How an Appeal is Processed

Registration

The Statement of Appeal - Form 1 is reviewed for completeness and verified to ensure that it is filed within the prescribed 45-day period and that the prescribed fee is included.

The Statement of Appeal is verified to confirm that confidential business information (CBI) and other confidential information have been detached, labelled and sealed, as required by the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations.

Once a Statement of Appeal has been properly filed with the Chief Appeals Officer, a Registry Number is assigned to the claim and the appellant is contacted by the appeals officer to acknowledge receipt of the Statement of Appeal.

Requesting the Record of the Screening Officer

In accordance with subsection 7(1) of the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations, the Chief Appeals Officer sends a written request to the Chief Screening Officer, requesting the transmittal of the record pertaining to the decision, order or undertaking that is the subject of the appeal.

The record is provided to the appeal board and to the appellant and any affected parties, upon request.

Hearings

Venue

Appeals are usually heard in the province or territory in which the claimant carries out business. Where the claimant carries out business in more than one province, the Chief Appeals Officer determines the appropriate location for the hearing.

Oral Submissions

Where an appellant requests an opportunity to make oral submissions before the appeal board, the board shall establish and advise all parties of a time, date and place for a hearing. Oral submissions shall be confined to the grounds of appeal and the matters raised in the written submissions that have been filed with the appeal board.

Where an appellant requests the opportunity to make oral submissions before the appeal board and there are no material issues of fact or opinion the nature of which requires the examination of witnesses, the board may determine the appeal without hearing oral submissions or examining witnesses.

Procedural Conference

The appeal board may at any time convene a procedural conference with all parties for the purpose of considering any matter that may aid in the simplification or disposition of the proceedings.

Management of Confidential Information

Where confidential information is to be disclosed in oral submissions during the hearing or procedural conference, the appeal board moves into a confidential session and excludes from the hearing  all persons except the party who is to present the confidential information to the board, and any person whom that party requests be permitted to attend the confidential session.

Notice of Appeal

For each appeal filed, a Notice of Appeal - Form 3 is published in the Canada Gazette to provide affected parties (as defined in subsection 2(2) of the Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations) with an opportunity to make representations to the appeal board. The notice of appeal requires those who intend to participate in the appeal to file an Appearance - Form 4 with the Chief Appeals Officer and to serve a copy of the appearance on the appellant by the date specified in the notice.

The notice of appeal is served by the Chief Appeals Officer on the appellant, claimant and each affected party who has made written representations with respect to the matter under appeal. The appellant must then serve a copy of the Statement of Appeal - Form 1 on all parties within the time period fixed by the appeal board.

Appeal Boards

Health Canada is responsible for convening the appeal board to render a decision on the appeal.

Appeal boards, consist of three (3) members.

The procedure for appointing appeal board members depends on whether the appeal relates to the provisions of the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) or the Canada Labour Code (CLC).

Appeals relating to the  HPA:

  • an appeal board consists of a chairperson, appointed by the Chief Appeals Officer on the recommendation of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council of the province in which the appeal is to be convened; and
  • two (2) other members appointed by the chairperson from lists of potential nominees: One (1) member from organizations representing workers and the other from organizations representing suppliers and employers in the province where the appeal board is to be convened.

Appeals relating to provisions of the  CLC:

  • an appeal board consists of a chairperson, appointed by the Chief Appeals Officer on the recommendation of the federal Minister of Labour; and
  • two (2) other members appointed by the chairperson from lists of potential nominees: One (1) member from organizations representing employees and one (1) from organizations representing employers, to whom the CLC applies and which function in the province/territory where the appeal board is to be convened.

The lists of appeal board nominees for each province and territory, are maintained by the Chief Appeals Officer.

Although appeal boards are convened and administered by the Chief Appeals Officer, they are completely independent in respect of their decision-making powers. In addition to their powers under the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) and the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations, the appeal board has certain powers conferred by the  Inquiries Act.

Access to Confidential Information

Because of the confidential nature of most of the information respecting the appeal, the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations include a number of provisions in this regard:

  • CBI
    Any confidential information in respect of which a claim for exemption has been made. Only the claimant (appellant), appeal board members and their staff have access to CBI.
  • Confidential Information
    Access to any information that is confidential, other than CBI, is restricted to the claimant (appellant), appeal board and staff, as well as to the independent counsel representing the affected party, if independent counsel has filed with the appeal board and served on the appellant a Declaration and Undertaking - Form 5.
  • Privileged Information
    All information obtained from a supplier or employer under the HMIRA is privileged and is not accessible to the public. Access is only provided to the claimant (appellant), appeal board members and staff, and the affected party. Notwithstanding the Access to Information Act, the information cannot be communicated without the written consent of the person by whom the information was provided, except for the purposes of administration of the HMIRA.

Appeal Board Decisions

When a decision or an order is under appeal, the final outcome of the process is a decision by the appeal board on whether to dismiss the appeal and confirm the decisions or orders previously made, or to allow the appeal and either vary or rescind the decisions or orders being appealed.

In the case of an appeal of an undertaking between Health Canada and a claimant, the final outcome of the process is a decision by the appeal board on whether to dismiss the appeal, or to allow the appeal and make an appropriate order. A notice of decision, including the reasons, is published in the Canada Gazette.

The appeal board renders its decision in writing to the claimant (or appellant) as soon as practicable after the hearing. The affected parties who have made submissions on the appeal receive a notice of decisions which indicates the nature of the decision and the reasons for it, but does not disclose the confidential business information for which the claim for exemption was made.

A notice of decision, including the purport and reasons, is published in the Canada Gazette and is made available upon written request.

Judicial Review

Any party wishing to file an application for a judicial review should contact the Federal Court of Canada.

Additional Information

Contact the Chief Appeals Officer for additional information or clarification.

Chief Appeals Officer
Health Canada, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch
Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau
269 Laurier Avenue West, 4th floor (4903E)
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9
Canada

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