Hearing Preparation Guide
This Guide will help you prepare for your hearing at the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal. It contains general information but does not provide legal advice.
For an alternative format or a paper copy, contact the Tribunal at email@example.com.
You can find explanations of terms used in this Guide in the Glossary and more general information in the Guide to the Tribunal Process on this website.
The Tribunal Office will send a confirmation by email to all participants when a hearing is scheduled.
Two weeks before the hearing, the Tribunal Office will send the parties an email with practical information about the hearing including links to access the technology used to conduct the electronic hearing, access to SharePoint folders and the names of the panel members assigned to the hearing.
Hearing Information Form (HIF)
The Hearing Information Form provides information the Tribunal needs during and after the hearing. The form facilitates the participation of witnesses; assists the panel, the Tribunal Office and the hearing support technician to correctly refer to participants; and ensures representatives are accurately recorded on the reasons. Only the panel, the Tribunal Office and the hearing support technician have access to the completed form. The Tribunal recognizes that contact information can be confidential and will not send the form to the other participants.
Participants must file the completed HIF with the Tribunal as soon as possible and at the latest three business days before the hearing. It does not need to be delivered to the other participants.
The OPSDT works with Virtual Hearings Canada and Veritext Legal Solutions to support our hearings.
Virtual Hearings Canada often provides technical support on the hearing day. The Tribunal Office may provide the support for some hearings.
Transcripts are available at your cost. See details below.
Video Conference Technology
The Tribunal uses Zoom to conduct all hearings. The Zoom feed is live streamed for the public through an unlisted YouTube link. We use Microsoft Teams to display documents and evidence. The documents and evidence viewed on Teams are not displayed to the public on the livestream.
Two weeks before the hearing, we will send you links to both the Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings. You should log into both Zoom and Teams at least 15 minutes before the start time of the hearing. If you have technical difficulties, please contact the Tribunal Office.
You can join the meetings by downloading the apps or joining on a web browser. Please note that if you plan to join on a tablet or phone you must download the apps. If you do not have these apps installed on the device you will use, please install and test them well in advance. For instructions on how to download these free apps, visit the Zoom download center website and the download Teams website.
If you prefer, you can join both meetings from a web browser on a desktop without downloading the apps. Be sure to join each meeting in separate browser windows so that you can view them side by side during the hearing. A video tutorial demonstrating how to join a Teams meeting is available on the Microsoft Support Centre website. A video tutorial demonstrating how to join a Zoom meeting is available on the Zoom Support Centre website.
If you have technical difficulties or require additional support, please contact the Tribunal Office.
Only representatives, the subject physician and witnesses may use the links we provide. Please ask anyone else who wants to watch the hearing to contact the Tribunal Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the YouTube link.
No one other than the hearing support technician and court reporters may record the hearing without the Tribunal’s authorization. See s. 29 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
Under Rule 1.5.2 of the Tribunal Rules of Procedure and the Practice Direction on the Format of Documents, all documents filed with the Tribunal should be in an electronic format and identified in accordance with the appropriate naming conventions. You can file documents in advance of the hearing with the Tribunal Office or during the hearing with leave of the panel. You must deliver all communications to the other participants, either before you file them with the Tribunal or by copying the other participants on your email to the Tribunal. If you deliver them first, please also file a confirmation of delivery form.
The best way to file documents in advance is by email or secure file transfer. Send the documents or the file transfer link to the Tribunal at email@example.com. You may also use another method directed or permitted by the Tribunal or agreed to by the recipient to deliver or file documents. Participants will have access to a SharePoint folder on the day of the hearing to provide documents to the hearing support technician, who will share them with all participants. Details are below.
Deadlines are set out in the Rules of Procedure and case management directions. Please note, when a document is delivered or filed after 4:00 p.m. or on a day that is not a business day, the document is considered delivered or filed on the next business day: Rule 1.4.1 (d).
Please avoid last-minute filings. The Tribunal Office may not be able to process documents filed after 4:00 p.m. the day before a hearing or on the morning of the hearing, and the panel will not likely have time to read them. If you must file documents at the last minute, request permission from the panel to file the documents at the hearing rather than sending us an email.
Two weeks before the hearing, we will send you links to two SharePoint folders. These folders allow all participants of the hearing access to the documents used during the hearing and allow participants to file documents during the hearing.
Individual Participant Folders
Each participant will receive a link to their own personal folder. Access to this folder is limited to the participant or their representative, the hearing support technician and the Tribunal Office. During the hearing you can ask the technician to display and/or distribute documents from this folder. If permitted by the panel, the documents will be made an exhibit and/or filed.
All Participants Folder
All the participants, the panel, the hearing support technician and the Tribunal Office have access to this folder. It will all contain documents filed in relation to the hearing. If a document is filed or made an exhibit during the hearing, the hearing support technician will move it from the participant’s individual folder to the all participants folder and label it accordingly. This is the equivalent of passing up documents at an in-person hearing to be filed. You will not be able to add or remove documents from this folder; only the Tribunal Office or hearing support technician can do so.
The Tribunal Chair assigns a panel to each hearing under s. 38 of the Health Professions Procedural Code. The panel for a merits hearing is usually five members: two physicians, two members of the public and one experienced adjudicator. The Tribunal Chair may assign a smaller panel to procedural or interlocutory matters (without party consent), or to other matters if the parties agree: ss. 4.2 and 4.2.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. Two weeks before the hearing we will send you an email advising who has been assigned to your hearing. Our website includes biographies of all Tribunal members.
Requirement for Hearing Brief
Under Rule 12.4.3, each party, or the parties jointly, must deliver and file a hearing brief that includes a copy of all documents that may be used in evidence and a list of intended witnesses. Unless they are made an exhibit, hearing briefs are not part of the public record of the proceeding nor available to the public. In making its decision, the panel will only rely on evidence that has been made an exhibit.
Restriction on Publication
Under Rule 2.2.2, there is a publication ban on the names of patients or any information that could identify patients or disclose patients’ personal health information or health records. The Tribunal may order a more extensive publication ban or modify the automatic ban. If you are requesting additions to the publication ban, you must file Form 2A at least seven days before making the request to give notice to the media.
Public Record of the Proceeding
Most documents filed with the Tribunal are part of the public record of the proceeding under Rule 2 and we will provide them to any member of the public on request. The list of documents that form the public record of the proceeding is in Rule 2.1.2.
Patient health records, which are records in any form kept by a registered health professional in the course of providing services to a patient, are not public. Please consider carefully whether such records are necessary to decide the issues before filing them. Consider also if identifying information can be redacted. If you file documents containing patient health records or other information covered by a publication ban, whether in advance of or at the hearing, you must bring this to the Tribunal’s attention so that we can take the necessary steps to protect them.
For more details, see Rule 2 and the Practice Direction on Open Hearings and Privacy.
Adjournments are granted only when there is a good reason supported by evidence. They are not automatic even if both parties consent. Participants should notify the Tribunal Office of motions to adjourn or a reduced need for scheduled hearing days as soon as possible. Hearing days are valuable. Considerable time and resources go into scheduling and preparing for each hearing. Adjournments may delay not only the adjourned case, but other Tribunal matters as well. See College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario v. Fagbemigun, 2021 ONPSDT 42 and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario v. McInnis, 2022 ONPSDT 28 for further information on the Tribunal’s approach to adjournments.
Please note that in accordance with Rule 17.2.1 of the Rules of Procedure, the Tribunal may award costs against a participant that is granted an adjournment within 10 business days of the scheduled hearing date.
For more information, see the Practice Direction on Adjournments on our website.
You can order transcripts, at your cost, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need to file a copy of the transcript with the Tribunal.
Contact the Tribunal Office at email@example.com, (416) 968-5173 or 1-800-268-7096 Ext. 919 for further information or assistance.