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Appeal-Judicial Hearing - Fairness - When Oral Hearing Necessary

. Dahlia McPherson v. City of Toronto, RGI Eligibility Review Board

In Dahlia McPherson v. City of Toronto, RGI Eligibility Review Board (Div Ct, 2022) the Divisional Court considered, a matter of procedural fairness, when an administrative hearing need be oral:
[33] Contrary to the Applicant's assertion, the Review Body was not obligated to provide an oral hearing of her matter. The Supreme Court of Canada has held that an oral hearing is not always necessary to ensure a fair proceeding and proper consideration of the issues involved in a case. In paragraph 33 of Baker, the Court wrote that "the flexible nature of the duty of fairness recognizes that meaningful participation can occur in different ways in different situations."

[34] In Khan v University of Ottawa, 1997 CanLII 941 (ON CA), 1997 CarswellOnt 2613 at para 21, the Court of Appeal for Ontario held that "an oral hearing may be required in certain circumstances and particularly where Charter rights are at stake and in those common situations where credibility of the parties and witnesses is a factor in the decision-making process." Those circumstances are not present in this case. An oral hearing was not required.


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