on the issue of heat loss and insulation. It accepted the evidence of the only “neutral third party”, and the conclusions it reached based on this evidence are supported by evidence before the Board.
. Grewal and Eilers v. Nukkala

In Grewal and Eilers v. Nukkala (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considered the adequacy of reasons, here in an RTA LTB appeal:
Inadequacy of Reasons

[12] I also agree with the Tenants that the LTB’s reasons addressing the issue of the Landlord’s good faith “prevent meaningful appellate review.” The LTB decision merely says it prefers the Landlord’s evidence and accepts it. Similarly, as I have quoted above, the LTB rejects the Tenant’s evidence saying only that it “has not met the required standard.”

[13] When a tribunal accepts one side’s evidence and rejects the other side’s evidence, it must give some reason or reasons for doing so. As Ms. Grewal put it in oral argument, she deserved an explanation for this finding.

[14] Counsel for the LTB submitted that, read as a whole, the decision meets the test for adequate reasons, citing Maple Ridge Community Management Ltd. v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 231, 2015 ONCA 520, 389 D.L.R. (4th) 711, at paras. 30 – 32, which directs that where reasons are “facially incapable of review” the appeal court is “obliged to consider the record before the trial judge to determine if the reasons were more comprehensible when read in the context of this record.” However, in this case, the record provides no assistance in finding a basis for the LTB’s preference for the Landlord’s evidence. Indeed, the LTB’s error on the burden of proof, which was apparent in the hearing and affected the presentation of evidence, would in any event make reliance on the record difficult.

[15] In finding that the reasons of the LTB are inadequate, I also have regard to the context, which involves a high-volume adjudicative body that must adopt an expeditious method of determining cases. However, a challenging workload and a pressing need for efficient adjudication does not excuse an utter lack of reasoning.


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Last modified: 02-04-24
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