Mega-hospital LPAT 'on hold': No agreement on issues list, statement of facts
'We're not going to spend the time to talk about facts that may be irrelevant'
An agreed statement of facts was due at the end of May in the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) process between the City of Windsor and the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-hospital Planning Process (CAMPP).
Before that, a consolidated issues list was due the first week of May.
Neither the issues list nor the statement of facts have been determined as of June 10 — and CAMPP counsel Eric Gillespie said the tribunal now has to make a decision.
According to emails from Peter Gross, counsel for the City of Windsor and Gillespie, the parties were "unable to agree on a consolidated issues list."
Gillespie said because they couldn't agree on the issues, CAMPP did not submit a statement of facts.
"The agreed facts depend on what the issues are," said Gillespie. "We're not going to spend the time to talk about facts that may be irrelevant. We thought that was self-evident but I guess not."
According to a Tribunals Ontario spokesperson, the process usually sees the parties agree on an issues list and make a decision together. For the agreed statement of facts, the members sort out directions around the issues list.
"We're now in a holding pattern," said the spokesperson. "But ultimately a decision will be made and the process will continue."
According to Gillepsie, the process is now "on hold."
"We're hitting the pause button, to let the tribunal make the decision," said Gillespie.
Changes to Local Planning Tribunal Act might alter appeal process
But there might be another factor to consider — on June 6, 2019, Bill 108 recieved Royal Assent and is now law.
Under Schedule 9 of Bill 108, various amendments are made to the Local Planning Tribunal Act. The LPAT is now empowered to limit examination or cross-examination of witnesses, submissions by non-parties are limited to written submissions only and case management regulations have been altered.
Gillespie said he thinks the amendments will benefit CAMPP.
"It could be that there will be a very different hearing process in place than the one we're currently dealing with, depending on the rules about transitioning from the old system to the new system," said Gillespie. "We think it gives our client, CAMPP, many new opportunities, based on our understanding of the proposed transition rules."
Figuring out how the transition rules apply to the CAMPP/City of Windsor LPAT may be tricky, but Gillespie said it was still beneficial to start the process when it did.
"I think we had work that did need to be done in order to understand what the basic planning merits of this case were," said Gillespie.
Counsel for the City of Windsor did not respond to interview requests.
The spokesperson for Tribunals Ontario said the process will continue, but were not sure how long it would take.