Rules of the Board of Arbitration (Agriculture and Agri-Food)

SOR/2000-306

CANADA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ACT

Registration 2000-07-27

Rules of the Board of Arbitration (Agriculture and Agri-Food)

P.C. 2000-1125  2000-07-27

The Board of Arbitration continued by subsection 4(1)Footnote a of the Canada Agricultural Products ActFootnote b, pursuant to subsection 8(3)Footnote c of that Act, hereby makes the annexed Rules of the Board of Arbitration (Agriculture and Agri-Food).

Ottawa, July 4, 2000

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to subsection 8(3)Footnote c of the Canada Agricultural Products ActFootnote b, hereby approves the making of the annexed Rules of the Board of Arbitration (Agriculture and Agri-Food) by the Board of Arbitration.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) The definitions in this section apply in these Rules.

    Act

    Loi

    Act means the Canada Agricultural Products Act. (Loi)

    complainant

    plaignant

    complainant means a person who files a complaint under subsection 9(1) of the Act. (plaignant)

    defendant

    défendeur

    defendant means a person against whom a complaint is filed under subsection 9(1) of the Act. (défendeur)

    party

    partie

    party means a complainant, a defendant or an intervenor. (partie)

    Secretary

    secrétaire

    Secretary means the Secretary of the Board. (secrétaire)

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (2) These Rules are to be liberally construed in order to permit the fairest, least expensive and most expeditious way of resolving complaints.

Rules of General Application

Marginal note:Procedural matters not provided for

 If any question of procedure arises during a proceeding that is not covered, or not fully covered, in these Rules, the Board must decide the question in a manner that is consistent with these Rules.

Marginal note:Unfairness

 If the application of any of these Rules would cause unfairness to a party during the complaint process, the Board may waive compliance with that rule.

Marginal note:Technical defects

 A defect in form or a technical irregularity may be overlooked by the Board.

Marginal note:Calculating periods

 In calculating periods under these Rules, all days must be counted except that, if the time ends on a Saturday, Sunday or other statutory holiday, the time must be extended until the next business day.

Marginal note:Extension of time limits

 The Board may extend the time limits fixed in these Rules either before or after the end of the time limits fixed.

Marginal note:Public nature of filed documents
  •  (1) A document filed with the Board by a party must be treated as a public document unless the party requests that the document be treated as confidential.

  • Marginal note:Request for confidential treatment

    (2) Reasons must be given for the request that a document be given confidential treatment and, if it is alleged that disclosure would cause harm to the party, the reasons must include details of the nature and extent of the harm.

Marginal note:Documents to be in duplicate
  •  (1) Any documents sent to the Board must be sent in duplicate.

  • Marginal note:Submitting documents to the Board

    (2) All documents required to be submitted to the Board must be submitted by hand or by mail, registered mail, courier or facsimile.

  • Marginal note:Faxes sent to the Board

    (3) The original and a copy of any document sent by facsimile must be sent by mail without delay after the facsimile transmission.

Marginal note:Filed information to be sent to parties

 The Board is responsible for ensuring that copies of all documents submitted to it by a party are sent to the other parties.

Marginal note:Communications by the Board

 Written communications by the Board may be delivered by hand or sent by registered mail, courier or facsimile.

Marginal note:Change of address or fax number

 A party must without delay notify the Board of a change of facsimile number or address.

Marginal note:Teleconference

 The Board may meet by teleconference for all purposes except for conducting hearings.

Marginal note:Representation of parties

 A party may be represented by counsel or by an agent authorized in writing.

Marginal note:In camera hearings
  •  (1) A hearing before the Board may, on the request of any complainant or defendant, be held in camera if that party establishes to the satisfaction of the Board that the circumstances of the case so require.

  • Marginal note:Exclusion of witnesses

    (2) The Board may order a witness at a hearing to be excluded from the hearing until called to give evidence.

Marginal note:Taking notice

 The Board may take notice of any matter in order to expedite any proceeding.

Marginal note:Impartiality of Board member
  •  (1) If a party is of the opinion that a member of the Board is not in a position to act impartially, that party must without delay notify the Board in writing, stating the reason for that opinion.

  • Marginal note:Exclusion of Board member

    (2) If the Board is of the opinion that the reason given by that party is valid, the Board must exclude the member from consideration of the complaint.

Marginal note:Conflict of interest

 If the Board is of the opinion that a member of the Board is in a conflict of interest in relation to a complaint, the Board must exclude the member from consideration of the complaint.

Complaint

Marginal note:Filing complaint

 A complaint must be filed with the Secretary together with copies of all relevant documents and a statement as to whether or not the complainant requests that a hearing be held.

Marginal note:Complaint to be signed

 The complaint must be signed by the complainant or the complainant’s counsel or agent. If an agent signs the complaint, a copy of the complainant’s written authorization of the agent must be filed with the complaint.

Marginal note:Contents of complaint

 The complaint must contain the following information:

  • (a) a precise statement of the facts and the grounds on which the complaint is based and, if possible, stating the provision of the regulations made under the Act that the defendant allegedly failed to comply with;

  • (b) the name, address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the defendant and of any agent representing the defendant in the transaction;

  • (c) the quantity, quality or grade of each kind of agricultural product shipped;

  • (d) the dates of shipment and arrival;

  • (e) the identification of any shipping vehicles;

  • (f) the shipping and destination points; and

  • (g) the nature of the order requested and the amount of compensation requested.

Marginal note:Additional information
  •  (1) The Secretary, after reviewing the complaint and all supporting documentation, may require the complainant to file additional information within the period fixed by the Secretary.

  • Marginal note:Consequence of not providing information

    (2) If the complainant does not provide the additional information requested by the Secretary within the period fixed by the Secretary and fails to provide a reasonable excuse for the non-compliance, the Board may proceed with the complaint based on the information already filed with it.

Marginal note:Inappropriate complaints

 If the Board is of the opinion that the complaint on its face is frivolous or vexatious or does not disclose a valid basis, the Board must declare the complaint inappropriate for consideration by the Board and so advise the complainant.

Marginal note:Notification of defendant

 Unless the complaint is declared inappropriate for consideration by the Board, the Secretary must send to the defendant a copy of the complaint and copies of all documents submitted with it.

Disputing the Complaint

Marginal note:Filing a defence
  •  (1) Within 30 days after the date on which the Secretary sends a copy of the complaint to the defendant, the defendant may file a defence with the Secretary.

  • Marginal note:Documents to be filed

    (2) The defence must be accompanied by copies of all relevant documents not already filed by the complainant and a statement as to whether or not the defendant requests that a hearing be held.

Marginal note:Contents of defence

 The defence must contain

  • (a) a precise statement of the facts that constitute the grounds of the defence; and

  • (b) a statement indicating which facts in the complaint are admitted, denied, or of which the defendant has no knowledge.

Marginal note:Filing a counterclaim
  •  (1) If the complainant is a dealer licensed under the Act, the defendant may also, within 30 days after the date on which the Secretary sends a copy of the complaint to the defendant, file a counterclaim against the complainant.

  • Marginal note:Documents to be filed

    (2) The counterclaim must be accompanied by copies of all relevant documents not already filed by the complainant or filed by the defendant in support of the defence and a statement as to whether or not the defendant requests that a hearing be held.

Marginal note:Contents of counterclaim

 A counterclaim must contain the same information that is required for a complaint.

Marginal note:Defence and counterclaim to be signed

 The defence and any counterclaim must be signed by the defendant or the defendant’s counsel or agent. If an agent signs the defence or counterclaim, a copy of the defendant’s written authorization of the agent must be filed with it.

Marginal note:Notification of complainant

 The Secretary must send to the complainant a copy of the defence and of the counterclaim, if any, and copies of all documents submitted with them.

Marginal note:Additional information
  •  (1) The Secretary, after examining the defence, the counterclaim, if any, and any supporting documents, may require the defendant to file additional information within the period fixed by the Secretary.

  • Marginal note:Consequence of not providing information

    (2) If the defendant does not provide the additional information requested by the Secretary within the period fixed by the Secretary and fails to provide a reasonable excuse for the non-compliance, the Board may proceed with the complaint based on the information already filed with it.

Intervention

Marginal note:Request to intervene

 At any time after the Secretary sends the complaint to the defendant, and before a hearing is scheduled for the complaint, any person, other than the complainant or the defendant, who has a direct financial interest in the proceedings may request to intervene by sending the Secretary a request in writing.

Marginal note:Content of request
  •  (1) A request to intervene must describe the person’s financial interest in the proceedings, contain a precise statement of the facts and grounds that form the basis of the intervention and be accompanied by copies of any relevant documents.

  • Marginal note:Request to be signed

    (2) The request must be signed by the person or the person’s counsel or agent. If an agent signs the request, a copy of the person’s written authorization of the agent must be filed with it.

Marginal note:Request accepted

 If the Board is satisfied that the person has a direct financial interest in the proceedings and that the intervention would be useful to the proceedings, the Secretary must authorize the intervention and send to the other parties copies of the material submitted by the person.

Marginal note:Request denied

 If the Board does not authorize the intervention of a person, the Secretary must return the material to that person.

Consideration of Complaint

Marginal note:Notice of hearing

 If the complainant or defendant has requested a hearing, the Secretary must set a date, time and place for the hearing and must, in writing, notify the parties of that date, time and place.

Marginal note:Confirmation of presence
  •  (1) Within 30 days after a party receives the notice of hearing, the party must notify the Board in writing as to whether they intend to attend the hearing or whether they intend to present evidence and make arguments in writing.

  • Marginal note:Statement of evidence

    (2) A party that indicates that they will attend the hearing, must also, within 30 days after receiving the notice of hearing, provide the Board with a written statement of the names of the party’s witnesses and the general nature of their evidence.

  • Marginal note:Statements to be given to parties

    (3) The Secretary must send a copy of the statement provided by a party under subsection (2) to the other parties.

Marginal note:Request for summons
  •  (1) Within 30 days after a party receives the notice of hearing, the party may request that the Board issue a summons requiring any person to appear at the hearing to give evidence, or to produce any documents, relative to the subject-matter before the Board.

  • Marginal note:Content of the request

    (2) The request must indicate why the evidence or documents would be relative to the subject-matter before the Board.

Marginal note:Refusal to issue summons

 The Board may refuse to issue a summons at the request of the party if the Board considers that the evidence or documents would not be relative to the subject-matter before the Board.

Marginal note:Pre-hearing conference
  •  (1) If a hearing is to be held and the Board is of the opinion that a pre-hearing conference might expedite the proceedings, the Board may request the Secretary to arrange a pre-hearing conference, to take place either by telephone or by the parties appearing before the Secretary, in order to

    • (a) simplify the issues;

    • (b) clarify the facts that are admitted and denied, or consider any amendment to the pleadings;

    • (c) determine the procedure to be followed at the hearing;

    • (d) exchange any further documents proposed to be given in evidence at the hearing; and

    • (e) attend to any other matters that may aid in the simplification of the evidence and the expeditious disposition of the hearing.

  • Marginal note:Summary to be prepared

    (2) After any pre-hearing conference, the Secretary must summarize the matters that were agreed to by the parties and send a copy of the summary to them and to the Board.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on communication

    (3) No communication may be made to the Board with respect to any statement made at the pre-hearing conference except as disclosed in the summary.

Marginal note:Failure to appear

 If a party does not appear at a hearing and the Board is satisfied that notice of the hearing was sent to the party in accordance with section 35, the Board may proceed in the party’s absence.

Marginal note:Postponements and adjournments

 A hearing may be postponed or adjourned by the Board from time to time on any terms that the Board considers appropriate.

Marginal note:Procedure if no agreement

 Sections 43 to 46 apply to govern the procedure at the hearing to the extent that the procedure for the hearing has not been determined in a pre-hearing conference or by agreement of the parties at the beginning of the hearing.

Marginal note:Complainant’s presentation

 At the beginning of the hearing, the complainant may present their case by first summarizing it and then presenting their evidence and making their arguments.

Marginal note:Defendant’s presentation

 After the complainant presents their case, the defendant may present their case by first summarizing it and then presenting their evidence and making their arguments.

Marginal note:Intervenor’s presentation

 After the complainant and the defendant have presented their cases, any intervenor is entitled to give evidence.

Marginal note:Summations

 After all the evidence is presented, the parties may make summations.

Marginal note:Examination, cross-examination and re-examination
  •  (1) The complainant and the defendant are each entitled to examine their own witnesses, to cross-examine a witness of another party and to re-examine their own witness for clarification.

  • Marginal note:Intervenor

    (2) An intervenor may be cross-examined by the complainant or the defendant but is not entitled to cross-examine them or their witnesses.

Marginal note:Examination of witnesses

 Witnesses at the hearing shall be examined orally on oath or affirmation.

Marginal note:Board in control of hearing

 Any member of the Board may intervene at any time and the Board may make any orders that it considers necessary for the proper conduct of the hearing.

Marginal note:Affidavit evidence

 Affidavit evidence is not admissible without the consent of the party against whom the affidavit evidence is tendered.

The Decision of the Board

Marginal note:Decision after a hearing
  •  (1) If a hearing is held, the Board may render its decision orally at the end of the hearing or it may render its decision at a later date.

  • Marginal note:Decision without a hearing

    (2) If a hearing is not held, the Board must render its decision after its deliberations based on the material submitted by the parties.

Marginal note:Communication of the decision
  •  (1) After the Board renders its decision, the Secretary must send to each party

    • (a) a summary of the decision, if the Board rendered its decision orally; or

    • (b) a copy of the decision, if the Board rendered its decision in writing.

  • Marginal note:Signature required

    (2) The summary or decision and the reasons, if any, must be signed by one of the Board members who took part in rendering the decision.

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Coming into force

 These Rules come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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