Highlights of the proposed revised General Rules
As part of its effort to ensure that its services are timely, responsive, fair and transparent, the Agency is now proposing revisions to its General Rules that will provide a number of mechanisms to improve the efficiency of case processing in all proceedings. These are:
- The use of a one-Member quorum to make certain decisions.
While the Canada Transportation Act currently states that a minimum of two Agency Members is required to constitute a quorum, the Agency is permitted by law to change this requirement if it finds it appropriate to do so. Use of a one-Member quorum when addressing certain uncontested and procedural matters would enable significant enhancements in efficiency.
- The use of specialized guidelines tailored to the nature of specific types of cases before the Agency. These guidelines will set out the distinct procedures to be used in the processing of specific types of proceedings.
A number of specialized guidelines have already been established for the processing of various economic determinations, including Coasting Trade Guidelines and Net Salvage Value Guidelines. The use of these Guidelines has proven to be successful – parties understand their roles and what is expected of them and matters have been dealt with in a timely fashion. The Agency plans to issue specialized guidelines for a number of additional economic determination processes.
In addition, Part II of the revised General Rules contains new Rules of Procedure for Adjudicating Disputes, which are intended to enhance the clarity, transparency and predictability of the formal adjudication process in dispute proceedings. New features include:
- The mandatory use of forms which incorporate specific information requirements to improve the completeness of filings with the Agency and assist applicants in providing the information required;
- A standard pleadings process of 20 business days and an expedited pleadings process of 8 business days for the filing of any answers and replies after the receipt of a complete application or 3 business days for the filing of any answers and replies in relation to a request; and,
- Recognition of the Agency’s commitment to actively offer, promote and expand the use of informal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms by including ADR mechanisms in the Rules of Procedure for Adjudicating Disputes.