Public Consultation Policy
Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009


The purpose of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (“ATAGAA”) is to ensure that adjudicative tribunals are accountable, transparent and efficient in their operations, while remaining independent in their decision-making.

Tribunals Ontario has developed documents to meet the legislative requirements of the ATAGAA.

Section 4 of the ATAGAA requires that every adjudicative tribunal shall develop a consultation policy. The consultation policy must describe whether and how the tribunal will consult with the public when it is considering changes to rules or policies, including consultations with any persons, entities or groups of persons or entities whose interests, in the opinion of the tribunal’s chair, would be affected by the changes. This policy sets out the consultation process for Tribunals Ontario.

Consultation Policy

Consultation can play an important role in the mandate of Tribunals Ontario to protect the public interest, particularly when considering changes to rules or policies. For the purpose of this Policy, consultation is defined as a genuine exchange of information and points of view concerning policies or rules of practice of the constituent tribunals, between the tribunals and stakeholders, prior to a policy or rule being adopted or amended.

Tribunals Ontario recognizes consultation as a process to seek out and consider the interests of stakeholders.

In this context, the term “stakeholder” applies to members of the public, representatives of parties before the constituent tribunal considering the changes, and organizations and bodies considered to have a significant interest in the proposed changes.

Process for Consultation

Good consultation recognizes the needs of all participants, including stakeholders and the tribunals. When the tribunals identify a need for consultation, a recommendation for consultation will be made to the Executive Chair, identifying the extent and nature of the consultation required. The Executive Chair, or the Executive Chair’s delegate, will identify key stakeholders affected by the decision and will invite appropriate representatives from the identified stakeholders to join in consultation with the tribunals.

The invitation to consult may be issued verbally, in writing, or as a public invitation published on the internet. The invitation will include information on the topic of the consultation, a clear timeframe for the consultation, and a contact person to handle inquiries. On acceptance of the invitation, the individuals will receive relevant background information to assist in the development of their viewpoints.

Tribunals Ontario is committed to the following expectations:

  1. Informing the relevant stakeholders in an accurate and timely manner when changes to its rules or policies are being considered.
  2. Where consultation is determined to be appropriate, inviting participation from stakeholders as early as possible in the decision-making process.
  3. Seeking feedback through consultation using a range of mechanisms appropriate to the issue at hand, including but not limited to, meetings, focus groups, surveys, web-based feedback, fax, mail and phone.
  4. Considering feedback provided through a consultation process, where appropriate, before finalizing a policy or rule.

Consistent with the principle of proportionality, Tribunals Ontario reserves the right to modify the consultation process to reflect a less or more extensive consultation process, in appropriate circumstances.

Other Public Communications

Tribunals Ontario also keeps the public informed of its activities by:

  1. Posting relevant information on the website:
  2. Facilitating stakeholder forums, where appropriate, to share information about tribunal procedures and activities.
  3. Publishing Annual Reports for submissions to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Alternative Formats

This Policy is available in various accessible formats including Braille, audio tape and large print. For alternative format or a paper copy, please contact the Office of the Executive Chair, Tribunals Ontario.


This policy will be reviewed every 3 years along with the other documentation required by ATAGAA.

This Policy was adopted by the Executive Chair on July 30, 2020.

Tribunals Ontario – Consultation Policy