RIBO SUPPORTS AND FOLLOWS PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. AS THE THREAT TO THE PUBLIC POSED BY THE PANDEMIC REMAINS HIGH, RIBO HAS SUSPENDED IN-PERSON HEARINGS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Discipline and Qualification and Registration Hearings (RIBO Hearings) are held pursuant to The Registered Insurance Brokers Act, R.S.O. 1990, C. R.10 and are governed by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O 1990. C. S.22 (SPPA). Pursuant to the Hearings in Tribunal Proceedings (Temporary Measures) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, Chapter 5, Schedule 3, RIBO is moving its Discipline and Qualification and Registration Hearings into a remote environment.
These guidelines are for the purposes of providing directions for electronic Hearings and do not supersede the existing applicable legislation. In the event of any conflict between these guidelines and the existing governing legislation, the legislation prevails.
These rules and guidelines are made under section 3 (3) of the Hearings in Tribunal Proceedings (Temporary Measures) Act.
Conduct of Hearings:
1. RIBO Hearings will be conducted electronically via video conferencing using a third-party video conferencing platform selected by RIBO.
2. RIBO will provide directions to Hearing participants with instructions on how to log into the video conferencing platform and will accommodate any requests for a test run of the platform to ensure comfort with the technology.
3. The Panel has the discretion to adjourn all or part of a Hearing due to any issue, including technical issues or issues with the video conferencing platform.
Electronic Hearing Etiquette and Technological Requirements:
4. Participants must have access to a computer with video camera capability and a wired or wireless internet connection with sufficient internet speed and stability to support the video conferencing platform.
5. Participants must ensure that their audio capabilities including microphones and headsets are sufficient to provide clear sound quality without any feedback to ensure that the court reporter can properly record evidence given at the Hearing.
6. Participants must ensure that their devices are fully charged or plugged in during the Hearing to ensure no loss of connection due to low battery power.
7. Participants must be in a physical location that is professional and private to conduct the Hearing and must ensure that their physical surroundings are sufficient for the decorum required of a RIBO Hearing.
8. Witnesses must ensure that they are in a private location without others in the room and may be asked to confirm the adequacy of their surroundings.
9. Participants will mute their computer microphones when not speaking and will wait for direction from the Panel to begin speaking.
10. Participants will be given a method to raise their hand to alert the Panel that they would like to speak out of turn and will not speak until they are called upon to do so.
11. Participants will not speak over each other to ensure that the Hearing is properly recorded by the court reporter.
12. The dress code for participants is business attire and all participants must maintain professionalism and respect for the process throughout the Hearing.
Documents and Evidence:
13. All documents and evidence that the parties will seek to be admitted as evidence at the Hearing will be exchanged between the parties 21 calendar days in advance of the scheduled Hearing.
14. The parties shall consult regarding their positions regarding the admissibility of evidence and attempt to resolve any issues with admissibility in advance of the Hearing.
15. All documents that are being sought to be admitted on consent will be provided by each party in an electronic format to the RIBO Hearings Coordinator for advanced provision to the panel members at least 14 calendar days prior to the Hearing.
16. Any documents that are not being admitted on consent will be provided in encrypted e-mails to be opened by the Panel members upon direction of the Chair.
17. The Panel will maintain discretion with respect to the admissibility of documents and evidence not provided to the Panel prior to the commencement of the Hearing as outlined above, and may order an adjournment if necessary, to deal with late delivery of documents.
18. The parties will also exchange a list of witnesses and their contact information 14 calendar days in advance of the Hearing so that the witnesses can be confirmed and log in information provided to them by the RIBO Hearings Coordinator.
19. The parties are responsible for ensuring that their witnesses have the technical capability to access the video conferencing platform and they may request a technical check in advance of the RIBO Hearing.
20. Witnesses will be asked to swear a solemn affirmation prior to giving evidence unless they have a religious text with them to facilitate a religious oath in which case, an oath will be administered.
21.Upon request of any party, a pre-hearing conference may be scheduled at least 21 days in advance of the hearing to review any scheduling issues, issues with the proposed documentation and witnesses, or any other hearing matters.
22. Pre-Hearing conferences can be arranged by contacting the Hearings Coordinator directly.
Public Attendance at Hearings:
23. RIBO Hearings are open to the public and scheduled Hearings will be posted on the RIBO website.
24. Any member of the public wishing to attend at an electronic Hearing should contact the RIBO Hearings Coordinator and register for the Hearing with their name and contact information so that the link to the RIBO Hearing can be provided in advance of the Hearing.
25. Only those members of the public that have registered for the Hearing will be admitted into the electronic Hearing for security purposes.
26.Members of the Public will not be permitted to participate in the Hearing and will not have their audio activated.
27.The Panel retains full discretion to control the Hearing process which includes the participation of the Public attending the Hearing.
28. The Panel will be provided with a private method of conducting deliberations during Hearings and will advise the participants regarding the length expected for deliberations and instruct participants regarding whether to remain in the virtual Hearing room or whether the Hearing will reconvene later or on another date.
29.The Panel will determine, if necessary, at the conclusion of its deliberations and upon receipt of submissions from the parties, whether it will proceed with the penalty phase immediately following the decision or whether the penalty phase will be rescheduled for another date.
30.The above principles apply, with necessary modifications, to the penalty portion of the proceedings.
These guidelines take effect January 1, 2021 and remain in effect until further notice.