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SPPA - Interim Orders [s.16.1]

. Platinum Auto Gallery Inc. v. Registrar, Motor Vehicle Dealers Act

In Platinum Auto Gallery Inc. v. Registrar, Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (Ont Div Ct, 2013) the court held that a tribunal's SPPA authority to make interim orders did not extend to overriding implicit statutory limitations in the parent statute:
[4] The power to make an interim order under s. 16.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and s. 3(2) of the Licence Appeal Tribunal Act [SS: "Except as limited by this Act, the Tribunal has all the powers that are necessary or expedient for carrying out its duties."], does not include the power to override or completely ignore s. 9 of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act [SS: MVDA]. Section 9(8), which extends the ability of a licencee to carry on business pending a renewal application, only applies if the applicant has applied for the licence “before the expiry of the registrant’s registration”. It is clear in this case that the applicants did not do so, even though the April 27, 2013 expiry date was clear on the Certificate of Registration.
SS Comment:
If the competing MVDA provisions [MVDA 9(8)] were other than statutory, the case might raise an interesting paramountcy issue regarding SPPA s.3(2)(h):
3(2) This Act does not apply to a proceeding, ...
(h) of a tribunal empowered to make regulations, rules or by-laws in so far as its power to make regulations, rules or by-laws is concerned.
And, regarding:
32 Unless it is expressly provided in any other Act that its provisions and regulations, rules or by-laws made under it apply despite anything in this Act, the provisions of this Act prevail over the provisions of such other Act and over regulations, rules or by-laws made under such other Act which conflict therewith.
. Gill v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

In Gill v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (Div Ct, 2022) the Divisional Court approved an interim order suspending a doctor's certificate of registration:
[73] The SPPA gives the Committee powers to impose interim orders, including the suspension of a certificate of registration, as a term of an adjournment (SPPA s. 16.1; Dua v College of Veterinarians of Ontario, 2021 ONSC 6917, at para 3, 27-33; Hill v College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 2018 ONSC 5833 (“Hill (Div. Ct.), at para 9, leave to appeal to Court of Appeal dismissed, March 15, 2019). ...
. Dua v. College of Veterinarians of Ontario

In Dua v. College of Veterinarians of Ontario (Div Ct, 2021) the Divisional Court considers the application and test (it was the standard interlocutory injunction test from RJR Macdonald) for interim orders under s.16.1 of the SPPA:
[3] For the reasons that follow, I would not give effect to the prematurity argument. In this case, the order in question prevents Dr. Dua from carrying on his profession until the discipline proceedings against him are concluded, which could be some considerable time in the future. There is no alternative way for Dr. Dua to challenge the basis for the order and the challenge to the order has not and will not interfere with the progress of the disciplinary proceedings. However, I would dismiss the application. Section 16.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22 (the “SPPA”) gives the Committee jurisdiction to make interim orders, including interim orders of a substantive nature. In this case there was a sufficient evidentiary basis for granting the order.


[27] Section 16.1 of the SPPA provides as follows:
(1) A tribunal may make interim decisions and orders.

(2) A tribunal may impose conditions on an interim decision or order.

(3) An interim decision or order need not be accompanied by reasons.
[28] In its decision the Committee reviewed a number of cases that were decided by other administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) and the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”). In these cases, the relevant tribunals addressed the issue of whether s. 16.1 allowed them to impose substantive interim orders and found that it did. The Committee impliedly adopted the reasoning in those cases. According to the Committee it was not provided with any cases in which it was determined that s. 16.1 of the SPPA cannot be used as authority to make substantive interim decisions.

[29] In Yazdanfar v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (2009), 2009 CanLII 30457 (ON SCDC), 251 O.A.C. 103, 97 Admin L.R. (4th) 89, the Divisional Court dealt with an application seeking to quash an interim order by the Executive Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons that imposed serious practise restrictions pending the hearing by the Discipline Committee of certain misconduct allegations. In the course of its reasons the Divisional Court found at para. 46:
Section 16.1 of the [SPPA] provides that the Disciplinary Committee may make interim orders during the conduct of the hearing, including adjusting the s. 37 [of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991] order, if the evidence unfolds that adjustments are warranted.
[30] Since the s. 37 order was a substantive order, this statement does provide authority from the Divisional Court that s. 16.1 provides a Discipline Committee with the statutory authority to make substantive interim orders.

[31] Toussaint v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care), 2010 HRTO 2102 is one of the cases the Committee relied upon in coming to the decision it did on the question of jurisdiction. In Toussaint, the HRTO dealt with the question of whether s. 16.1 of the SPPA provided the HRTO with the power to make substantive interim orders. In that case, as in this, if such a power existed it had to be derived from s. 16.1 as the Human Rights Code provided the Tribunal with no such authority. In dealing with the issue, the HRTO acknowledged that there were conflicting decisions in Ontario tribunals on the point. In doing so the HRTO noted that the OLRB decisions all held that s. 16.1 did confer the power to make substantive interim orders. At para. 15 the HRTO found:
In my view, the OLRB jurisprudence reflects the correct interpretation of s. 16.1, and is more consistent with the contemporary approach to statutory interpretation and the role of administrative tribunals.
[32] The reasons given by the Tribunal in Toussaint for coming to this view can be summarized as follows:
(d) The language of s. 16.1 is broad. It does not contain the word “procedural”.

(e) In both the SPPA and in legislation such as the Labour Relations Act and the Code [and the Veterinarians Act], there are specific “process powers”. If s. 16.1 in interpreted as being limited to procedural matters, this would render it redundant.

(f) Section 16.1 confers upon a tribunal the power to “impose conditions” on decisions or orders. These powers are more likely necessary when making orders of a more significant nature, rather than just controlling a hearing.

(g) Section 16.1 was a new provision added to the SPPA in 1994.

(h) The modern approach to statutory interpretation requires that the words of the statute be considered “in their entire context, in their grammatical and ordinary sense harmoniously with the scheme of the Act, the object of the Act, and the intention of Parliament.” (R. Sullivan, Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes, 6th ed. (LexisNexis Canada, 2014), at §2.1.) The ordinary and grammatical meaning of the words of s. 16.1 suggest a broad power to make interim orders and the Legislature did not restrict the power in any way as it has done in other statutes (e.g., the Labour Relations Act). There would be no need to include a power to attach conditions to interim orders if the power was merely related to procedural matters. Further, “[i]t is unlikely that the Legislature would have found it necessary to add a mere power to make interim procedural orders to the SPPA in 1994, when the legislation included the power to make all kinds of interim procedural orders.” (Toussaint, at para. 25).

(i) Section 64(1) of the Legislation Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 21, Sched. F provides that “[a]n Act shall be interpreted as being remedial and shall be given such fair, large and liberal interpretation as best ensures the attainment of its objects.” In this case the object of the SPPA is to define “both minimum standards and general powers of administrative tribunals.” (Toussaint, at para. 26). Given the large role administrative tribunals play in the administration of justice, there is no principled reason to start with a presumption that those powers should be construed narrowly so as not to include the power to make interim substantive orders.
[33] The reasoning in Toussaint (and the other cases it followed) is intelligible, justifiable and transparent. Further, the conclusion the HRTO reached is consistent with the principles of statutory interpretation and falls well within the range of acceptable outcomes. The statute being interpreted is the same as the statute the Committee considered and there is nothing in that statutory scheme or the Veterinarians Act that would render the Committee’s decision unreasonable. In fact, if the Committee were left with no power to impose interim suspensions this could seriously undermine one of its principle objectives: to protect the public. For these reasons, I find that the Committee’s decision with respect to its jurisdiction to make interim suspension orders was a reasonable one.


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Last modified: 22-05-23
By: admin