Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 156, Number 3: Rules Amending the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal Rules of Procedure

January 15, 2022

Statutory authority
Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act

Sponsoring agency
Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Rules.)

Issues

An amendment to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal Rules of Procedure (the “Rules”) is required to clarify and remove any ambiguity regarding the applicable witness fees that can be allowed by the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal (Tribunal).

This minor issue was discovered while preparing for the latest hearing of the Tribunal and created some confusion between each party’s responsibilities towards witness fees.

Objective

The amendments have the following objectives:

  • To harmonize terms used in the regulations with those used in the related Federal Courts Rules; and
  • To add clarity to a regulatory provision.

Description and rationale

The proposed amendment will align subsection 21.2(3) with the Federal Courts Rules. Subsection 21.2(3) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (Act) provides that witnesses summoned before the Tribunal may, at the discretion of the presiding member, receive the fees and allowances granted to witnesses summoned before the Federal Court, without further specification. The Tribunal Rules do not address witness fees and should, at a minimum, refer specifically to or restate the applicable provisions in the Federal Courts Rules.

The Federal Courts Rules provide for the following in respect of witness fees:

  • Personal service of subpoena
    • 42 No witness is required to attend under a subpoena unless the subpoena has been personally served on the witness in accordance with paragraph 128(1)(a) and witness fees and travel expenses have been paid or tendered to the witness in the amount set out in Tariff A.
  • Witness fees
    • 43 Where a witness is required under these Rules to attend a proceeding other than pursuant to a subpoena, the witness is entitled to witness fees and travel expenses in the amount set out in Tariff A.

Subsection 21.2(3) of the Act does not specify whether the reference to witness fees is a reference to Rules 42 and 43 of the Federal Courts Rules or only to the allowances provided for in Tariff A. This ambiguity creates uncertainty during the preparation of hearings.

One-for-one rule and small business lens

The one-for-one rule does not apply to these amendments as there is no change in administrative costs to or burden on business.

The amendments will not entail any additional costs to the Government or to those covered by the Rules. Additional resources are not necessary to ensure compliance and enforcement. It is likely that there will be savings realized as a result of added efficiency.

Consultation

Pursuant to subsection 21(3) of the Act, the Chairperson of the Tribunal must consult the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) before making any rules and must ensure that the rules take the RCMP’s security and confidentiality needs into account. During the development the proposed amendment, such consultation took place; the RCMP concurs with the proposed amendment.

Contact

Lune Arpin
General Counsel
Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal
90 Sparks Street, Room 600
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5B4
Telephone: 613‑291‑7130
Email: lune.arpin@tribunal.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given, pursuant to subsection 21(4) footnote a of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act footnote b, that the Chairperson of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, pursuant to subsection 21(2)footnote a of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Rules Amending the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal Rules of Procedure.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Rules within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Caroline Verner, Senior Legal Counsel, Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, 512 – 90 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B4 (tel.: 613‑291‑7130; email: caroline.verner@tribunal.gc.ca).

Ottawa, December 20, 2021

Martine St-Louis
Chairperson of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal

Rules Amending the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal Rules of Procedure

Amendment

1 Rule 35 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal Rules of Procedure footnote 1 is renumbered as subrule 35(1) and is amended by adding the following:

Fees and allowances

(2) A witness is not required to attend a hearing unless any fees and allowances that the member or panel has determined the witness is entitled to receive under subsection 21.2(3) of the Act have been paid or tendered to them.

Coming into Force

2 These Rules come into force on the day on which they are registered.