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Welcome to Symposium 2020

This year’s program has been designed to deliver practical skills through outstanding keynote presentations and a series of highly practical, interactive workshops led by prominent and distinguished experts within the administrative justice community. Consult our Symposium Program below or click on the PDF and join us in the Nation's Capital.



Sunday, May 31
Taking stock of how we are doing
08:00 – 17:00 Registration Service Desk (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
08:30 – 11:00 CCAT Board of Directors Meeting 
11:30 – 12:30 Luncheon & Networking (Beethoven/Chopin)
12:30 – 12:32 Welcome (Beethoven/Chopin)
Symposium Co-Chairs
12:32 – 12:50 Opening and Land Acknowledgement 
12:50 – 13:00 Opening Remarks
13:00 – 13:45 Keynote Address:  Justice Suzanne Côté, Supreme Court of Canada
13:45 – 14:30 Plenary A:  What makes a Tribunal “excellent”? Reflections from the field
Administrative tribunals are meant to deliver justice that is fair, simple, quick and informal. How are we doing? How do administrative tribunals in Canada measure up in terms of accountability, efficiency, accessibility, fairness and independence? Are we meeting the needs of our clients? This plenary will feature the perspectives of former Tribunal representatives and legal counsel who have regularly appeared before administrative tribunals who can help us take stock of the service we are delivering to Canadians and offer constructive ideas for improvement.Presenters:
• Margaret Leighton, Law Society Tribunal (Ontario)
• Gary Stein, Executive Director, Community Legal Services of Ottawa
• Sherry Liang, Assistant Commissioner, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
14:30 – 15:00 Refreshments & Networking (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
 15:00 – 17:00 Plenary B:  Dragon’s Den on Tribunal Excellence 
This fun, highly interactive session, based on the Dragon’s Den concept, will explore topics that are at the core of tribunal excellence, for example active adjudication, alternative dispute resolution, inquiry techniques, fair treatment, accessibility, professionalism, accountability and efficiency. It will provide an opportunity for tribunal members, staff and leadership to challenge the status quo, look ahead and prepare to tackle the future with innovative ideas, approaches and solutions to enhance access to and delivery of administrative justice.Each team will have a chance to “pitch” their ideas and solutions to achieve tribunal excellence to our squad of CCAT judges for a chance to win a contribution to support an organization of their choice.This is your chance to make a difference! Come with your creativity, innovation and best “pitching” skills so you are ready to participate in this session.
 17:00 – 18:30 CCAT Chair’s Reception (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
Monday, June 1
What can we do: best practices for excellence; practical tips for improving tribunal performance
08:00 – 17:00 Registration Service Desk (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
08:00 – 08:45 Breakfast (Beethoven/Chopin)
08:45 –10:00 Plenary C:  The importance of Truth and Reconciliation in the administrative justice world, why reconciliation matters to tribunals and how to implement a reconciliation plan (Beethoven/Chopin)
The administrative justice system touches the lives of many. The ways in which administrative tribunals choose to address justice for Indigenous Peoples impacts everyday lives in relation to access to justice but also the ability to achieve justice in a broader sense, the aim of decolonization, and the rights of Indigenous peoples under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This session will first examine why the integration of indigenous realities into the Justice system generally, and administrative justice in particular, matters. The presenters will then provide practical advice as to how tribunals can best implement indigenous practices and culture into their respective structures.Moderators:
• Senator Judith Keating (New Brunswick)
• Sylvie Séguin, Administrative Judge, Comité de déontologie policière (QC)Presenters:
• Ardith Walkem
• Hélène Sioui-Trudel
10:00 – 10:30 Refreshments & Networking (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
Concurrent Workshops

10:30 – 12:00

Session 1:  Measuring up in the Tribunal world: how Tribunals stay accountable and measure their success
Administrative tribunals have multiple levels of accountability. But how is Tribunal performance truly measured and how do we look under the microscope? Are we delivering justice to Canadian that is accessible, timely and fair? Come to this practical session that will explore how Tribunals can evaluate their performance. Panelists will share their experiences and best practices measuring user experience, member performance and access to justice.Moderator:  Paula Thompson, Immigration and Refugee Board (TBC)Panel:
• Jane Morley, Strategic Coordinator, Access to Justice BC
• Diana Juricevic, Chair, BC Human Rights Tribunal
Session 2:  Best practices for “active adjudication”: what works and what are the limits?
Administrative tribunals are on the front lines of the justice system. Adjudicators must avoid stepping into the fray but must also strike the right balance to ensure processes are fair, balanced and informal and that all parties, including unrepresented ones, can meaningfully participate. How can adjudicators play an active role in shaping the hearing to make the process more accessible and efficient without getting into hot water? This practical session will address how to become an effective active adjudicator, with experienced members sharing best practices and practical suggestions for avoiding pitfalls.Panel:
• Sheldon Toner, Chair, Northwest Territories Human Rights Adjudication Panel
• Manon Gauthier, Administrative Judge, Tribunal Administratif du Québec (TAQ)
• Mark Hart, Mediator and Arbitrator
Session 3:  Plain language face-off – how plain language can you make your writing? (English)
Plain language and clear communication are at the heart of access to justice. Is your writing clear and do the parties even understand what you have written? Come to this engaging session where you will gain practical tips to help you write in a simpler way. Watch two skilled writers face off and challenge each other to translate legalese into plain language. May the best writer win!
Moderator: Jennifer Khurana, Vice-Chair, Canadian Human Rights TribunalPresenters:
• Paul Aterman, Chairperson, Social Security Tribunal
• Kandice Ardiel, Legal Communications Officer, Supreme Court of Canada
Session 4:  Plain language face-off – how plain language can you make your writing? (French)
Plain language and clear communication are at the heart of access to justice. Is your writing clear and do the parties even understand what you have written? Come to this engaging session where you will gain practical tips to help you write in a simpler way. Watch two skilled writers face off and challenge each other to translate legalese into plain language. May the best writer win!Moderator:  Mélanie Raymond, Member, Immigration Appeal Division, Immigration and Refugee BoardPanel:
• Justice Sébastien Grammond, F.C., Federal Court
• Clément Camion, Associate, En clair
12:00 – 13:00 Luncheon (Beethoven/Chopin)
13:00 – 13:45 Annual General Meeting (Beethoven/Chopin)
Concurrent Workshops

13:45 –15:00

Session 5:  How to improve access to justice: innovative approaches and practical tips to take action
It is not easy for litigants to know what all the necessary steps are to assert their rights or even how to make it all the way to the end of the process. The tribunal community is aware of these challenges and is starting to offer a range of resources to maximize access to justice.This workshop is an opportunity to learn about the various innovative initiatives put in place by your peers; not only what worked, but, more importantly, what lessons were learned during the process. Attend this session and be inspired from administrative tribunals who have implemented successful resources so that you too will be able to take action!Moderator:  Scott Streiner, Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Canadian Transportation AgencyPanel:
• Me Suzanne Gilbert, Deputy Chairperson, Immigration Appeal Division, Immigration and Refugee Board
• Me Véronic Boyer, Director, Centre de Justice de l’Outaouais
• Raymond Grenier, Navigator, Social Security Tribunal
Session 6:  Adjudicators and Self-Represented Parties : the Do’s and Don’ts
How should adjudicators deal with the significant challenges brought by self-represented or under-represented litigants, be it in a written-only hearing, or hearing by telephone, in person or through electronic means?This is an interactive workshop aiming to help adjudicators improve their skills, with short enacted scenarios.
The audience will help identify solutions to the major challenges with parties related to language, lack of financial means, lack of knowledge, lack of access to electronic means of communication, or their expectations regarding the tribunal or the justice system.Come learn in this fun and interactive workshop!Presenters/Actors:
• Me Sylvie Charron, Vice-President, General Division, Employment Insurance Section, Social Security Tribunal of Canada
• Me Marco Romani, Administrative Judge, Tribunal administratif du travail
• Me Andrée Gosselin, Administrative Judge, Tribunal administratif du travail
Session 7:  Self-Care Toolkit 
When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It you have been using your hammer too much, perhaps it is time to try a new approach. This session will help participants to build their toolkit by exploring Mindfulness – the practice of cultivating non-judgmental awareness in the present moment. It is a practice of learning to pay attention to our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations and acknowledging whatever is present and using that information to respond to the unfolding of our work and lives. The session will explore Mindfulness techniques, and help participants incorporate them into their work.Moderator:  Cindy Chiasson, Hearing Commissioner, Alberta Energy RegulatorPresenter:  Deborah Pressman, Office of the Chief Justice (Ontario)
15:00 – 15:30 Refreshments & Networking (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
 15:30 – 16:00 Plenary D:  All the Stories Yet To Be Told: Why Diversity Matters, and Why It’s So Hard to Achieve (Beethoven/Chopin) 
As members of boards and tribunals, we are always concerned about access to justice. We want to ensure that the public can appear before us and give us the relevant information so we can fairly and expeditiously decide the case.
Most of us now accept that as products of our own social, cultural and educational backgrounds, we come to our task with inherent biases, perceptions, understandings and even anxieties. So we embrace the idea of diversity. We believe in its value, and employ tools such as cultural competency training, strategic recruitment, stakeholder engagement and procedural adjustments to respond to the perceived needs of a diverse population. But are these efforts working? Working from whose perspective? How do we listen for the voices that have never been heard and the stories that have never been told? Even if we think we know what is to be done, how do the realities of shrinking budgets, and the shifting political views of the role and independence of administrative tribunals affect our ability to “do the right thing?”Moderator:  Mélanie Raymond, Member, Immigration Appeal Division, Immigration and Refugee BoardPresenter:  Michael Gottheil, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission
16:00 – 17:00 Plenary E:  CCAT Ignite: “Bring me something I can use” 
Ignite has made its way to CCAT! Ignite events were originally conceived as technology variety shows, but they have grown beyond that. Ignite is about ideas. Ideas can change the world. And it takes less than five minutes to spread one.Each presenter gets five minutes on stage with 20 slides (max.) that rotate automatically after 15 seconds – whether you’re ready or not! Be one of 10 presentations that will “ignite” new ideas at #whatnowCCAT2020!Are you passionate about a topic that promotes Tribunal excellence? Do you think others might be interested in hearing about it? Would you like to spread your idea at CCAT Ignite? Still not sure what topic areas would be of interest? Here are a few to consider: independence, tribunal leadership and management, fair treatment, accessibility, professionalism and integrity, accountability, efficiency and client needs and satisfaction.
It’s easy to apply – just fill out our short application form and email it to info@ccat-ctac.org.Moderator:  Candace Salmon, Tribunal Member, Employment Insurance Section, Social Security Tribunal of Canada
18:00+ CCAT Reception & Dinner 
Tuesday, June 2
What can we do: best practices for excellence; practical tips for improving tribunal performance
08:00 – 13:00 Registration Service Desk (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
08:00 – 08:30 Breakfast (Beethoven/Chopin)
08:30 – 09:15 Keynote Address: (Beethoven/Chopin)
Presented by Waneek Horn-Miller, Olympian, Activist and speaker on Indigenous Health and Reconciliation
09:15 – 10:30 Plenary F:  Administrative Law Update (Beethoven/Chopin) 
2019 ended with a bang when the Supreme Court issued its decisions in Vavilov and Bell/NFL. What did the Court say and what does that mean for our day to day work? We will review other significant decisions issued by courts across Canada over the past year.After a year’s hiatus Michelle Flaherty and Margaret Leighton return to deliver this always popular session joined by Joseph Cheng, senior litigation counsel with the federal Department of Justice.Presenters:
• Michelle Flaherty, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Arbitrator and Mediator
• Margaret Leighton, Law Society Tribunal (Ontario)
• Joseph Cheng, National Litigation Sector, Department of Justice Canada
10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments & Networking (Foyer Beethoven/Chopin)
11:00 – 12:30 Plenary G:  Predictions and Portends: What now and what’s next for administrative law and tribunals in the new decade? 
Hear two internationally recognized administrative law experts share their thoughts about the future of administrative law and how our work and roles will or may change as a result. What is the next big thing or idea? Where are the rainbows? Any storm clouds on the horizon? This promises to be a lively and enlightening session focusing on the #What Now.Moderator:  Orlando Da Silva, LSM. Chief Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Administrative Tribunals Support Service of CanadaPanelists:
• Dr. Paul Daly, University Research Chair in Administrative Law and Governance, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
• Justice Lorne Sossin, Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Former Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch, Closing Remarks and Thanks; Presentation for Symposium 37 in 2021
13:30 – 15:30 CCAT Board of Directors Meeting