Memorandum of Understanding

The Attorney General of Ontario
(hereinafter called the "Minister")
The Executive Chair of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario
(hereinafter called the "Executive Chair")

1. Purpose

2. Definitions

In this MOU:

  1. Accountability and Governance Documents: mean the documents, frameworks, and reports required under the ATAGAA;
  2. AAD: means the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet Agencies and Appointments Directive;
  3. Annual Report: means a description of SJTO's activities during the fiscal year, including financial reports and statements;
  4. Appointee: means the Executive Chair, Associate Chair, Vice-Chair, or Member appointed to one or more of SJTO constituent tribunals by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but does not mean an individual appointed as staff;
  5. Associate Chairs: means the Associate Chairs appointed within SJTO;
  6. ATAGAA: means the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c. 13, sch. 5;
  7. Business Plan: means an outline of the objectives and results which the SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals expect to achieve in the coming three years in order to comply with their legislative mandates;
  8. Deputy Minister: means the Deputy Attorney General or his or her designate;
  9. Directives: means the Directive and operating policies/procedures issued by central agencies such as the Corporate Policy Branch of the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Office of the Provincial Controller of the Ministry of Finance, Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and the Ministry of the Attorney General;
  10. Executive Chair: means the Executive Chair of SJTO;
  11. Executive Lead: means the Executive Lead of SJTO;
  12. Management Principles: means accepted business and financial standards and procedures, and accepted standards of ethical behaviour, accountability, excellence in management, and quality service, and includes an adherence to the policies, procedures, guidelines and directives of the Ministry and all relevant central government agencies (TB, MBC, Ministry of Finance, TBS);
  13. MBC: means Management Board of Cabinet;
  14. MI: means the Ministry of Infrastructure;
  15. Minister: means the Attorney General of Ontario;
  16. Ministry: means the Ministry of the Attorney General;
  17. MOF: means the Ministry of Finance;
  18. MOU: means this memorandum of understanding, including its schedules and any written amendments;
  19. PSOA: means the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.35, Schedule A, as amended from time to time;
  20. PRRT: means Program Review, Renewal and Transformation, a government-wide exercise led by Treasury Board, which examines the interrelationship of government activities on a functional basis rather than by ministries;
  21. Schedules: means the schedules attached to the MOU;
  22. SJTO: means Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, the cluster of tribunals designated under ATAGAA, now composed of the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Custody Review Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal, the Ontario Special Education (French) Tribunal and the Social Benefits Tribunal, and when used in this MOU, includes each of these constituent tribunals;
  23. TB: means Treasury Board;
  24. Tribunals and Constituent Tribunals: mean the adjudicative tribunals from time to time designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as part of SJTO under the ATAGAA.

3. Legislative Authority and Mandate

4. Status and Classification

5. Guiding Principles

6. Accountability Relationships

7. Conflict of Interest

  1. The Executive Chair is the Ethics Executive for Appointees for the purposes of PSOA and is responsible for ensuring that they are informed of the conflict of interest rules, including the rules on political activities that govern specially restricted public servants.
  2. The Executive Lead is designated as the Ethics Executive for the purposes of the PSOA for all public servants of SJTO who are not Appointees. The Executive Lead is responsible for ensuring that SJTO's staff are informed of the conflict of interest rules, including the rules on political activities that govern public servants and for carrying out the responsibilities of Ethics Executive in accordance with the requirements of the PSOA.

8. Roles and Responsibilities

9. Reporting Requirements

10. Communications

"Communications" shall not include discussion or exchanging of non-public information between SJTO personnel and the Minister, Deputy Minister or Ministry staff about specific current, past, or future cases before the tribunals.

Inquiries received by the Minister's office regarding a case in progress at a Tribunal will be re-directed to SJTO without comment. Any response made by the Minister's office to the inquiring party will indicate that the inquiry has been forwarded to SJTO and that the Minister cannot interfere with an adjudicative proceeding or decision or resolution.

The parties to this MOU recognize that the timely exchange of information on the administration of SJTO is essential for the Minister to meet his/her responsibilities for reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of SJTO. The parties also recognize that it is essential for the Executive Chair to be kept informed of government initiatives and broad policy directions that may affect SJTO's mandate and functions. The parties, therefore, agree as follows:

  1. The Executive Chair will keep the Minister advised, in a timely manner, of all planned events and issues that concern or can be reasonably expected to concern the Minister in the exercise of his/her responsibilities. The Executive Lead will similarly keep the Deputy Minister advised.
  2. The Minister will consult with the Executive Chair, as appropriate, on broad government policy initiatives or legislation being considered by the government that may affect SJTO's mandate or functions.
  3. The Minister and the Executive Chair will consult with each other on public communications strategies and publications. They will, as appropriate, keep each other informed of the results of formal stakeholder and other public consultations.
  4. The Minister and the Executive Chair will meet at least annually, or as requested by either party, to discuss issues relating to the fulfillment of SJTO's mandate.
  5. The Deputy Minister and the Executive Chair/Executive Lead will meet as necessary to discuss issues relating to the efficient and effective operation of SJTO and the provision of services by the Ministry to SJTO.
  6. The parties agree to adhere to the Communications Protocol set out in Schedule 1 to this MOU.

11. Administrative Arrangements

12. Financial Arrangements

13. Audit and Review Arrangements

  1. The Minister may direct that SJTO be audited.
  2. The Ontario Internal Audit Division may also carry out an internal audit, if approved to do so by the Ministry's Audit Committee or by the Corporate Audit Committee. Also, the Auditor General of Ontario may, at any time, audit any aspect of the operations of SJTO under the Auditor General Act.
  3. SJTO will promptly provide a copy of every report from an audit to the Minister and the Minister of Finance. SJTO will also provide a copy of its response to the audit report and any recommendations therein. SJTO will advise the Minister annually on any outstanding audit requirements.
  4. The Executive Chair may request an external audit of the financial transactions or management controls of SJTO at SJTO's expense.

14. Staffing & Appointments

15. Liability Protection and Insurance

The operations of SJTO are covered for commercial general liability risks under the Government of Ontario's Protection Program.

16. Effective Date and Duration and Periodic Review of the MOU

Executed this _____________ day of ____________ 2017.

The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario

Michael Gottheil, Executive Chair, Social Justice Tribunals Ontario


I. Purpose

  1. To establish clear lines of communication between the Ministry (i.e. the Minister's Office, the Deputy Minister's Office, and Ministry staff) and SJTO.
  2. To establish a process for dealing with requests from Ministry staff for briefing material/issue notes.

II. Principles

This supplements the MOU, which defines the specific roles, responsibilities and relationship between the Ministry and SJTO.

SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals exercise their adjudicative and related functions independent of the government, the Ministry and the Minister, subject only to the provisions, limitations and conditions set out in the Child and Family Services Act, the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act, the Education Act, the Human Rights Code, the Intercountry Adoption Act, the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, the Ontario Works Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the ATAGAA, and any other legislation governing SJTO and this MOU.

SJTO's Constituent Tribunals are adjudicative tribunals as designated by the Management Board of Cabinet and ATAGAA. The commitment of the government to independent tribunals capable of efficiently and effectively fulfilling their mandates requires that the Minister, the Ministry and SJTO establish communication relationships, which are respectful of:

III. Lines of Communications/Protocols

  1. Communication between the Ministry and SJTO

    The Minister's office shall coordinate communication with SJTO through the office of the Executive Chair. The Deputy Minister shall communicate with the Executive Chair or Executive Lead.

  2. Questions or Complaints about individual cases

    The parties recognize and accept that it is inappropriate for SJTO, the Minister or the Ministry to comment publicly about specific cases before the SJTO or its Constituent Tribunals, and for the SJTO to discuss or communicate with the Minister or Ministry about specific cases that are under active consideration by the tribunals.

  3. Public Inquiries and Complaints about Tribunal Members or SJTO staff

    Telephone or written inquiries from members of the public to the Minister's Office, or Ministry staff about SJTO's policies and procedures are to be directed to SJTO, either through SJTO public information lines or in writing to SJTO offices. Inquiries to SJTO about government policy or funding will be directed to the Ministry.

    Complaints about the conduct of tribunal Members or employees of SJTO, will be directed to the Executive Chair, or the Executive Lead, respectively, in accordance with the SJTO Complaints Policy.

  4. Briefing Material/Issue Notes

    SJTO will prepare briefing or issue notes for the Minister upon the request of the Minister's office or the Ministry, so long as such requests do not deal with cases under active consideration by the tribunals, or matters which are expected to come before the tribunals.

    SJTO will prepare and deliver to the Ministry background information on specific issues, within the timeframe suggested, in accordance with SJTO's independent function.

    Requests for information from, and provision of information to, former host ministries of the Constituent Tribunals, will be referred to the Ministry to take appropriate action.

  5. Ministry's and SJTO's Communication Materials

    Whenever practical, the Ministry will give advance notice to the Executive Chair of the general content of documents or messages regarding SJTO's operations and mandates and permit the Executive Chair a reasonable period to provide comments and suggestions.

    Whenever practical, the Executive Chair will give the Minister advance notice of the general content of documents or messages of a public nature that might reasonably be expected to be of interest to the Minister. The Executive Lead will similarly advise the Deputy Minister.

    SJTO's public materials will comply with the government's visual identity guidelines and legal requirements for accessibility.

    SJTO will provide copies of its rules, practice directions, and public information materials to the Ministry upon request.


The Executive Chair will ensure that the following reports, statements and documents are submitted to the minister for review and approval:


  1. The following TB/MBC and MOF directives, guidelines and/or policies apply to SJTO.

  2. The Ministry is responsible for informing SJTO of amendments or additions to directives, policies and guidelines that apply to the Tribunals.


The Deputy Minister will ensure that the Ministry, authorized outside contractors, Justice Technology Services (JTS), or the Ontario Shared Services Bureau provides the following operations support services to the SJTO:

  1. Financial Administration: accounts payable, pay and benefits administration, revenues, purchasing, accounts receivable, including usage of IFIS facilities for processing these services where available, technical advice, purchasing, accounts receivable central mail and printing services, records and form advisory services.
  2. Human Resources Services: classification; advice and consultation regarding recruitment procedures and staff relations; job description writing; counselling regarding career planning and staff development; and advice and consultation regarding corporate initiatives such as Occupational Health and Safety, and other standard human resources services. The Ministry will assist the Executive Lead in ensuring that corporate educational opportunities and career planning services are available to the SJTO staff, and that these are communicated effectively to staff.
  3. Diversity and Inclusion Services: strategic advice, guidance and expertise on diversity and inclusion challenges; support in the development of a diversity and inclusion strategy and performance measures.
  4. Information Technology and Telecommunications Services: advice, consultation, services and support, including independent and external websites.
  5. Internal Audit: financial compliance, management, human resources and information systems audits; operational reviews and special investigations as required; consultations and training as required.
  6. Accommodation Planning: facilities planning and relocation services, including lease renewals.
  7. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Program Services.
  8. French Language Services: advice in meeting obligations under the applicable legislation, translation and interpretation services.
  9. Legal Services (as required)