ESSCC provides a variety of resources in preparation for a hearing before the tribunal.
The Commission Hearing Schedule is the most up-to-date source of information on any active or pending matter before the Commission. It is updated by the Commission Hearing Office daily, and is the best source for locating dates and times for pending hearings, or recently released public decisions and orders from a Commission panel.
Yes. Generally, Commission hearings are open to the public, unless the Commission considers that:
- a public hearing would be unduly prejudicial to a party or a witness, and
- it would not be prejudicial to the public interest to order that the public be excluded for all or part of the hearing.
Except where the Commission orders a hearing to be held in camera, media may cover the hearing. Media must apply to the Commission to televise or record hearings sufficiently in advance of the hearing to allow the parties to the proceeding to make submissions on the application. The Commission may grant the application with conditions. If the Commission grants the request to televise or record a hearing, media must make arrangements through the Commission Hearing Office, and provide an undertaking to the Commission not to use the recording of the hearing for any purpose other than that granted by the Commission.
Media representatives are subject to the direction of the Commission, which will balance the public interest and privacy interests. Media representatives must ensure that their activities do not disrupt the hearing. Disruptive activities include:
- conducting interviews in the hearing room while the hearing is in session or so nearby so as to disrupt the hearing;
moving equipment while the hearing is in session;
- using flash photography, television lights or other equipment that distract parties, witnesses or the commissioners; or
any other activity that the commissioner presiding considers distracting or disruptive.
- Microphones may not be placed before counsel, parties, witnesses, hearing officer, the court reporter or the commissioners.
Television coverage of hearings is limited to one fixed-camera position in the public area of the hearing room. If more than one media outlet wishes to film the hearing, they must work out sharing arrangements among themselves.
Members of the media who have questions or wish to set up an interview with the Commission may contact the Commission’s media relations contact at 2144-2700.
Generally, the public does not have access to copies of hearing materials, including transcripts, exhibits and the submissions of the parties.
A person who requests access to hearing exhibits or transcripts must make an application to the Commission. The Commission will consider applications having regard to the public interest and privacy interests. In considering an application, the Commission may:
- consult the parties to the proceeding,
- give the parties the opportunity to provide redacted copies of the requested exhibits or transcripts, and
- require the person who obtains access to hearing exhibits or transcripts to provide an undertaking to keep any third party personal information disclosed confidential.
Applications must be sent in writing to the Commission Hearing Office, at the address in above under Question 1.
If the Commission provides access to exhibits or transcripts, it will usually redact personal information to protect the privacy of parties, witnesses and third parties, and may redact other sensitive information. A person who requests access to un-redacted hearing exhibits or transcripts must make an application to the Commission, setting out the reasons why the Commission should provide this information, including the potential impact on the privacy interests of parties, witnesses and third parties.
A person who wants copies of written submissions of a party to the proceeding must contact that party directly.