Practice Guideline – April 8, 2014
Ontario Securities Commission Practice Guideline for French Hearings
(Cross-references: French Language Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, Statutory
Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22 and Ontario Securities Commission Rules of Procedure (2012), 35 O.S.C.B. 10071, as amended)
The Ontario Securities Commission (the “Commission” or the “OSC”) is issuing the following practice guideline on the use of the French language in adjudicative proceedings (the “Practice Guideline”). The adopted Practice Guideline is consistent with the French Language Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, (the “FLSA”) guarantee to every person of the right to communicate with and to receive all services in French from the Government of Ontario, its ministries and agencies, and the right to full and equal access to administrative justice services.
The Practice Guideline was developed in accordance with the Ontario Securities Commission Rules of Procedure (2012), 35 O.S.C.B. 10071 (the “OSC Rules of Procedure”), the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22 (the “SPPA”) and the FLSA.
The Practice Guideline applies to all proceedings before the Commission where the Commission is required under the Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and the Commodity Futures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20, or otherwise by law, to hold a hearing or to afford to the parties to the proceeding an opportunity for a hearing before making a decision. The Practice Guideline is issued pursuant to Rule 1.3 of the OSC Rules of Procedure.
The Commission therefore issues the following Practice Guideline which will apply immediately to all proceedings before the Commission, including proceedings commenced by a Notice of Hearing issued prior to the issuance of the Practice Guideline.
- Definitions – In the Practice Guideline:
“hearing” means a hearing in any proceeding as defined in subsection 1(1) of the SPPA and includes hearings for the purpose of applications, motions, pre-hearing conferences, settlement conferences and settlement hearings, as governed by rules 2, 3, 6, and 12 of the OSC Rules of Procedure, respectively;
“intervenor” means a person who has applied to intervene pursuant to the OSC Rules of Procedure and who has been granted intervenor status by order of a Panel;
“language of the proceeding” means English, French or both English and French, as the case may be;
“linguistic assistance” includes consecutive and simultaneous interpretation or translation services;
“Panel” means a quorum of at least 2 members of the Commission pursuant to subsection 3(11) of the Securities Act or a single member of the Commission authorized by order of the Commission pursuant to subsection 3.5(3) of the Securities Act;
“party” may include:
(a) a person recognized as a party by the Securities Act;
(b) a person entitled by law to be a party to the proceeding;
(c) a person granted party status by order of a Panel; and
- Language of the Proceeding
2.1. Proceedings before the Commission may be held in English or in French or in both English and French.
2.2. A party or intervenor requesting a proceeding to be conducted in French or in both English and French must notify the Secretary’s Office in writing of their choice as soon as possible, and in any event, at least thirty (30) days before a hearing.
2.3. The Commission’s Rules of Procedure and accompanying Practice Guideline will be available in English and French.
2.4. Upon request that a proceeding be conducted wholly or partly in French under guideline 2.2 above, Enforcement Staff of the Commission shall serve and file, as soon as possible, the Statement of Allegations or other originating documentation, if any, in French.
- Communications with the Commission
3.1. The Commission will communicate and provide all of its correspondence, orders and decisions in the language of the proceeding as requested by the parties.
3.2. Parties or intervenors may change the language of their correspondence with the Commission by notifying the Secretary’s Office in writing.
3.3. If the parties or intervenors communicate with the Commission in different languages (i.e. one party uses French and the other party uses English), Commission correspondence will be provided in both languages or will be translated.
4.1. Parties to a proceeding have the right to receive notice of the hearing in either English or French upon request.
4.2. Parties, intervenors, witnesses and counsel participating in a hearing may choose to be heard in English or in French and must notify the Secretary’s Office in writing of their choice as soon as possible, and in any event, at least thirty (30) days before the hearing.
4.3. Parties or intervenors may submit evidence or written submissions either in English or in French. These documents will form part of the record in the language in which they are submitted.
- Presiding Member or Panel
5.1. A party or intervenor requesting a hearing to be conducted wholly or partly in French may request that the Commission assign a Panel that speaks English and French.
5.2. A request for a member or Panel who speaks English and French must be made to the Secretary’s Office as soon as possible, and in any event, at least thirty (30) days before the hearing.
- Translation and Linguistic Assistance
6.1. Where a party, witness or intervenor requests linguistic assistance of an interpreter for translation into French or English during a hearing, he or she must notify the Secretary’s Office of their choice as soon as possible, and in any event, at least thirty (30) days before the hearing.
6.2. The Commission will provide linguistic assistance into French or English through an interpreter who is qualified, independent of the parties and such interpreter shall swear or affirm that he/she will interpret accurately.
6.3. The Commission has no obligation to translate documentary evidence into French or English. However, the Commission may provide translation of documentary evidence into English or French if a party or intervenor requests it and the Panel considers it necessary for the fair determination of the matter.
6.4. The Commission has no obligation to translate hearing transcripts. However, the Commission may, at its discretion, provide English or French translation of hearing transcripts.
7.1. Commission decisions will be issued in the language of the hearing.
7.2. Where the parties or intervenors have participated in both English and French during a hearing, the Commission’s decision will be issued in both languages.