The Tribunal has consistently complained about lack of powers and jurisdiction for finding liability against Chicken Farmers of Ontario, and similar issues that were requested as relief for Small Flockers. In response to the Tribunal's alleged limitations, both Versions 3 and 4 of our appeal had those contentious issues removed. For some unknown reason, the Tribunal got hung up on Version 2, and would consider neither Versions 3 nor 4.
In addition, I supplied the Tribunal with over 23 different legal precedents that supported the contentious relief that I requested from the oppressive and unconstitutional parts of the Small Flock Regulation; including a number of Supreme Court rulings that directly supported our case.
The other Respondent parties refuted neither our legal arguments, nor the case law presented, nor offered case law in support of the Respondent's position. In spite of that, the Tribunal is silent about all of the case law presented except one, and then decided against us in what appears to be a contradiction of the case law.
How that can occur is a mystery to me, but that's where we are at.
The Tribunal mentioned in their decision that there was significant animosity between Small Flockers and CFO. It seems that the Tribunal felt that this was one more reason not to allow the appeal, for they discussed it in this decision, as well as the previous two decision; obviously sufficiently important to bear repeating three times. Does the Tribunal expect that if litigants are not the best of friends, they shouldn't be allowed access to the Tribunal? I find this very strange.
The Tribunal said that I acted in bad faith because I had a "personal political manifesto". That was the accusation made against me by CFO, but I don't remember agreeing to that accusation, so it seems the Tribunal leaped to assume CFO's accusation was true; no evidence required. It appears that the Tribunal wants and expects me to be a cold fish, a dis-interested party, with no stake in the outcome. To me, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. If fact, Section 16.(4).(c) of MAFRAA says that one of the reasons that the Tribunal can dismiss an appeal is that "the appellant has not a sufficient interest in the subject-matter of the appeal". So the Tribunal dismisses my appeal because I'm too interested, but can dismiss my appeal because I have insufficient interest. Appellants must need to be like Goldilocks, not too much, not too little, just the right amount of interest. Sounds pretty arbitrary to me.
I asked in writing before the Tribunal got started, and was assured by the Tribunal's Administrator that the Tribunal would provide full written reasons for their decision. At the very start of the hearing, I asked again, and the Tribunal Panel themselves again reassured me that they would be providing full written reasons for their decision. In spite of these assurances, the Tribunal's decision is scant on the reasons for their decision. My budding understanding of court proceedings, based on what I've been told and read, is that the court's decision should speak to all of the arguments presented by both sides, clearly state whether the Tribunal agrees or disagrees with those arguments, and the reasons why. For virtually all of my reasons and arguments presented, it seems the Tribunal ignored them, like they were never made. The Tribunal's decision mentions just one of my arguments, but even there, it offers no reasons why it was dismissed. With incomplete reasons, it is difficult to impossible to appeal the Tribunal's decision, as there is nothing to appeal. There is no record kept of what was said during the appeal, so we can't even go there to fill the holes in the Tribunal's records. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that I got what I was promised. The Tribunal seems like it's trying to hide in a fog of ambiguity they have purposefully created.
To see for yourself, here is the Tribunal's decision to dismiss our appeal before it gets started.
So you can see for yourself what the Tribunal is referring to, here are my arguments for allowing our appeal to go forward:
Appellant's Answer to Tribunal's Allegation and Threat to Dismiss our Appeal
10 pages, 171 kB, Adobe Acrobat X pdf file
Appellant's Submission Brief (case law, statutes, regulations, documents, and 375 signatures on Petitions requesting the Tribunal to allow appeal to proceed to full hearing), 27.35 MB, 1,085 pages, Adobe Acrobat X pdf file. (It a BIG file, so it takes a few minutes to download. Be patient)
Here is CFO's submission to Tribunal in response to my Answer
Unlike our answer, CFO presented no facts, no legal references, no case law that supports their position. All CFO did was issue 5 pages of rhetoric.
It appears that CFO's rhetoric is pretty powerful stuff, as it trumps a number of Supreme Court of Canada cases that supported our position.
I understand that I can ask the Tribunal for re-consideration of their decision. My estimate of success is I'd have better luck buying a 6-4-9 ticket.
I can also ask the Minister of Agriculture to intercede. Assessment of success? I have no idea. What are your thoughts?
If neither of these work, I can ask the ON Superior Court for a Judicial Review. However, that puts me at risk for having costs awarded against me, perhaps risking thousands of dollars to pay for CFO's lawyers if I lose. Pretty risky step.
What do you think Small Flockers should do?