What the Hearing Will Be Like
Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB) hearings can be done in writing, by telephone, or in person. You will be given a choice about the kind of hearing you want during a pre-hearing conference.
Oral Hearings: Most often, cases are heard in person, in a room that looks more like a classroom than a courtroom. This is called an oral hearing. At the front of the room there is a table where a three-person panel sits. One of the three is the chair, or manager, of the hearing.
The chair opens the hearing by introducing everyone and describing how the hearing will take place. The Chair will ask the people who are going to testify at the hearing to swear an "affirmation" which is when they promise to tell the truth. The Chair will also review all the documents to make sure nothing is missing.
The Appellant goes first. This is your chance to tell your story and use your evidence to show how you think that the CCAC did not follow the law when they made the decision you are appealing. If you have witnesses, you can ask them questions that help show the Panel your side. Once you have finished, the Respondent (CCAC lawyer) will ask your witness more questions, and the Panel might also have a few questions.
Then the Respondent (CCAC) has their chance to tell how they think they correctly obeyed the law when they made the decision you are appealing. They will ask questions of their witnesses, and then you will have a chance to ask questions, too. Again, the Panel might ask some questions. The Respondent (CCAC) will almost always be represented by a lawyer.
After everyone has asked all the questions they want, each side will have a chance to make a closing statement. This is a chance to remind the Panel about why you think your side is correct, and to remind them of the evidence you used to make your case.
Once everyone is satisfied that all the information has been presented to the panel, the Chair will thank everyone for coming and close the hearing. The Panel then goes off to privately discuss the evidence that they learned at the hearing, and make a decision based on the law.
Telephone Hearings: These are much like oral hearings except that the parties connect to the hearing by telephone.
Written Hearings: At a written hearing, the parties are not present. The board panel will go over all the documents provided by both parties and make a decision based on the legislation and the information in the file.
The Panel must give their decision within three days. They usually give a decision along with their reasons, but sometimes they will give the decision, only, and the reasons will come later.
If you don't agree with the panel's decision you have 10 days to ask the HSARB to review it. If you still don't agree, you can also challenge the decision in court. You will need to get help from a lawyer if you decide this is what you should do.
The Ombudsman does not have the power to overturn decisions or change tribunal decisions, but if you believe an administrative tribunal treated you unfairly you can make a formal complaint with the Ombudsman. If the Ombudsman agrees, he can make recommendations to the tribunal to address the problem, and he can also make recommendations about government legislation, policies or programs. For more information on the powers of the Ombudsman over tribunals, go to: Ombudsman Ontario
There will be a transcript made of the hearing. Copies are available at your own expense.