24. (1) The Council may, at any time, allow the whole or any part of any application, reply, intervention or submission filed with the Secretary to be amended on such terms and conditions, including conditions as to notice, as the Council considers appropriate in the circumstances, and the Council may order to be amended or struck out any matter that, in its opinion, may prejudice, embarrass or delay a fair hearing of the case on its merits.
(2) The Council may order amendments to any application, reply, intervention or submission filed with the Secretary as may be necessary for the purpose of hearing and determining the question in issue between the parties.
(3) No proceeding shall be defeated by any objections based solely on defects in form.
SUMMONS, SUBPOENAS AND AUDITS
25. (1) The Council may, at any time, add a party to the proceedings before it.
(2) The Council may summon or subpoena a person to testify under oath or to produce any document or thing relevant to the proceedings.
(3) A summons and subpoena shall be in the forms set out in Schedules I and II respectively, and shall be signed by the chairman of the Council or the Secretary.
(4) A summons or subpoena may be served and shall have effect anywhere in Canada.
26. The Council may appoint a person to take evidence and report to the Council.
STAY OF PROCEEDINGS
27. (1) Where in a proceeding before the Council any order has been made under these Rules or under any other rule or any direction, order or regulation of the Council or under the Act requiring a person to furnish information or documents, the Council may order a stay of proceedings therein until such time as the information or documents so required have been filed with the Secretary.
(2) Where the Council directs an inquiry to be made into any matter relating to an application or complaint, the Secretary shall give such notice thereof to the parties in the proceeding as Council may designate and the Council may order a stay of proceedings therein for such time as the Council deems appropriate in the circumstances.
SETTLEMENT OF ISSUES AND PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS OF LAW
28. Where it appears to the Council that any statement or information contained in any application, reply, intervention or submission does not sufficiently disclose the issues of fact in dispute, or to be defined, between the parties in the proceeding, the Council may direct the parties to prepare an issue, and such issue shall, if the parties do not agree to the issues of fact in dispute, or to be defined, between them, be settled by the Council either before the hearing to be held in respect of that application or during the course of the hearing.
29. (1) Where it appears to the Council in any proceeding that there is a question of law, jurisdiction, practice or procedure that it would be convenient to have decided before proceeding further with the proceeding, the Council may make a decision on the question.
(2) The Council may, while making a decision on a question referred to in subsection (1), order the whole or any portion of the proceeding before it to be stayed.
30. The Council may, in any proceeding, direct orally or in writing the parties or their agents to appear before a member of the Council or the Secretary at a specified time and place for a conference or, in lieu of appearing personally, to make submissions in writing for the purpose of formulating issues and considering
(a) the simplification of issues;
(b) the necessity or desirability of amending the application, reply, intervention or submission for the purpose of clarification, amplification or limitation;
(c) the admission of certain facts or the proof of them by affidavit or the use by any party of documents of a public nature;
(d) the procedure to be followed at the hearing;
(e) the mutual exchange between the parties of documents and exhibits proposed to be submitted at the hearing; and
(f) such other matters as may aid in the simplification of the evidence and the disposition of the proceeding.
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