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SOAR’s 35th Annual Conference 2023

The Administrative Forest: Pathways to Justice

    8:40 AM – 9:00 AM

    Welcome from 2023 SOAR Conference Co-chairs

    Carolyn Gora, Director, Professional Conduct, College of Nurses Ontario
    Preeya Singh, Director of Professional Conduct, General Counsel & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)

    Indigenous Ceremonial Welcome

    Joanne Dallaire LL.D, Elder and Senior Adviser, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Toronto Metropolitan University

    9:00 AM – 10:20 AM

    Opening Plenary

    A Journey Through The Administrative Forest

    At the start of our journey today, we invite you to think of the administrative justice system as a forest. Instead of a forest that provides fruits or nuts or lumber to the surrounding population, this forest was planted to provide justice. How has this forest evolved over time? What are the challenges to its health and sustainability? How does it need to evolve in the future in order to fulfill its purpose? A Panel of experts in administrative justice will guide us, as we consider these questions through various lenses: fairness, accountability, equity, diversity, inclusion and more.

    Eligible for 1 hour and 15 min of Professionalism CPD Requirement


    Linda Gehrke, Vice-Chair (Part-Time), Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal


    Paul Dube, Ombudsman Ontario
    Irwin Glasberg, Ontario Fairness Commissioner
    Dr. Şule Tomkinson, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Université Laval


    2022-2023 Annual Report

    “Administrative Justice Delayed, Fairness Denied”

    Investigation into whether the Ministry of the Attorney General, Tribunals Ontario and the Landlord and Tenant Board are taking adequate steps to address delays and case backlogs at the Landlord and Tenant Board

    Fairness By Design: An Administrative Fairness Assessment Guide

    10:20 AM – 10:35 AM

    Morning Break

    10:35 AM – 11:50 AM

    Concurrent Morning Workshops

    Workshop 1 – Mountbatten Ballroom

    Lost In The Woods: Working With Interpreters And Translators

    This session will explore language and working with translators and interpreters to support access to justice. Topics will include modes of interpretation and translation (consecutive/simultaneous interpretation, sight translation), certified versus non-certificated interpreters and translators. We’ll provide case examples and best practice tips regarding how to access and work effectively with interpreters in different settings and processes to improve outcomes.

    Eligible for 1 hour Professionalism CPD Requirement


    Cecile Landon, Dispute Resolution Officer, Landlord Tenant Board, Tribunals Ontario


    Stella Constanca, Interpretation Services Manager, MCIS Language Solutions
    Christopher Desloges, President, Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Service
    Maddy Hearne, CEO, First Class Conference Facilitation


    Workshop 2 – Seymour Room

    Clearing The Underbrush: Innovating and Improving User Experience

    Tribunals and Regulatory bodies are meant to provide a faster and less formal means for the participants to address their concerns. However, some participants can find the process confusing and difficult to navigate.

    Our speakers will discuss the different ways they have innovated their processes to improve the end user experience. They will share tips, trials, and triumphs based on their efforts to clear the underbrush of the Tribunals and Regulatory processes. This session is a must for executives, decision makers, staff, lawyers, policy makers, and those who support participants through these processes.

    Eligible for 1 hour Professionalism CPD Requirement


    Sasha Kiran Cragg-Gore, Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission


    Anita Ashton, Deputy Registrar and CEO, College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    Krista Dizazzo, Human Rights Officer, Canadian Human Rights Commission
    Colette Larocque, Principal of Investigations and Hearings, College of Veterinarians of Ontario


    11:50 AM – 12:3 PM

    Lunch Break

    12:35 PM – 1:35 PM

    Afternoon Plenary

    The Edge Of The Woods: Being Of Good Mind Through Respectful Indigenous Engagement And Dispute Resolution

    Nibwaakaawin, which means “wisdom” in Ojibwe, can encourage us to walk a path that nurtures connection and engagement in a respectful way. This session will contribute to greater awareness, cultural understanding and best practices to better inform adjudicators and regulators on how they can bring practical consideration of culturally sensitive First Nations and Indigenous peoples to the practice of administrative justice.

    Eligible for 1 hour EDI CPD Requirement


    Jim Doxtdator, Nibwaakaawin


    1:35 PM – 2:50 PM

    Concurrent Afternoon Workshops

    Workshop 3 – Seymour Room

    Planting The Seeds: Innovation In Tribunal Operations For Greater Independence And Best Practices

    Operational innovation is the practice of assessing existing processes and finding new ways to improve them. Some of this innovation may be the result of legislative change or through internal policies and practices. This workshop will explore how tribunals and regulators have innovated and enhanced their operations and independence for their tribunal, regulatory, and board functions through:

    • adopting processes and safeguards to strengthen operations and independence,
    • rebranding to provide transparency around functions and roles, and
    • establishing panels with adjudicative and subject matter expertise.

    Carolyn Slon, Senior Legal Counsel, Governance & Tribunal Secretariat, Ontario Securities Commission


    Matthew Cowley, Senior Project Manager, Strategic Protocols and External Relations, City Clerk’s Office
    Grace Knakowski, Corporate Secretary & Director, Governance & Tribunal Secretariat, Ontario Securities Commission
    David Wright, Chair, Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal


    Workshop 4 – Mountbatten Ballroom

    Admin Law Blast 2023: Return To Our Baker Roots

    The Supreme Court of Canada’s seminal administrative law decision, Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), was heard by Canada’s top court 25 years ago. Our expert panel, including Roger Rowe who represented Ms. Baker throughout her legal journey, will discuss the continued significance of the Baker decision, as well as other important administrative law decisions released in the past year.

    Join our two experts who will share their insights into key developments impacting administrative justice, as well as practical tips for successfully responding and implementing these changes.


    Michelle Alton, Deputy Director, Court Services Division, Ministry of the Attorney General


    Roger Rowe, Roger Rowe Law
    Mark Mancini, PhD Candidate, Allard School of Law (University of British Columbia), Author Sunday Evening Administrative Review


    2:50 PM – 3:05 PM

    Afternoon Break

    3:05 PM – 4:35 PM

    Closing Plenary

    The Impact Of AI On Administrative Justice: Are These Trees Fake?

    Artificial intelligence (“AI”) has emerged from the realm of science fiction and entered the reality of the everyday. From Alexa and Siri to Chat GPT and Bard, “intelligent” algorithms have become commonplace tools used in many contexts, with their strengths and shortcomings often drawing public scrutiny. But what exactly is AI and what impact does it have on administrative justice? This session will provide a basic primer on AI, including issues such as the impact of AI tools and predictive analytics on decision-making and decision writing, algorithmic transparency and bias, and legal and ethical considerations when balancing AI and human expertise. The session will kick off with a live demonstration of AI technology and continue with a robust examination of the present and potential future of AI in administrative justice.

    Eligible for 1 hour and 30 min of Professionalism CPD Requirement


    Eric Bruce, Director Registration and Professional Conduct, College of Dental Hygienists Ontario


    Abdi Aidid, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
    Jennifer Raso, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University
    Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy and Full Professor Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

    4:35 PM – 6:00 PM

    Networking Reception