Adjudicative function transferred from AGCO to Licence Appeal Tribunal effective July 1, 2011
1. What is the Good Government Act, 2011?
The Good Government Act, 2011 contains amendments to a number of statutes administered by various Ministries, including the legislation administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
2. What is the effect of the passage of the Good Government Act, 2011 on the AGCO?
One of the effects of the Good Government Act, 2011 is to transfer the adjudication function for liquor and gaming issues from the Board of the AGCO to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) effective July 1, 2011.
The AGCO will retain responsibility for the regulation of alcohol and gaming matters while LAT will assume adjudicative responsibility for matters as directed under the following Acts:
- Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996
- Liquor Licence Act
- Gaming Control Act, 1992
- Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999
Beginning July 1, 2011, hearings will no longer by held before the Board of the AGCO but will be held before LAT. Any hearings that were begun by the Board of the AGCO prior to July 1, 2011 will continue to be heard by the Board until the matter is completed.
3. What is LAT?
LAT is an adjudicative agency of the provincial government, and was created on April 1, 2000 under the Licence Appeal Tribunal Act, 1999, through the consolidation of four appeal boards: the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal, the Licence Suspension Appeal Board and the Private Vocational Review Board. Presently, approximately 23 provincial statutes provide for appeals to LAT.
The purpose of LAT is to provide a fair, efficient, impartial and independent means to appeal decisions concerning compensation claims and licensing activities regulated by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Ministry of Government Services, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Transportation.
Effective July 1, 2011, the adjudication function for liquor and gaming issues was transferred from the Board of the AGCO to LAT.
4. What types of hearings that the AGCO adjudicated prior to July 1, 2011 will now be heard by LAT?
The types of hearings which are will be heard by LAT effective July 1, 2011 are:
- Hearings into a Registrar's proposal (Liquor Licence Act) or proposed order (Gaming Control Act, 1992) to refuse to issue, to suspend, or to revoke a licence (liquor) or registration (gaming)
- Hearing of a notice to review a liquor sales licence, often called a "public interest" hearing
- Hearing of an appeal of the Registrar's order of a monetary penalty
- Hearing of a Registrar's proposed compliance or similar orders under the Gaming Control Act
- Hearings on the wine authority's refusal to grant an approval or suspend, revoke or refuse to renew an approval to use the terms, descriptions and designations established by the wine authority under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1992
5. From the point of view of a licensee or registrant regulated by the AGCO, what are the changes to the hearings process now that the adjudicative function has been transferred to LAT?
The hearing/appeal process will be very similar in that hearings before LAT will be conducted in a similar manner as hearings/appeals were conducted before the Board of the AGCO.
A hearing/appeal before LAT is a quasi-judicial process. A licensee/registrant can be represented by counsel, call witnesses, present evidence and cross-examine the Registrar’s witnesses. The Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming is also represented by counsel, can present witnesses and evidence, and can cross-examine the licensee’s/registrant’s witnesses. Witnesses are required to swear or affirm to tell the truth. After each party presents their evidence, they each make closing submissions to the panel. To view LAT's Rules of Procedure governing hearings/appeals, please visit the LAT website at www.lat.gov.on.ca
After the hearing/appeal has been completed, the LAT panel will issue a decision which may be appealed to Divisional Court on a point of law, as was the case for decisions issued by the Board of the AGCO.
6. Will the function of the Board of the AGCO be altered?
With the transfer of the adjudication function from the AGCO to LAT, the AGCO Board will be able to focus on its governance and policy functions. However, the AGCO Board will see through to completion any hearings which were commenced prior to July 1, 2011.
7. What will happen if a hearing has been taking place before the Board of the AGCO but has not been completed by July 1, 2011? How will the hearing be completed? Will it be “taken over” by LAT?
If the AGCO Board starts a hearing, it is seized of the matter and will finish it, even if the hearing goes past the transfer date of July 1, 2011. In addition, any decisions rendered by the AGCO Board that are under appeal will remain within the jurisdiction of the AGCO Board.