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ANNUAL REPORT 2019-20

Message from the Chair

It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report of the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) and the Board of Negotiation (BON) for the year ending March 31, 2020.  The report focuses on the Tribunal’s achievements for the year. 

The Tribunal serves as the adjudicative body for those who feel aggrieved by decisions made under various pieces of legislation under the auspices of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  The BON serves as the body that negotiates settlements between parties under the provisions of section 172 of the Environmental Protection Act.

The Tribunal continues to work hard to carry out its adjudicative mandate and achieve its goals.  We recognize the need to provide a fair and effective appeal mechanism to clients who come before us, and we have endeavoured to meet clients’ needs and expectations in the past year.  No matters were brought to the BON in 2019-20, and the BON is expected to be dissolved sometime during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The Tribunal continues to use a client survey to obtain feedback on its services.  The results of the survey assist the Tribunal in its ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and to evaluate the Tribunal’s performance. I am pleased to report that the ratings provided by clients in the key areas of services provided by the Tribunal remain at high levels. 

On behalf of the Tribunal members, I look forward to continuing to serve the agriculture and food sectors, as well as rural communities, throughout Ontario.

Yours truly,

Glenn Walker, Chair

Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Appeals Tribunal

THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS APPEAL TRIBUNAL

The Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) is an adjudicative agency of the Ontario government where decisions made by other bodies can be appealed or where applications and complaints can be heard pursuant to legislation that authorizes the Tribunal to hear those matters.  The Chair and all Vice-Chairs also sit on a special roster to hear Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002 matters.  All members are part-time per diem appointees appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

All Tribunal members also serve on the Board of Negotiation (BON) established under section 172 of the Environmental Protection Act. No matters have come before the BON since its inception, and it is expected to be dissolved sometime during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The Tribunal’s hearing room and offices are located in the Government Building at 1 Stone Road West, Guelph.  The Tribunal also conducts hearings throughout Ontario, as necessary, to improve its accessibility.

MANDATE OF TRIBUNAL

Constituted under section 14 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, the mandate of the Tribunal is to provide an independent, accessible avenue of appeal on a variety of agricultural issues under the following provincial statutes and have them heard by an impartial and knowledgeable tribunal: the Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002; the Agricultural Products Insurance Act, 1996; the Agricultural Tile Drainage Installation Act; the Animals for Research Act; the Animal Health Act, 2009; the Assessment Act; the Beef Cattle Marketing Act; the Commodity Board Members Act; the Drainage Act; the Farm Implements Act; the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993; the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001; the Grains Act; the Livestock Community Sales Act; the Livestock and Livestock Products Act; the Livestock Medicines Act; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act (for appeals of decisions made under the Farm Products Marketing Act and Milk Act).  

MISSION STATEMENT OF TRIBUNAL

To provide a fair and impartial hearing and decision process for those who are aggrieved by a direction, policy, order or decision, or who require the resolution of a dispute pursuant to legislation that falls under the mandate of the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal.

MANDATE OF THE BOARD OF NEGOTIATION

Established under the authority of the Environmental Protection Act, the mandate of the BON is to negotiate a settlement of a claim where a contaminant is causing or has caused injury or damage to livestock or to crops, trees or other vegetation.  Where a claimant has requested an investigation by the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and a report is filed, and where the claimant and the person responsible for the injury or damage are not able to reach a settlement of the claim, either party may refer the matter to the BON for settlement.  Settlements negotiated by the BON are non-binding.

MISSION STATEMENT OF BOARD OF NEGOTIATON

To provide a fair and impartial process for the negotiation of a settlement of claim where a party has served a notice of negotiation upon the Board of Negotiation in accordance with section 172 of the Environmental Protection Act.

VALUES/OPERATING PRINCIPLES

The Tribunal values:

1)         Finding facts from evidence, leading to clearly reasoned and expressed decisions.

2)         Respect and consideration.

3)         Fairness and accessibility.

4)         Continuous professional development.

5)         Adherence to principles of the adjudicative process.

6)         Endeavouring to reach consensus in the decision-making process.

What can be appealed to the Tribunal?

Any order, direction, decision or policy of the local marketing boards or of a Director made under the Farm Products Marketing Act or the Milk Act may be appealed to the Tribunal. Regulations of commodity boards may also be appealed to the Tribunal.  Orders, directions or decisions of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission that apply specifically to the aggrieved person, a group of persons of which the aggrieved person is a member or with respect to a particular dispute or incident involving the aggrieved person can also be appealed to the Tribunal.  However, Commission regulations and policies, orders, directions or decisions of the Commission that are of general application are not appealable to the Tribunal. 

A producer or commodity board who is of the opinion that a member of the commodity board has contravened the Commodity Board Members Act may apply to the Tribunal to determine whether or not the member has contravened the Act.

A decision that results in the refusal to issue a licence, the refusal to renew a licence, or the suspension or revocation of a licence issued under the Agricultural Tile Drainage Installation Act, the Animals For Research Act, the Animal Health Act, 2009, the Grains Act, the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, the Livestock Community Sales Act, the Livestock and Livestock Products Act, and the Livestock Medicines Act can be appealed to the Tribunal.  Under the Beef Cattle Marketing Act, the Tribunal can hear appeals from decisions of a Director to not include or remove plants from a list of plants that comply with the Act and regulations.

Under the Drainage Act, the Tribunal's jurisdiction ranges from adjudicating complaints about assessments and allowances, to evaluating requests for modification of the drainage works including complaints of quality of construction and directing a municipal council to proceed with drainage works after a petition for drainage has been filed.  Its powers relate more to the operational or remedial provisions of the Act

Under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, the Tribunal accredits general farm organizations, determines the eligibility of a Francophone farm organization to receive special funding, and decides on applications for exemption from registration and/or payment as required by the Act where individuals or farm businesses object to payment and/or registration because these actions would be in contravention of their genuinely held religious convictions and/or beliefs.

Under the Assessment Act, the Tribunal hears appeals regarding the eligibility of agricultural properties for the farm property tax class designation.

Under the Agricultural Products Insurance Act, 1996, formerly the Crop Insurance Act,the Tribunal has the mandate to resolve all disputes arising out of the adjustment of loss under contracts of insurance between Agricorp and an insured person, provided the person has filed an appeal within the time allowed.  It can also rule on whether or not a person qualifies for a contract of insurance, if Agricorp has denied coverage.

The Tribunal hears applications and appeals arising out of the application of the Farm Implements Act.  Applications may arise from disputes between manufacturers or distributors and dealers of farm equipment, or between an end buyer and a dealer, distributor, or manufacturer.  Appeals may also arise from a decision of a Director related to the registration of a dealer or distributor.

The Tribunal has the authority to hear complaints and applications under the Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002.  These may involve requests for access to employees on properties controlled by the employer or complaints regarding non-compliance with the Act.

Who can appeal to the Tribunal?

An appellant can be a landowner, a producer, a processor, a consumer, an employee, a transporter, a dealer, a manufacturer, a distributor, an unincorporated association or any other person or group of individuals who has a statutory right to appeal or make application to the Tribunal.

Powers of the Minister

Within 30 days after receipt by the Minister of a decision of the Tribunal made under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act (arising from appeals of decisions made under the Farm Products Marketing Act or the Milk Act) and the reasons; therefore, if any, or within such longer period as may be determined by the Minister within such 30-day period, the Minister may:

  1. confirm, vary or rescind the whole or any part of the decision;
  2. substitute for the decision of the Tribunal such decision as the Minister considers appropriate; or
  3. by notice to the Tribunal, require the Tribunal to hold a new hearing of the whole or any part of the matter appealed to the Tribunal and reconsider its decision.

Powers of the Courts

Decisions of the Tribunal with respect to licensing issues under the Agricultural Tile Drainage Installation Act, the Animals For Research Act, the Beef Cattle Marketing Act, the Grains Act, the Livestock Community Sales Act, the Livestock and Livestock Products Act and the Livestock Medicines Act may be appealed to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) in accordance with the rules of the Court.  Decisions of the Tribunal under the Assessment Act and the Farm Implements Act may be appealed to Divisional Court on matters of law only.  There are also limited appeals to the Referee under the Drainage Act.  All decisions of the Tribunal may be subject to judicial review.

2019-20 Highlights – Tribunal

Number of Matters Received by the Tribunal, by act

ActContinued from Previous YearsReceived 2019-20Withdrawn / InvalidDecisionsContinuing
MAFRA8135115
FRFOA- Religious Exemptions2158012931
FRFOA – Reaccreditation03030
Drainage Act720714*7
AEPA10001
Farm Implements21021
Assessment1321312
Food Safety & Quality Act10010
Agricultural Products Insurance Act00000

*Total number of decisions may be higher than total number of cases due to more than one type of decision on the same file e.g. motion decision, interim, final decision or cost decision.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act (Appeals of Decisions made under Farm Products Marketing Act or Milk Act)

In 2019-20, the Tribunal received a total of 13 appeals under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act.   Eight appeals were carried forward from previous years. Three appeals were withdrawn, two appeals were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and one decision was released, resulting in 15 appeals being carried forward into the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

Agricultural Products Insurance Act, 1996

No appeals were received by the Tribunal under this Act, which was formerly known as the Crop Insurance Act, in 2019-20.

Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993

The Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993 established a system which provides general farm organizations with a reliable source of funding.  Under the Act, farm businesses with a gross farm income of $7,000 per annum or higher are required to register and to direct an annual registration fee to a farm organization that is accredited under the Act.  Provision is also made for individuals to be granted exemptions from registering and/or making payment under the Act on the basis of religious beliefs and convictions.

In 2019-20, the Tribunal received 158 applications for a religious exemption under the Act.  This is up from 132 applications in 2018-19.  Each valid application was forwarded to the accredited farm organizations and reviewed by the Tribunal.  On average, applications were responded to within five days. In 2018-19 the Tribunal received 49 requests for replacement letters, and in 2019-20 there were 76 requests. When, after reviewing an application, it is not clear to the Tribunal that an application is based on a genuinely held religious belief or conviction, the Tribunal schedules a hearing. The Tribunal also holds a hearing if there is an objection by one of the accredited farm organizations.  The Tribunal held a hearing for one application for religious exemption in 2019-20, as it was not clear to the Tribunal that the applicant held a genuine religious belief or conviction.   The Tribunal denied the application for religious exemption after holding the hearing.

The Tribunal granted a total of 128 religious exemptions and denied one application for religious exemption in 2019-20.  31 applications were not decided within the year and two applications were carried over from the previous year.

Under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, the Tribunal is also required to accredit general farm organizations and determine the eligibility of a Francophone farm organization to receive special funding every three years. 

In 2014-15, the Tribunal held an eligibility hearing for L’Union des cultivateurs franco-ontariens (UCFO) under section 4(2) of the Act. This organization’s eligibility was renewed in the fall of 2017 for another three years, with the next eligibility renewal hearing to be held in the fall of 2020.

In 2018-19, the Tribunal held reaccreditation hearings for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario and the National Farmers Union – Ontario under Section 4(2) of the Act.  All three organizations were reaccredited for a further three years.

Drainage Act

The Tribunal provides a readily accessible forum for appeals and applications under the Drainage Act. Matters heard include appeals pertaining to the engineer’s report and assessments under sections 48 and 54 of the Act; appeals pertaining to the quality of the construction of a drainage works under section 64 of the Act; appeals from decisions of a Municipal Council to not proceed with a petition for drainage works, or where the municipality has not decided within 30 days after the filing of a petition to proceed with a drainage works under Section 5 of the Act; and applications to correct an error in an engineer’s report or to vary assessments under sections 58(4) and 76 of the Act.

Tribunal hearings are held throughout Ontario, usually in the municipal office of the municipality where the drain is located and the appeal is filed.  The Tribunal’s practice is to hold a single hearing for all appeals made with respect to a single drainage works.  Typically, there is more than one appellant on drainage appeals.

In 2019-20, the Tribunal received appeals relating to 20 drainage works. Seven matters were carried over from a previous year.  In total, five matters were withdrawn, two matters were not accepted for a hearing for lack of jurisdiction, and 14 decisions were released. Seven matters have been carried over into the next fiscal year.

Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002

The purpose of this Act is to protect the rights of agricultural employees while having regard to the unique characteristics of agriculture, including, but not limited to, its seasonal nature, its sensitivity to time and climate, the perishability of agricultural products and the need to protect animal and plant life.

These rights include the right to form or join an employees’ association; the right to participate in the lawful activities of an employees’ association; the right to assemble; the right to make representations to their employers through an employees’ association respecting the terms and conditions of their employment; and the right to protection against interference, coercion and discrimination in the exercise of their rights.

The Tribunal has the authority to hear complaints and applications under the Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002 (AEPA).  These may involve requests for access to employees on properties controlled by the employer or complaints regarding non-compliance with the AEPA.

In March 2016, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and 10 former employees of MedReleaf Corp filed complaints with the Tribunal alleging that MedReleaf was in contravention of the AEPA.  The substantive decision was released in August 2018.  Constitutional issues related to the legislation were also raised by the complainants with hearing dates during the 2019-20 fiscal year. This matter is ongoing into the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Assessment Act

The Tribunal hears appeals referred to it by the Assessment Review Board regarding the eligibility of properties for the farm property class tax rate.  Properties which receive the farm property class tax rate are assessed at up to 25 per cent of the residential tax rate. 

In 2019-20, the Tribunal received 32 applications regarding farm property tax.  One appeal was carried over from the previous year and 31 decisions were made, with two appeals being carried over into the next fiscal year.

Farm Implements Act

The Farms Implements Act has two main functions – first, to regulate farm implement dealers and distributors within the province and, second, to resolve disputes concerning farm implements between a purchaser, dealer, distributor or manufacturer.

Any person who wishes to carry on the business of a farm implements dealer or distributor within the province must register with the Director of the Farm Implements Act.  The Director may refuse to grant or renew or may suspend or revoke a registration if the applicant or registrant is in breach of a condition of the registration or a provision of the Act or its regulations or would be if registered.  The would-be registrant may appeal the Director’s decision to refuse, suspend, or revoke to the Tribunal.  The Tribunal received no such applications for a hearing during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The types of disputes between purchasers, dealers, distributors, and manufacturers addressed by the Act relate to repair charges, warranties, repair parts, failure to perform, buy-back provisions, and serial number and safety standards, to name a few.

One application for costs was received under this Act in 2019-20.  Two applications were carried over from 2018-19 and two decisions were released. One application will continue into the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001

The purposes of the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 are to provide for (a) the quality and safety of food, agricultural or aquatic commodities and agricultural inputs; (b) the management of food safety risks; and (c) the control and regulation of regulatable activities.

Under section 10 of the Act, a person may appeal the decision of a director under the Act to refuse to issue or renew a licence, suspend or revoke a licence, or deliver a notice of refusal to a licensee under clause 9 (7) (b) or adds, deletes or varies conditions of a licence. 

The Act provides for inspectors who may make compliance orders.  A Director under the Act may hold hearings in relation to these compliance orders.  Under section 35 of the Act, a party to a hearing before a Director under section 34 of the Act may appeal the Director’s decision or order to the Tribunal.  Administrative penalties issued by Directors may also be appealed to the Tribunal.

The Tribunal received no appeals under this Act in the 2019-20 fiscal year.  One appeal made under section 34 of the Act was carried over from the previous fiscal year and one decision was released.    

2019-20 Highlights – Board of Negotiation

No parties asked to appear before the BON in 2019-20.  During the 2019-20 fiscal year, the government decided that the BON may be dissolved sometime in 2020-21.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Operating Expenditures

Category2019-202018-19 Actual
BudgetActualVariance
Transportation and Communications  45,000  54,671  (9,671)  44,458
Services279,000341,768(62,768)221,492
Supplies and Equipment1,000499501732
Total$325,000$396,938$(71,938)$266,682

The Tribunal and BON operate under an operational expenses budget allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and as such do not have their own audited financial statements. The Tribunal and BON resource requirements are incorporated under the ministry’s business plan. The budget for operating expenses allocated will continue to be used to deliver on all of the Tribunal’s and BON’s business priorities. 

For 2019-20, the Tribunal was allocated $325,000 for its operating expenditures under the categories of transportation and communications ($45,000), services ($279,000), supplies and equipment ($1,000).  Actual operating expenditures totalled $396,938 resulting in over-spending of $71,938. 

Tribunal spending in the services category where member per diem payments are recorded was $341,768 or a budget deficit of $62,768.  This deficit in the services category can be partially attributed to the Tribunal having incurred the cost of training its newly-appointed members.  At their earliest availability upon being appointed to the Tribunal, new Vice-Chairs and Members take a five-day adjudication course offered by the University of Toronto’s Osgoode Law School.

Tribunal spending in the transportation and communications category where reimbursement of member travel expenses is paid from was recorded as $54,671 or over spent by $9,671.   The supplies and equipment category recorded actual spending of $499 or a budget surplus of $501.  The total deficit over the three categories has been recorded as $71,938.

For 2018-19 the Tribunal had an allocated operating budget of $361,000 that included categories of transportation, communications ($43,500), services ($312,500), and supplies and equipment ($5,000).  Actual operating expenditures totalled $266,682 resulting in under spending of $94,318.    

The biggest operating costs for the Tribunal are member per diems and reimbursement for travel expenses.  Per diem payments are categorized as a service and allocated in the services portion of the budget.  The recorded amount spent on services in 2018-19 was $221,492 or a budget surplus of $91,008.

Reimbursement of member travel expenses is paid from the transportation and communications portion of the budget.   Recorded actual Tribunal spending of $44,458 in this category recorded over spending of $1,048.   The supplies and equipment category recorded actual spending of $732 or under spending by $4,268.  The total surplus over the three categories was recorded as $94,228.

The Tribunal cannot predict how many new appeals will be brought forward by the public, clients or stakeholders in any given fiscal year.  Budget forecasting is based on trends in historical volumes of hearings, active matters that transcend the previous fiscal year, government fiscal policies or social, environmental or economic factors that have the potential to impact the sector.

The Tribunal continues to be involved in a lengthy complex matter related to the Agricultural Employees Protection Act that requires significant support from the membership and increased pressures in per diem payments (Services) and travel costs (Transportation and Communications) when being heard.  This matter will continue into early 2020 before a decision will be made.

The Tribunal also continues to be involved in a lengthy matter under the Drainage Act, which will continue into the 2020-21 fiscal year.

STAFF RESOURCES

The ministry has three full-time employees that support and provide services to the Tribunal and BON.  The ministry provides administrative and financial support through the Corporate Projects Planning Unit, Research and Corporate Services Division.  Legal services to the Tribunal and BON are provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General through the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Expected Outcomes:

  • Efficient decision making and timely release of decisions.

The Tribunal’s target is to release decisions within 30 days of completion of a hearing with the exception of decisions under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act which has a decision timeline of 20 days from the completion of a hearing.

  • Confidence in Tribunal by participants in the appeal process.

The Tribunal’s target is to achieve an overall client satisfaction rate of 80 per cent. 

1.  Timeliness for Releasing Written Decisions after Hearings

In 2019-20 the Tribunal released decisions under the following Acts within the specified time frame:

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act: The Tribunal released one decision under this Act during the 2019-20 fiscal year, and the decision was released 18 days after the hearing.

Drainage Act: The Tribunal released 11 decisions under the Drainage Act, with the average number of days to release a decision being 53 days.  Three decisions took significantly longer than 30 days to release.  In one of these matters, the Vice-Chair heading the hearing panel had a personal emergency that delayed releasing the decision.  In the other two matters, the Vice-Chair heading the panel had a heavy case load due to several experienced Vice-Chairs not being reappointed and was not able to complete the decisions within 30 days.

Farm Registration and Farm Organization Funding Act: Applications for religious exemption that were accompanied by a Bishop’s signature were processed within an average of five days.  However, the Tribunal received an application for religious exemption from a person not affiliated with an Amish or Mennonite Church during the 2019-20 fiscal year and held a hearing to determine whether this person qualified for a religious exemption.  The Tribunal’s decision was released 27 days after the hearing.  There were no applications for re-accreditation from an accredited farm organization during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Agricultural Employee Protection Act: No decisions were released under this Act during the 2019-20 fiscal year.  There is one current file before the Tribunal that was bifurcated.  The decision on the substantive hearing was completed in 133 days on August 29, 2018.  The second part of the case is a constitutional challenge.  The hearing of the constitutional challenge is complete and a decision is expected in mid-2020.

Farm Implements Act: One substantive decision following a hearing and one costs decision was released under this Act during the 2019-20 fiscal year.  The average time for issuing decisions was 30 days. 

Food Safety & Quality Act: One decision was released in 2019-20.  The decision was released six days after the hearing was completed.

Assessment Act: The average time to release a decision under the Assessment Act was 26 days, with the range being from two days to 80 days.

In the past four fiscal years, there have been no decisions required under the Agricultural Products Insurance Act (Ontario), 1996.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act

FiscalAverage Days to Release DecisionRange of daysNumber/per cent over 20 days
2019-2018180/1 (0%)
2018-1963631/1 (100%)
2017-185435-883/3 (100%)

Assessment Act (Farm Property Class)

FiscalAverage Days to Release DecisionRange of daysNumber/per cent over 30 days
2019-20262-8014/60 (23%)
2018-1900N/A
2017-18150-240/41 (0%)

Drainage Act

FiscalAverage Days to Release DecisionRange of daysNumber/per cent over 30 days
2019-20535-1718/14 (57%)
2018-1982.52-5445/11 (45%)
2017-18251-1385/20 (25%)

Note: For performance tracking purposes, the date a decision is released is used to designate the fiscal year in which it is tracked, rather than the date of the hearing.  

 

2.  Client Satisfaction   

As part of the Tribunal’s efforts to improve the delivery of its services, a client survey is offered to all clients who come before the Tribunal.  The survey focuses on four key areas – access to information from the Tribunal, the appeal process, the hearing process and the decision.  The results from the client survey are captured in the performance measures section below and are used to evaluate the performance of the Tribunal considering its function, commitments and strategies.  The Tribunal and BON target is to achieve an overall 80 per cent client satisfaction rate. 

The survey contains 20 questions and the number of responses received was 24 for the fiscal year.  Client satisfaction for 2019-20 was 81 per cent which is up from 69 per cent the previous year.  Client satisfaction is measured by taking the percentage of all responses in the satisfied and very satisfied categories against the total possible (number of questions multiplied by number of responses). 

Tribunal Survey Results  2019-202018-192017-18
Overall Satisfaction Rate – key questions *81%69%87%

* Average of 20 survey questions with rating scale of very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied and very dissatisfied.

The Tribunal membership and support staff strive to provide excellent client service in the delivery of the hearing services and actively pursue opportunities for continuous improvement.

3.  Performance Measures, Targets and Analysis

Access to Information

94 per cent of survey respondents who accessed the Tribunal’s website were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the information found on the website, while six per cent responded that they were “dissatisfied”. 94 per cent of respondents who accessed the website were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” that the information on the website was easy to find, while six per cent of these respondents were “dissatisfied”.

A full 100 per cent of respondents indicated they were “satisfied” and “very satisfied” with staff response time to information requests.

Appeal Process

96 per cent of respondents indicated they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the time it took for the Tribunal to acknowledge their appeal. 87 per cent of respondents indicated they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the selection of hearing dates.

Hearing Process

Overall, respondents were satisfied with the hearing process provided by the Tribunal.

86 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the location of Tribunal hearings, and 50 per cent of those who responded to the question were “satisfied” to “very satisfied” that the location accommodated persons with disabilities, with 50 per cent responding that this question was not applicable to them or indicating that their satisfaction was “neutral”.

64 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the process and timing for the exchange of hearing documents between parties in advance of the hearing, up from 56 per cent the year before.  79 per cent of respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the information about the hearing process outlined by the Chair at the start of the hearing, with 81 per cent being “satisfied” and “very satisfied” with the information provided by Tribunal staff in advance of the hearing. 

90 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the industry-specific knowledge displayed by the panel with 10 per cent indicating “neutral”. 75 per cent of respondents were also “satisfied” or “very satisfied” by the types of questions asked by the panel.  76 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the impartiality displayed by panel members at the hearing; 79 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the respect and consideration for participants displayed by the panel at the hearing, while 13 per cent responded that this question was not applicable to them, and 81 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall conduct of those in attendance at the hearing, with five per cent responding that they were very dissatisfied.

The Decision 

71 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the reasoning provided in the Tribunal’s decisions, up 10 per cent from the previous year. 75 per cent of respondents were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” that the hearing decision reflected the evidence presented at the hearing.

Overall Satisfaction

The survey contains a question that rates overall client satisfaction with the service supporting the appeal process of the Tribunal.  68 per cent of respondents were “satisfied” to “very satisfied” with the Tribunal service in 2019-20, while 14 per cent indicated they were “neutral”.

  • Compliance with Requirements of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009

The Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (ATAGAA) came into force (in part) on April 7, 2010.  The purpose of the ATAGAA is to ensure that adjudicative tribunals are accountable, transparent and efficient in their operations by having in place governance and public accountability documents, which include a Memorandum of Understanding, Business Plan and Annual Report; and a Mandate and Mission Statement, Consultation Policy, Service Standard Policy, Ethics Plan and Member Accountability Framework by April 1, 2012.  The Tribunal met those requirements.

In accordance with ATAGAA, the Tribunal and Board of Negotiation reviewed their public accountability documents in November 2015 to determine whether they required any amendments.  The Tribunal and Board of Negotiation were satisfied with the documents as written.   

RECRUITMENT ACTIVITY

The Tribunal and BON are guided by the mission of the Public Appointments Secretariat to ensure the most qualified individuals having the highest personal and professional integrity serve the public on the province’s provincial agencies.   For the period of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, four new appointees were added to the Agency: Ms. Brandi Neil, Mr. David Fawcett, Mr. David Stevens, and Mr. Peter Koroneos.  These four new appointees were appointed as replacements for past appointees whose terms with the Tribunal had ended.

2019 –20 MEMBERSHIP Total Remuneration $314,697

 PositionMemberTermPer Diem Rate
1CHAIR (PART-TIME)KIRK WALSTEDT31-Dec-2018 - 30-Dec-2019$858
  GLENN WALKER09-Jan-2020 – 08-Jan-2022 
2VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)EDWARD DRIES26-Apr-2019 - 25-Apr-2021$583
3VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)JOHN O’KANE31-Dec-2018 - 30-Jun-2019$788
4VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)ANDREW MCBRIDE17-Aug-2019 - 16-Aug-2021$583
5VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)PATRICIA MEEHAN12-Dec-2018 - 11-Dec-2019$788
6VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)CHRISTINE GREYDANUS31-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2021$788
7VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)KATIE DEBLOCK28-Feb-2019 - 27-Feb-2021$788
8VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)TRICIA SCHOUTEN28-Feb-2019 - 27-Feb-2021$788
9VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)HAROLD MCNEELY04-May-2016 - 03-May-2021$788
10VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)JAMES MCINTOSH18-May-2019 - 17-May-2021$583
11VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)GLENN C. WALKER14-Feb-2019 - 08-Jan-2020$788
12VICE-CHAIR (PART-TIME)BRANDI NEIL02-May-2019 – 01-May-2021$788
12MEMBER (PART-TIME)ARNOLD STRUB22-Oct-2016 - 21-Oct-2019$472
13MEMBER (PART-TIME)MAURICE JANISSE22-Oct-2016 - 21-Oct-2019$472
14MEMBER (PART-TIME)FRED STULP22-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2020$472
15MEMBER (PART-TIME)SARAH JUDD22-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2020$472
16MEMBER (PART-TIME)LEE HOLLING14-Feb-2019 - 13-Feb-2021$472
17MEMBER (PART-TIME)DAVID FAWCETT29-Aug-2019 – 28-Aug-2021$472
18MEMBER (PART-TIME)DAVID STEVENS20-Jun-2019 – 19-Jun-2021$472
19MEMBER (PART-TIME)PETER KORONEOS29-Aug-2019 – 28-Aug-2021$472

All inquiries to the Tribunal or BON can be made as indicated below. 

Inquiries

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal or Board of Negotiation

1 Stone Road West

Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

Telephone:      519-826-3433

Fax:                  519-826-4232

Toll Free:         1-888-466-2372 ext. 519-826-3433

Email:              AFRAAT@ontario.ca

Website:          https://afraat.ca/