Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tribunal Hearing: CFO's Motion To Dismiss my Appeal

CFO's Motion to Dismiss hearing has been completed.  The Tribunal will take the next 30 days to decide whether our appeal will be allowed to proceed, or killed so as to maintain the chicken supply management status quo.

As Blogged previously (see SFPFC's Ball is in Tribunal's Court), I filed an appeal with the Ministry of Agriculture Appeals Tribunal of the actions, inactions, and decisions of Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO") and Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission ("OFPMC").

Shortly after receiving my Notice of Appeal, CFO notified the Tribunalthat they didn't want to discuss these issues raised, and would be filing a Motion to Dismiss my appeal.  The appeal was held in Guelph ON on May 14, 2014, from 9:30 AM to about 4:00 PM.

There were 3 lawyers who were assigned to the Tribunal.  These were lawyers who work in private practice, and have been appointed to hear the cases assigned to them for the Appeals Tribunal.  There were 2 lawyers (articling law students?) from London ON, a staff member from CFO, 2 Tribunal staff members, a staff member from OFPMC, and Jim Rohman, a Blogger and agriculturee reporter who was kind enough to come from Kitchener ON to cover this trial, then Blog on his perceptions (see link above).

The Tribunal Hearing was all very professional, cordial, and respectful.  I felt that our arguments were listened to by all members on the Tribunal Panel.

CFO went first, as it was their Motion To Dismiss.  The lawyer for CFO, Mr. Spurr, took about 1.5 hrs to present his arguments in favor of CFO's motion.

Since OFPMC was so closely aligned with CFO, Ms Michelle Ireland, lawyer for OFPMC, was allowed to go next.  She confirmed that OFPMC was in full agreement with everything that CFO said.

Finally it was my turn. The Tribunal offered to do an early lunch, and I start after lunch, or I start before lunch, and resume to finish after lunch. Calculating the importance of getting immediacy to respond to CFO's case before lunch could solidify these opposing views without the balance provided by my alternative views, I decided it best to do my prepared presentation before lunch, then argue against what CFO had presented.  I accepted the Tribunal's offer to get started on my arguments immediately, then call lunch, and finish my presentation after lunch. 

My viva voce [Latin for "live voice"] arguments are available as Appellant's Viva Voce Arguments.  The case law and other documents referred to in the foot notes are indexed and available in the Submissions Brief (see below) using the Footnote # sequence.

 I was required to submit copies of all the case law and other documents to which i referred and relied upon during my viva voce arguments that I presented at the Tribunal Hearing.  A copy of all these documents has been submitted to the Tribunal as the Appellant's Viva Voce Arguments Submissions Brief (Version A01) which you can download and review (Caution:  it's a 29.16 MByte Adobe Acrobat pdf, with 1,623 pages, so dialup Internet users will be a lifetime getting it downloaded).  In Adobe Reader, bookmarks are activated by clicking on a blue ribbon symbol near the top of the left margin of the Reader window.  The references are bookmarked in this file using the format:   XX_TitleDescription where XX is the Footnote # in the Appellant's Viva Voce Arguments, and TitleDescription is a short description of the document starting at that bookmark.

In this preliminary version of the submission's brief, I have been unable to obtain the following cases and reference documents:
  • Footnote #4:   United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Responses to the Supplementary Questions to Canada’s Third Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1998, UN Doc HR/CESCR/NONE/98/8       I have a request in to Heritage Canada to supply me this document.
  • Footnote #19:   Lorne Sossin, Boundaries of Judicial Review: The Law of Justiciability in Canada, 2nd ed., ISBN: 978-0-7798-4933-8 (Toronto:Thomson Reuters, 2012) at pg. 244.   I have an inter-library loan request for a copy of page 244 of this textbook submitted to Osgoode Law Library at York University.  In the interim, I have included a Book Review on the text, and the Table of Contents showing the item referenced on pg. 244.
Now we wait for the Tribunal's decision.

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