Applications filed on and after March 1, 2018 will be processed using a new case processing system ("New System"). The New System has the following benefits:
Under the New System, a HRTO Vice-chair is assigned to each application and will deal with all adjudicative matters from the time an application is filed until the file is closed (this does not include mediation). The HRTO may re-assign the file to another Vice-chair if required.
In the New System, most merits hearings are scheduled for one day. Parties must be prepared to proceed on the first day of hearing. If the hearing is not completed, continuation days will be scheduled. This will not apply to hearings held in northern Ontario locations (due to travel requirements) and may not apply to other hearings if there are exceptional circumstances (such as travel requirements or the complexity of the case). The HRTO will continue to offer mediation/adjudication at the beginning of the hearing.
In New System cases, a pre-hearing Case Management Conference Call will be scheduled approximately 30 days before the first day of hearing. The Notice of Hearing and CMCC will provide the date and time of the CMCC and of the hearing. CMCCs will be scheduled for one hour on a Monday.
The timing of the CMCC is important. Because it takes place after the parties are required to file their witness statements and hearing documents, the HRTO will consider the potential impact of granting a request to extend the time for filing hearing documents or witness statements on the scheduled CMCC. As a result, these requests will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
At the CMCC, the assigned Vice-chair will:
You must identify any remaining preliminary or procedural issues relating to the hearing in writing at least seven days before the CMCC. You can do this by writing or sending an e-mail to the HRTO Registrar and copying the other parties. A formal Request for Order (Form 10) is not required, and you are not required to follow Rule 19. The other parties may respond in writing before the CMCC but are not required to do so. Parties must be prepared to make submissions on these issues at the CMCC. The Vice-chair may make oral rulings on these issues at the CMCC, and/or may issue written rulings on these issues without detailed reasons.
Do not wait until the CMCC to ask the HRTO to decide preliminary or procedural issues. Use the Response or a Request for Order to bring the following issues to the attention of the HRTO as soon as possible:
In most cases, the HRTO will decide these kinds of issues before the CMCC.
Similarly, parties are expected to make requests for disclosure as soon as possible and preferably shortly after the deadline for disclosure of arguably relevant documents. The HRTO will deal with disclosure issues raised by the parties well in advance of the CMCC. Parties should not wait to raise disclosure issues at the CMCC. If they do, the Vice-chair will consider the timing of the request as a factor when deciding whether to order production, in addition to factors like fairness and prejudice.
The kinds of preliminary or procedural issues that should be raised at the CMCC are:
If a preliminary or procedural issue could have been raised by a party at the CMCC but was not, the adjudicator may not allow the party to raise the issue at a later time or at the hearing.
At the CMCC, the Vice-chair and the parties will discuss how the hearing will proceed. You may expect to discuss:
With the parties' consent, the Vice-chair may engage in mediation / adjudication discussions with the parties by telephone or email before the hearing.
The process and deadlines for requesting re-scheduling will be set out in the Notice of Hearing and CMCC.
A timely request to re-schedule the hearing will result in re-scheduling both the hearing and the CMCC.
Where a timely request is made to re-schedule the CMCC, the HRTO will try to re-schedule the CMCC taking into consideration the availability of the assigned Vice-chair and the parties and the scheduled hearing date.