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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 109 18 I
7/16/2018
K. Iima - M. Lipton - F. Jackson

  • Parties (representation) (paralegal) (exceptions) (relative, friend or neighbour)
  • Parties (representation) (paralegal) (exceptions) (volunteer representative of a trade union)

In this decision, the Panel considered whether the worker's representative was entitled to act as the representative, considering his status under the Law Society Act and By-Law 4 pursuant to that Act.
The representative did not meet the requirements of s. 30 of By-Law 4 regarding acting for a friend or neighbour. One of the requirements under that section is that the individual not provide the legal services for more than three matters per year. This representative was currently representing nine other workers before the Board or the Tribunal.
The Panel was, however, satisfied that the representative fell within the exemption in s. 32(2) of By-Law 4, for a volunteer representative of a trade union. The Panel noted submissions from the Tribunal Counsel Office that it is not sufficient for someone to be acting in a voluntary, unpaid capacity and a member of a trade union in order to be a volunteer representative of a trade union. Rather, the representative must also be a representative of the trade union, in the sense that the representative has been appointed, elected or otherwise recognized by the union to act as its representative. That was the situation in this case, where the union president clearly expressed that the representative had the authority of the union to act on its behalf for the worker.
The Panel concluded that the representative was entitled to act for the worker in this case.