15. Commencement of Proceedings
A proceeding is initiated by a Request for Hearing (in Form 1) or by a Notice of Appeal (in Form 2).
A Request for Hearing shall be in writing. It shall be filed within the time period set out in the statute establishing the right to a hearing, and shall be served by the requester on the Superintendent and all other persons upon whom the Tribunal directs service.
A Notice of Appeal shall be in writing. It shall be filed within the time period set out in the statute establishing the right of appeal and shall be served by the appellant on the original decision-maker (the Superintendent or DICO), all parties to the proceedings before the original decision-maker and all other persons upon whom the Tribunal directs service.
The parties to a proceeding commenced by a Request for Hearing are the person who has commenced the proceeding, the Superintendent, and such other persons as the Tribunal may, by order, add as parties.
The parties to an appeal from a decision or order of the Superintendent or DICO are the person who has commenced the appeal, the original decision-maker (the Superintendent or DICO), and such other persons as the Tribunal may, by order, add as parties.
Despite subsection 9.1(1) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, the Tribunal may, on a written motion by a party in accordance with Rule 14.02, combine two or more proceedings or any part of them, or hear two or more proceedings at the same time, without the consent of the parties. In so doing, the Tribunal may consider any relevant circumstances, including the following:
(a) The commonality of issues of fact, law, or policy;
(b) The potential prejudice to a party;
(c) The potential impact on such factors as expense, delay in proceedings, or witnesses;
(d) The interest in reducing repetitious evidence;
(e) The potential for inconsistent results related to similar fact evidence; or
(f) Any other factor it considers relevant.
Despite subsection 9.1(5) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, the Tribunal may treat evidence that is admitted in a proceeding as if it were also admitted in another proceeding that is heard at the same time, without the consent of the parties to the second-named proceeding.
16. Pre-Hearing Conference
The Tribunal may direct the parties to participate in pre-hearing conferences to consider:
(a) the identification and simplification of the issues;
(b) facts and evidence that may be agreed upon through an Agreed Statement of Facts and an Agreed Book of Documents which the parties shall make reasonable efforts to prepare;
(c) the dates by which any steps in the proceeding are to be taken or begun;
(d) the estimated duration of and dates for the hearing; and;
(e) any other matters that may assist in the just and most expeditious disposition of the proceeding, including;
(i) the preparation of a plan for disclosure and production of documents as required by Rule 26.01;
(ii) identifying and resolving preliminary objections or procedural issues including particulars, interrogatories, witness statements, expert witnesses, expert reports and exchanges of submissions;
(iii) deciding procedural issues including the dates by which any steps in the proceeding are to be taken or begun;
(iv) considering applications for party status;
(v) encouraging the parties to explore whether settlement is possible in the circumstances; and
(vi) determining the form of the Notice of Hearing, who should give it and bear the costs for it, and to whom and in what manner the Notice should be given.
The Tribunal may dispense with a pre-hearing conference when, in the opinion of the Tribunal, such a conference would not assist in the just and expeditious disposition of the proceeding.
A pre-hearing conference may be held in person or electronically. Pre-hearing conferences shall be held by teleconference, unless a party satisfies the Tribunal that holding it in this format would likely cause that party significant prejudice, or unless the Tribunal directs otherwise.
The member or members of the Tribunal conducting a pre-hearing conference may make such orders as are considered necessary or advisable with respect to the conduct of the proceeding, including adding parties.
The Tribunal shall issue a pre-hearing conference memorandum setting out the results of the pre-hearing conference, setting forth orders, agreements and undertakings made at the pre-hearing, and setting out the dates of the hearing and the issues that are to be determined.
After the pre-hearing conference has been held, no substantive issues, other than those set out in the pre-hearing conference memorandum, may be raised or addressed without leave of the Tribunal.
Any member who has conducted a pre-hearing conference in which some or all of the substantive issues were settled or were attempted to be settled shall not sit on the panel conducting the hearing unless the parties consent in writing.
A pre-hearing conference may be adjourned and reconvened from time to time at the request of the parties or as directed by the Tribunal.
17. Notice of Pre-Hearing Conference
Where a pre-hearing conference is to be held, the Registrar shall give written notice of the pre-hearing conference to the parties, to those who have applied for party status and to such other persons as the Tribunal determines.
The Notice of Pre-hearing Conference may require parties by specified dates to exchange or file documents, pre-hearing submissions or provide such other information as the Tribunal deems appropriate, and such notice shall include:
(a) the date, time, place, format and purpose of the pre-hearing conference;
(b) notice that each party or person who has applied for party status, to whom the notice is given, is required to attend in person or through a representative who has binding authority to make agreements and undertakings on behalf of that party or person respecting the matters addressed at the pre-hearing conference;
(c) notice that if a person to whom the notice is given does not attend in person or through a representative, the conference may continue in the absence of that person and that person will not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding;
(d) notice that some or all of the issues may be settled at the pre-hearing conference; and
(e) notice that orders may be made at the pre-hearing conference that will be binding on all parties, including parties added at the pre-hearing conference, with respect to the proceeding, including setting the dates for a hearing.
A party may direct interrogatories to another party to:
(a) clarify evidence filed by a party;
(b) simplify the issues;
(c) permit a full and satisfactory understanding of the matters to be considered; or
(d) expedite the proceeding.
Interrogatories shall be served on all parties.
The Tribunal may, if satisfied that the parties cannot resolve the procedure for the conduct of interrogatories after making reasonable efforts to do so, issue directions regarding the conduct of the interrogatories.
19. Responses to Interrogatories
Where interrogatories have been directed to and served on a party, that party shall:
(a) provide a full and adequate response to each interrogatory on a separate page or pages;
(b) serve the response on all parties.
A party who is unable or unwilling to provide a full and adequate response to an interrogatory shall explain why the party is unwilling or unable to provide the response.
Where a party is not satisfied with the response provided, that party may file a notice of motion to have the matter determined by the Tribunal.
A party who has directed an interrogatory to another party may tender any response to that interrogatory in evidence at the hearing and the responding party shall be bound by that response.