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May 21, 2024
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario: A Continuing Crisis

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) continues to fail Ontarians badly. According to Tribunals Ontario’s most recent Annual Report, the HRTO backlog grew by another 500 applications over the 12-month period covered by the report, despite the fact that it received the lowest number of new applications since 2015/16. The HRTO’s unresolved caseload rose […]

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March 28, 2024
Ron Ellis’s Dream Is Now Draft Legislation for Ontario Tribunals

The Private Member’s Bill introduced by MPP Ted Hsu in the Ontario Legislature today, short-titled the Fewer Backlogs and Less Partisan Tribunals Act, proposes to protect the right of Ontarians to access expert, fair and effective justice at our provincial tribunals by passing legislation that enshrines and activates the fundamental principles of adjudicative independence, integrity […]

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March 20, 2024
Politicization of Appointments to Tribunals is Much Worse than the Politicization of the Judicial Appointments Process

Recent moves by the current Government to politicize the process of appointing judges have caused significant concern. The process for appointing adjudicators who sit on Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals is much worse. The Government has been criticized for making political appointments to the committee responsible for making judicial appointment recommendations. There is no such committee, and […]

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March 19, 2024
The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice Council: A Proposal For 2024

Revised and updated from the October 2021 statement: The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice Council: A Proposal. The people of Ontario are much more likely to have legal issues before tribunals than before the courts. Public confidence in the administration of justice requires that adjudicative tribunals and their adjudicators are independent, impartial, competent, expert, inclusive and accessible. […]

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March 19, 2024
The Adjudicative Tribunal Justice System: Statement of Principles (2024)

Introduction The Ontario adjudicative tribunal justice system consists of specialized, expert bodiesthat take the place of the courts in resolving a range of disputes that arise in specificfields of law. Adjudicative tribunals are part of our justice system, and they are differentfrom the many other government boards or agencies that are focused on policies,regulation, investigations, […]

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February 16, 2024
LTB Statement of Concern: The Numbers Speak for Themselves

There is little justice to be found for Ontarians who have to turn to Ontario’s busiest tribunal – the Landlord and Tenant Board. The LTB has been failing badly since 2019, when the current Government began removing its experienced adjudicators and moved the LTB under the leadership of Tribunals Ontario, a mega-cluster of tribunals. The […]

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January 19, 2024
HELP WANTED: Effective leadership at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

The position of Associate Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) is vacant for the fifth time in as many years. Reporting to the Executive Chair of Tribunals Ontario, a cluster of 14 adjudicative tribunals, the Associate Chair is effectively the Chair of the tribunal, with responsibility for the recruitment and training of […]

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October 31, 2023
Oversight of government appointments to tribunals has become a farce

Over the course of a mandate, governments make thousands of appointments to agencies boards and tribunals. In Ontario, the Standing Committee on Government Agencies is mandated to bring some oversight to these appointments by requiring selected intended appointees to appear before the Committee. This system has degenerated to the point that very few appointees appear, […]

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October 11, 2023
The Tribunal Watch Ontario Story (so far)

Voy Stelmaszynski and Brian Cook Tribunal Watch Ontario was formed in early 2020 because of increasing alarm about the state of Ontario’s adjudicative tribunal system following the election of the Ford government in 2018. For the tribunals under the Ministry of the Attorney General, there was an apparent strategic decision to not renew adjudicators who […]

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October 07, 2023
Political patronage, Ontario adjudicative tribunal system

The recent controversy about the Ontario government’s revival of the King’s counsel (KC) honorific is a stark reminder that political patronage is alive and well in Ontario. The KC designation was bestowed on Conservative Party contributors, and all current Conservative Party members of the provincial legislature who are lawyers. The honorific was also bestowed on […]