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Return of In-Person Hearings

In line with the Province’s Framework for Reopening, and steps taken by the courts and other adjudicative agencies, the WSIAT has begun planning for the scheduling of a small number of in-person hearings.  The resumption of in-person hearings will be very gradual. 

As always, the health and safety of employees, OICs and stakeholders will remain the WSIAT’s top priority.  The WSIAT anticipates being able to resume in-person hearings, on a limited basis, in mid-August, in the Ian J. Strachan Conference Centre, located on the 5th floor of 505 University Avenue.  The scheduling of time-sensitive matters that are not suitable for a teleconference or videoconference will be prioritized for in-person hearings and further information about the selection of cases for in-person hearings will be provided soon.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSIAT’s operational decisions have been guided by the following values and commitments:

  1. Protecting the health and safety of employees, OICs and stakeholders;
  2. Ensuring access to justice; and
  3. Delivering excellence in adjudication, which includes conducting fair hearings in accordance with the principles of natural justice and issuing well-reasoned decisions in an efficient manner.

The WSIAT continues to adjust its procedures and practices in order to continue to process and adjudicate appeals, applications, and other matters during this period in a fair manner. 

What does this mean for WSIAT Stakeholders?

While public health restrictions remain in place due to COVID-19, the Tribunal will continue to focus on alternative hearing methods (teleconference, videoconference, or in writing) to provide ongoing access to justice.  The limited resumption of in-person hearings will be focused on time-sensitive matters in which it has been determined that an in-person hearing is appropriate and necessary.

Materials for in-person hearings during COVID-19 are in the process of being created and will specifically outline procedures to protect the health and safety of all participants during in-person hearings. 

The WSIAT will continue to provide updates about the gradual and safe resumption of in-person hearings as they become available.  Any questions or concerns can be directed to the WSIAT’s Event Coordinator by email at Event.Coordinator@wst.gov.on.ca

Thank you and take care,

Rosemarie McCutcheon