CCAT began informally, not as an organization, but with the desire to hold conferences for those interested in administrative law. Circa 1984, around the proverbial dining table of Michelle Farlardeau-Ramsay, then Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, a two-day conference was planned for federally regulated agencies and boards. It was held in the hearing rooms of the Public Service Staff Relations Board in order to save on costs and it was a great success.
So planning began for the next conference, bigger this time. The location shifted to Queen’s University in Kingston where the annual conferences were held for several years and then to Ottawa.
Some of these early conference planners came from the administrative justice community: Robert W. Macaulay, Michelle Farlardeau-Ramsay, Ron Ellis, Jean-François Gosselin, Ghislaine Richard, and Margo Priest. Planning was relatively informal and anyone interested could participate.
However, the participants recognized the need for some communication between conferences and they formed a committee to meet in the interim periods. Committee members came from the various administrative boards and agencies. Then similar meetings for executive directors of these boards and agencies started.