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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 624 19 I
4/23/2019
R. Basa - M. Christie - M. Tzaferis

  • Parties (representation) (paralegal)

In a preliminary matter, the Panel considered whether the worker's representative should be allowed to represent the worker.
The representative was a paralegal, whose status with the Law Society of Ontario was listed as suspended administratively.
Section 1(1) of the Law Society Act defines a licensee as a person licensed to provide legal services in Ontario. Section 1(4) provides that a person whose license is suspended or in abeyance is a licensee. Section 26.1(1) provides that no person, other than a licensee whose license is not suspended, shall practice law in Ontario or provide legal services in Ontario. Section 26.1(5) provides that a person who is not a licensee may practice law or provide legal services in Ontario if and to the extent permitted by the by-laws.
The representative in this case was a licensee who was suspended administratively. Thus, under s. 1(4), he was a licensee but was not authorized to provide legal services pursuant to s. 26.1(5) because his licence was suspended. Further, he could not be permitted to represent the worker under the exception for friends, as set out in By-law 4, because s. 26.1(5) only allows such an exception for a person who is not a licensee.
The representative was not allowed to represent the worker. The hearing was adjourned to allow the worker to obtain another representative or to prepare his case if he wants to proceed unrepresented.