The Consultation Policy for Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) describes whether and how ELTO will consult with the public when it is considering changes to the rules, practice directions or policies of the constituent tribunals, including consultation with those whose interests, in the opinion of the Executive Chair, would be affected by those changes. ELTO invites ongoing feedback on the impact of any changes to see if the changes are meeting their intended goals and whether they are having any unintended consequences.
This Consultation Policy is prepared in accordance with section 4 of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009.
ELTO’s approach to consultation on rules, practice directions and policies is based on these key premises:
- ELTO’s constituent tribunals exercise statutory powers;
- ELTO is committed to meeting the needs of its diverse stakeholders;
- those who use or may use ELTO’s services and those affected by ELTO tribunal decisions have knowledge and experience that will assist ELTO in creating rules, practice directions and policies that assist ELTO in complying with the requirements of procedural fairness and natural justice and in effectively implementing the statutory mandates entrusted to ELTO;
- the range of individuals and groups should include the public and not be limited to those who may traditionally have been seen as stakeholders of ELTO; and
- the consultation process should reflect proportionality.
- whether or not changes are posted for public comment, changes shall be posted on the website for a period of 45 days prior to their effective date, unless an earlier effective date is appropriate.
This consultation policy does not apply to:
- policies, protocols and procedures that are part of the internal operations of ELTO;
- changes that are intended only to be of limited duration;
- pilot projects that are put in place to assess impact and goals achievement in advance of formal rule, practice direction or policy changes;
- minor changes to rules, practice directions or policies to correct drafting errors or defects in form or clarity;
- changes to rules, practice directions or policies that do not impose on the parties additional requirements for participation in hearings, motions or mediations or other hearing events;
- changes that are required as a result of case law, statutory or regulatory change.
Consistent with the principle of proportionality, ELTO reserves the right to modify the consultation process set out below to reflect a less or more extensive consultation process in appropriate circumstances.
The processes which ELTO will employ in consultation are the following:
- ELTO will welcome submissions and feedback on changes for hearing and mediation procedures;
- ELTO will use its website to provide notice of proposed changes to the public and stakeholders, giving reasonable time periods for comments to be submitted on proposals for change initiated by ELTO;
- The information provided in the consultation will include the wording of the proposed change and, depending on the nature and significance of the change, may also include contextual information; and
- In appropriate cases, ELTO may convene one or more focus groups of individuals with particular experience, knowledge or perspectives to discuss proposed changes to rules, practice directions or policies.
Effective August 1, 2017