Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions
- Parties (representation) (paralegal) (legal services)
In this decision, the Panel considered the standing of the worker's representative to represent the worker in his appeal. The representative was not a licensed lawyer or paralegal. He was the president and chairperson of Community Functionality Facilitation Inc. He has experience in program and project development for disability services. He stated that his organization works with people who have been determined to be disabled under other legislation. He submitted that he was relying on s. 1(8) para. 1 of the Law Society Act to establish his exemption that would allow him to represent the worker. Section 1(8) of the Law Society Act provides that a number of persons are deemed not to be practising law or providing legal services, including in para. 1, a person who is acting in the normal course of carrying on a profession or occupation governed by another Act of the Legislature, or an Act of Parliament, that regulates specifically the activities of persons engaged in that profession or occupation. The Panel had to determine whether: the representative was involved in a profession that was governed by an Act of the Legislature or an Act of Parliament; and whether representing a client before the Tribunal was part of the normal course of carrying on that profession. The representative provided copies of a number of Acts on which he was relying. One was the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The Panel found that it lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life but it did not regulate the activities of individuals engaged in any identified profession or occupation. Another was the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. The Panel found that the standards set out a number of requirements with which service providers must comply but the position of service provider does not constitute a profession or occupation as such. Rather, service providers have various different educational and professional backgrounds. The standards do not regulate the activities of service providers in their professional or occupational capacity. A third Act provided by the representative was the Child and Services Act. This provides for a broad range of services and promotes the best interests, protection and wellbeing of children but does not regulate the activities of persons engaged in a profession or occupation. Isolated requirement imposed on persons carrying out specific functions was not sufficient to establish a general regulatory scheme. The fourth Act provided by the representative was the Canada Corporations Act. This sets out requirements for creation, amendment and dissolution of federal corporations but does not regulate the activities of individuals engaged in any profession or occupation. The Panel concluded that the representative was not acting in the normal course of carrying on a profession or occupation governed by another Act that regulates specifically the activities of persons engaged in that profession or occupation. The representative did not have standing to represent the worker in this appeal. The hearing was adjourned to allow the worker to find other representation.