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Accessible Canada Act (S.C. 2019, c. 10)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2020-06-28 and last amended on 2019-07-11. Previous Versions

PART 6Remedies (continued)

Investigation

Marginal note:Power to conduct investigation

 The Accessibility Commissioner may conduct an investigation into a complaint filed under subsection 94(1) unless it appears to him or her that

  • (a) the complainant ought to exhaust grievance or review procedures otherwise reasonably available;

  • (b) the complaint is one that could more appropriately be dealt with, initially or completely, according to a procedure provided for under an Act of Parliament other than this Act;

  • (c) the complaint is beyond the jurisdiction of the Accessibility Commissioner;

  • (d) the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith; or

  • (e) the complaint is based on acts or omissions the complainant became aware of more than one year, or any longer period of time that the Accessibility Commissioner considers appropriate in the circumstances, before the filing of the complaint.

Marginal note:Notice

  •  (1) The Accessibility Commissioner must cause a written notice advising of whether or not he or she has decided to investigate a complaint to be served on the complainant and the regulated entity against which the complaint was made.

  • Marginal note:Time and manner for application for review

    (2) If the Accessibility Commissioner’s decision is that the complaint will not be investigated, the notice must specify the time within which and the manner in which an application may be made for a review of the decision.

Marginal note:Joint investigation

 If the Accessibility Commissioner is of the opinion that two or more complaints involve substantially the same issues of fact, he or she may conduct a joint investigation into the complaints.

Marginal note:Powers of Accessibility Commissioner

 In the conduct of an investigation of a complaint, the Accessibility Commissioner may

  • (a) summon and enforce the appearance of persons before the Accessibility Commissioner and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce any records and things that the Accessibility Commissioner considers necessary to investigate the complaint, in the same manner and to the same extent as a superior court of record;

  • (b) administer oaths;

  • (c) receive and accept any evidence and other information, whether on oath, by affidavit or otherwise, that the Accessibility Commissioner sees fit, whether or not it is or would be admissible in a court of law;

  • (d) enter any place — including a conveyance — other than a dwelling-house;

  • (e) converse in private with any person in any place entered under paragraph (d) and otherwise carry out in that place any inquiries that the Accessibility Commissioner sees fit; and

  • (f) exercise any of the powers referred to in any of paragraphs 73(2)(a) to (l).

Marginal note:Dispute resolution mechanisms

 The Accessibility Commissioner may attempt to resolve complaints by means of a dispute resolution mechanism.

Marginal note:Discontinuance of investigation

  •  (1) The Accessibility Commissioner may discontinue the investigation of a complaint if he or she is of the opinion that

    • (a) there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation;

    • (b) any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraphs 95(a) to (e) applies; or

    • (c) the matter has been resolved — by means of a dispute resolution mechanism or otherwise — by the complainant and the regulated entity.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) The Accessibility Commissioner must cause the complainant and the regulated entity to be served with written notice of the discontinuance of the investigation that sets out the reasons for the discontinuance and that specifies the time within which and the manner in which an application may be made for a review of the decision to discontinue the investigation.

Marginal note:Complaint dismissed

  •  (1) At the conclusion of an investigation, the Accessibility Commissioner must dismiss the complaint if he or she finds that the complaint is not substantiated.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) The Accessibility Commissioner must cause the complainant and the regulated entity to be served with a written notice of the dismissal of the complaint that sets out the reasons for the dismissal and that specifies the time within which and the manner in which an application may be made for an appeal of the decision to dismiss the complaint.

Marginal note:Complaint substantiated

  •  (1) If, at the conclusion of an investigation, the Accessibility Commissioner finds that the complaint is substantiated, he or she may order the regulated entity to do one or more of the following:

    • (a) take the appropriate corrective measures specified in the order;

    • (b) make available to the complainant, on the first reasonable occasion, the rights, opportunities or privileges that were denied to the complainant as a result of the contravention to which the complaint relates;

    • (c) pay compensation to the complainant for any or all of the wages that they were deprived of and for any or all of the expenses incurred by the complainant as a result of the contravention;

    • (d) pay compensation to the complainant for any or all additional costs of obtaining alternative goods, services, facilities or accommodation, and for any or all of the expenses incurred by the complainant, as a result of the contravention;

    • (e) pay compensation to the complainant in an amount that is not more than the amount referred to in subsection (2) for any pain and suffering that the complainant experienced as a result of the contravention;

    • (f) pay to the complainant an amount that is not more than the amount referred to in subsection (2), if the Accessibility Commissioner determines that the contravention is the result of a wilful or reckless practice.

  • Marginal note:Amount

    (2) The amount, for the purposes of each of paragraphs (1)(e) and (f), is

    • (a) for the calendar year during which subsection (1) comes into force, $20,000; and

    • (b) for each subsequent calendar year, the amount that is equal to the product obtained by multiplying

      • (i) the amount determined under this subsection for the preceding calendar year

      by

      • (ii) the ratio that the Consumer Price Index for the preceding calendar year bears to the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year before that preceding calendar year.

  • Marginal note:Definition of Consumer Price Index

    (3) In subsection (2), Consumer Price Index, for a calendar year, means the average of the Consumer Price Index for Canada, as published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act, for each month in the calendar year.

  • Marginal note:Amount to be published

    (4) The Accessibility Commissioner must, as soon as it is determined, publish the amount that is the amount for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(e) and (f) for each calendar year after the year during which subsection (1) comes into force.

  • Marginal note:Interest

    (5) An order to pay compensation under paragraph (1)(c) or (d) may include an award of interest at a rate and for a period that the Accessibility Commissioner considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Copy

    (6) The Accessibility Commissioner must cause the complainant and the regulated entity to be served with a copy of the order made under subsection (1) and a notice that specifies the time within which and the manner in which an application may be made for an appeal of the order.

Marginal note:Review by Accessibility Commissioner

  •  (1) The Accessibility Commissioner may, on application made within the time and in the manner specified in the notice served under section 96 or 100, as the case may be, review a decision under section 95 not to investigate a complaint or a decision under section 100 to discontinue an investigation.

  • Marginal note:Representations

    (1.1) The complainant must be given the opportunity to make representations to the officer or employee conducting the review in a manner that is accessible to the complainant.

  • Marginal note:Powers

    (2) After concluding the review, the Accessibility Commissioner must

    • (a) confirm the decision not to investigate the complaint;

    • (b) investigate the complaint;

    • (c) confirm the decision to discontinue the investigation; or

    • (d) continue the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (3) The Accessibility Commissioner must cause the complainant and the regulated entity to be served with a written notice that sets out the Accessibility Commissioner’s decision under subsection (2) and the reasons for it.

  • Marginal note:Decision final

    (4) Every decision made by the Accessibility Commissioner under any of paragraphs (2)(a) to (d) is final and is not to be questioned or reviewed in any court.

 
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