35 In all proceedings under this Act, an applicant or appellant may choose to be represented by a pensions advocate from the Bureau, by a service bureau of a veterans’ organization or, at the person’s own expense, by any other representative of the person’s choice.
Marginal note:Place and time of sittings
Marginal note:Hearings to be public
(2) Every hearing before the Board shall be open to the public except where the applicant or appellant requests that the hearing be closed and the Board is of the opinion that a closed hearing would not be contrary to the public interest.
- 1995, c. 18, s. 36
- 1999, c. 10, s. 40
Marginal note:Questions of interpretation
37 (1) The Minister, the Chief Pensions Advocate, any veterans’ organization incorporated by or under an Act of Parliament or any interested person may refer to the Board for a hearing and decision on any question of interpretation relating to this Act, to the Pension Act, to Part 3 of the Veterans Well-being Act, to any other Act of Parliament pursuant to which an appeal may be taken to the Board or to any regulations made under any such Act.
(2) Before making a decision on a question referred to it, the Board shall notify the prescribed persons or organizations and give them an opportunity to present argument on the question.
Marginal note:Refusal to hear trivial questions
(3) The Board may refuse to hear and decide any question referred to it under this section that it considers to be trivial, frivolous or vexatious.
- 1995, c. 18, s. 37
- 2005, c. 21, s. 114
- 2017, c. 20, s. 292
Marginal note:Medical opinion
38 (1) The Board may obtain independent medical advice for the purposes of any proceeding under this Act and may require an applicant or appellant to undergo any medical examination that the Board may direct.
Marginal note:Notification of intention
(2) Before accepting as evidence any medical advice or report on an examination obtained pursuant to subsection (1), the Board shall notify the applicant or appellant of its intention to do so and give them an opportunity to present argument on the issue.
Marginal note:Rules of evidence
39 In all proceedings under this Act, the Board shall
(a) draw from all the circumstances of the case and all the evidence presented to it every reasonable inference in favour of the applicant or appellant;
(b) accept any uncontradicted evidence presented to it by the applicant or appellant that it considers to be credible in the circumstances; and
(c) resolve in favour of the applicant or appellant any doubt, in the weighing of evidence, as to whether the applicant or appellant has established a case.
Marginal note:Expeditious proceedings
40 All proceedings before the Board shall be dealt with as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness permit.
41 No action or other proceeding lies against any person for or in respect of anything done, reported or said in good faith in any proceedings before the Board or anything reported or said in good faith in any material, information or report made or furnished by any person at the request of the Board.
42 (1) The Chairperson may recommend to the Minister that an inquiry be held to determine whether a member should be subject to disciplinary or remedial measures for any reason set out in any of paragraphs 43(2)(a) to (d).
Marginal note:Judge to conduct inquiry
(2) If the Minister considers it appropriate that an inquiry be held, a judge, supernumerary judge or former judge of the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal or the Federal Court, in this section and section 43 referred to as a “judge”, shall conduct the inquiry.
(3) A judge conducting an inquiry has all the powers, rights and privileges that are vested in a superior court and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, has the power
(a) to issue to any person a summons requiring them to appear at the time and place mentioned in the summons to testify with respect to all matters within their knowledge relative to the inquiry and to bring and produce any thing that they have or control relative to the inquiry; and
(b) to administer oaths and examine any person on oath.
Marginal note:Inquiry public
(4) Subject to subsections (5) and (6), an inquiry shall be conducted in public.
(5) A judge conducting an inquiry may, on application, take any measures or make any order that the judge considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of the inquiry if the judge is satisfied that financial or personal or other matters may be disclosed and are of such a nature that the desirability of avoiding public disclosure of those matters in the interest of any person affected or in the public interest outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that the inquiry be conducted in public.
(6) Where the judge considers it appropriate to do so, the judge may take any measures or make any order that the judge considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of any hearing held in respect of an application referred to in subsection (5).
Marginal note:Rules of evidence
(7) A judge conducting an inquiry is not bound by any legal or technical rules of evidence and, in any proceedings of the inquiry, the judge may receive and base a decision on evidence adduced in the proceedings and considered credible or trustworthy in the circumstances of the case.
Marginal note:Right to be heard
(8) Every member in respect of whom an inquiry is held shall be given reasonable notice of the subject-matter of the inquiry and of the time and place of any hearing and shall be given an opportunity, in person or by counsel, to be heard at the hearing, to cross-examine witnesses and to adduce evidence.
- 1995, c. 18, s. 42
- 2002, c. 8, s. 179
Marginal note:Report of inquiry
(2) Where an inquiry has been held and, in the opinion of the judge who conducted the inquiry, the member in respect of whom the inquiry was held
(a) has become incapacitated from the due execution of their office by reason of infirmity,
(b) is guilty of misconduct,
(c) has failed in the due execution of their office, or
(d) has been placed, by conduct or otherwise, in a position that is incompatible with the due execution of their office,
the judge may, in the report of the inquiry, recommend that the member be suspended without pay or removed from office or may recommend that such remedial measure as the judge considers necessary be taken.
Marginal note:Governor in Council may suspend or remove
(3) Where the Minister receives a report under subsection (1), the Minister shall send a copy of the report to the Governor in Council, who may suspend the member to whom the report relates without pay, remove the member from office or take any remedial measure.
Rules and Regulations
(2) A majority of permanent members in office constitutes a quorum for the purpose of making rules under subsection (1).
45 The Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying the purposes and provisions of this Act into effect, including regulations
(a) prescribing the procedure to be followed in respect of applications, appeals or other matters under this Act;
(b) prescribing the information to be provided in connection with an application or appeal;
(c) prescribing the information to be included in the Board’s decisions;
(d) governing the giving of notice of the Board’s decisions; and
(e) prescribing persons or organizations for the purposes of sections 30 and 37.
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