The WSIAT Stakeholder event of September 28, 2021 consisted of:
Chair’s Update – Rosemarie McCutcheon, Tribunal Chair
Caseload Update – Slavica Todorovic, Director, Executive Services and Strategic Initiatives
Recent Noteworthy Decisions – Sarah Schumacher, Counsel to the Chair
E-Share Update – Jon de Groot, Manager, Appeal Services
E-Mail Confirmation for E-Filing Submission – Justin Huang, Director, Information and Technology Services
Update on Zoom Audio for Hearings – Rebecca Woodrow, Counsel, Special Projects and Jessica Francis, Advisor, Tribunal Services
Update on the Access to Justice Committee, Michelle Alton, Tribunal General Counsel
The notes below touch upon the highlights of each presentation. Please contact the Tribunal (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive a copy of the accompanying power point presentations for more details.
The Tribunal is developing a culture of responsiveness.
Recent remote hearing survey:
- found that 49.35% of respondents prefer video conference to teleconferences and this aligns with OICs’ preferences.
- 18% that preferred teleconferences cited clients with tech issues and video creating anxiety in some people
- 84% said that they would like to see remote hearings continue after COVID restrictions lifted. Reasons in favour: save time & money in travel costs, clients are less stressed, remote preferable to written. Those who were against cited: language barrier issues and lack of gravitas in remote process.
- Most said it would be best to have both options, remote & in person, going forward.
Remote hearings post COVID-19:
- hearing will not be mandatory
- but Tribunal will encourage representatives to discuss this option with clients
- there may be an option for hybrid hearing (some attend in person, others remotely).
Update on in-person hearings:
- 12 appeals are waiting for in person hearings.
- one was held in August 2020.
- have started to schedule a few in Toronto.
- no suitable option for regional in person hearings yet.
- using the Ian J. Strachan (IJS) conference room in Toronto.
- IJS capacity of 9 people to allow social distancing.
- has a sanitation station, plexiglass, microphones & speakers at desks.
- WSIAT fax will be phased out in 2022
- Encourage representatives to switch to e-file now.
- E-file documents are better quality than fax.
- WSIAT plans to set up rooms with external monitors for in person digital hearings