SOAR's 31st Annual Conference 2019 - Strengthening the CORE: FUNdamental Concepts and Skills

 Registration is closed for this event

Strengthening the Core: FUNdamental Concepts and Skills

Thursday November 7, 2019

Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel   525 Bay Street, Toronto

Registration - $495.00 plus HST


9:00am Welcome from Conference Co-Chairs

CAROLINE KING, Vice-Chair, Assessment Review Board, ELTO
CYNTHIA PAY, Member, Immigration and Refugee Board Canada 


Joanne Dallaire, LL.D., Elder for Ryerson University and Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, will provide a Traditional opening ceremony with a song and a prayer.  **WE ASK THOSE ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE TO BE SEATED PROMPTLY AND OBSERVE SILENCE DURING THIS CEREMONY.

9:15-10:15am MORNING PLENARY

Plenary #1 - Fundamentals of Self-Care: Using mindfulness to successfully navigate work and life challenges in today’s administrative law world

SPEAKER: RANDI-MAE STANFORD-LEIBOLD, Counsellor and Mindfulness Educator

Working in the administrative law field requires an ability to deal with challenges, change, and high stakes conflict.  Mindfulness can help you strengthen your core to deal with this hectic new reality successfully.  Learn about the science behind mindfulness, does it really work?  This session explores mindfulness and self-care practices to provide concrete strategies to help you keep centered and empowered.  The session culminates with a guided meditation as a way to introduce you to the benefits of mindfulness for both your professional and personal life. CPD = 1 hr Professionalism Hour


WORKSHOP #1 Loose Canons: Taking a Shot at Statutory Interpretation

MODERATOR: VOY STELMASZYNSKI, retired Solicitor, OLRB SPEAKER: PROFESSOR RANDAL GRAHAM, University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law

Learn the basic rules and conventions used by courts and administrative tribunals in reading, interpreting and applying legislation.  What are the common aids and maxims for the construction of legislation?  What is the role of the Legislation Act?  Does the same word mean the same thing throughout a statute?  What happens when French and English versions of the same statute seem to mean different things? A popular, award-winning professor and author unlocks the mysteries of interpretation for non-legally trained tribunal members as well as those seeking a refresher of their interpretive skills. CPD = 1hr 15min Substantial Hours

WORKSHOP #2 Telephone Talk: Adaptive Approaches to Early Resolution

MODERATOR: CECILE LANDON, Dispute Resolution Officer, Landlord and Tenant Board, Tribunals Ontario SPEAKERS: CAMERON VALE, Nurse Investigator/Mediator, College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario (CPSO); CINNIE NOBLE, Lawyer /Mediator; JEANIE THEOHARIS, Vice Chair, License Appeal Tribunal, Tribunals Ontario

This workshop will explore how regulators and tribunals are responding to current realities by using innovative approaches to enhance their service delivery, improve efficiency and increase accessibility. A panel of experienced adjudicators, mediators and staff will discuss different approaches taken by regulators and tribunals with a focus on the art of telephone mediation. This session will examine how early resolution benefits participant satisfaction and the safeguards needed to protect accessibility for all service users. CPD = 1hr and 15min Professionalism Hours

WORKSHOP #3 Enhancing Regulators' Transparency-Open Data, Social Media and more...

MODERATOR: PREEYA SINGH, Director of Professional Conduct and General Counsel CASLPO, SPEAKERS: CRISTINA de CAPRIO, Lobbyist Registrar, City of Toronto; MARK FARMER, Sr Digital Media Strategist, Ontario College of Teachers, MICHAEL SALVATORI, CEO/Registrar, Ontario College of Teachers; ANNETTE MCKINNON, Patient Advisors Network

An expert panel will discuss how regulators can and should enhance the transparency of and public access to the information they hold and decisions they make. How can regulators communicate to build trust in the regulator and stay relevant?  How can they actively engage the public and those that they regulate to obtain input into regulatory initiatives and enhance mutual learning? What are the tools and techniques that can be used?  Pitfalls and practical tips for regulators and the public perspective will be highlighted in the discussion among the panelists and with the audience.

11:45-12:30pm LUNCH


WORKSHOP #4 Meeting Client and Stakeholder Needs on the Frontlines - Practical Tips for Addressing Conflict and Crisis

MODERATOR: GRACE KNAKOWSKI, Secretary to the Commission, Office of the Secretary, Ontario Securities Commission, SPEAKERS: JUDY TSAO, Outreach Counsellor/Case Manager, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre; LUKE BROWN, Director, Ombudsman Toronto, ELAINE STONE, Manager Investigations and Resolution, College of Physicians and Surgeons

In this workshop, an expert and diverse panel drawn from the worlds of investigations and mental health will enhance our understanding of how and why conflict arises on the frontlines of our work and how it can be contained and managed. Despite the obstacles and interpersonal challenges we sometimes encounter, we still need to get our jobs done and provide the best possible service within our respective mandates. With some practical tips derived from their understanding of and experience with conflict, this workshop panel will help show us how. CPD = 1hr and 15min Professionalism Hours

WORKSHOP #5 Decision Writing: Top Tips and Tackling Common Road Blocks

MODERATOR: ANSHUMALA JUYAL, Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, SPEAKERS: TIM MOSELEY, Vice-Chair, Ontario Securities Commission; SUSAN OPLER, Ombudsman, Ombudsman Toronto; JENNIFER KHURANA, Vice-Chair, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Writing decisions that are organized, well thought out and relatable can be a challenge. Join our knowledgeable panel to learn about how you can improve your decision writing skills. The panel will provide practical guidance and advice on how to prepare clear, concise, accessible and timely decisions that assist the parties and public in understanding the issues considered and decision made. The panel will also identify common barriers to decision drafting and discuss strategies for success. CPD = 1hr and 15 min Professionalism Hours

WORKSHOP #6 Admin Law 2019: (R)evolution?

MODERATOR: MAUREEN CARTER-WHITNEY, Member, Condominium Authority Tribunal SPEAKERS:  MICHELLE ALTON, Tribunal General Counsel, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal; ANDREW LOKAN, Partner, Paliare Roland; AUDREY MACKLIN, Professor & Chair in Human Rights Law, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Will the Supreme Court of Canada’s review of Dunsmuir lead to a revolution, or will things stay the same?  Join us to learn about new administrative law developments in 2019 arising from both provincial and federal decisions and hear the different perspectives of advocates and decision-makers about the best way to approach judicial review, particularly as administrative agencies strive to fill the “access to justice gap” in the Canadian legal system. CPD = 1 hr and 15 min Substantive Hours


Plenary #2 - Balancing Justice: Assessing Credibility and Evidence

MODERATOR: JAY SENGUPTA, Human Rights Commissioner, Peel District School Board  SPEAKERS: MARK J. SANDLER, Senior Partner, Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman LLP; JUSTICE WILLIAM LEMAY,  Superior Court of Justice

This session explores how evidence and credibility are assessed in the administrative and regulatory contexts. What factors should and should not inform such assessments? What is the role of expert and opinion evidence? What are best practices and procedural safeguards that can be applied in administrative and regulatory proceedings? Does the format of the proceeding have an impact on how we approach and make assessments? This session provides tools and tips for regulators and adjudicators in balancing the interests of justice. CPD= 1hr and 15 in Substantive Hours


Plenary #3 - Making Sense of the Successes and Failures of Human Memory

MODERATOR: CAROLYN SLON, Senior Legal Counsel, Ontario Securities Commission SPEAKER: PROFESSOR STEVE JOORDENS Ph.D.,Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough

Memory?  You don’t have a “thing” called memory, you in fact have several systems that store and continually use previous experience to make sense of current experience. Professor Joordens will introduce you to your memory systems and highlight the way they work to make sense of our experience, current experience and our recreation of past experiences, the latter of which is what we collegially call “Memory”.  These processes can lead to inaccuracies of memory, or biases in perception, but knowledge is power, and by understanding why and how this occurs you will be in a stronger position to understand memory accuracies should they occur in your context, and to control the biases in your own decision making (e.g., the judicial hunch). CPD= 1hr and 15 in Substantive Hours


The SOAR 2019 Conference Committee has developed the above workshops and plenaries for this year's conference. As is SOAR’s custom, the committee has ensured that there are sessions for both new and seasoned adjudicators and regulators as well as for staff and counsel.  Stay tuned to this page other updates!



Please check back for program updates and schedule changes.

Please note that all registrations are firm.  No refunds are permitted for cancellations. No sharing of registrations are permitted.

November 7th, 2019 from  8:00 AM to  5:00 PM
The Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel
525 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5G2L2