SOAR's 34th Annual Conference 2022 (Virtual) Changing Tides: The Ebb and Flow of Administrative Justice

Thursday November 3, 2022 9:00am -3:00pm EST

SOAR’s 34th Annual Conference

Thursday November 3, 2022 *Virtual

Changing Tides: The Ebb and Flow of Administrative Justice

9:00am - 3:00pm, delivered in real time on ZOOM, with live Q and A

Fee: $195 plus HST


Mark your calendar:  the 34th SOAR Annual Conference is back on November 3rd, 2022! This year's virtual conference, "Changing Tides: The Ebb and Flow of Administrative Justice" will focus on the ways that administrative justice has and is changing. We will explore several pressing topics, such as how diverse identities of participants in administrative justice should be addressed, how decisions can be written in a culturally competent way, and how we can build resilience as we assess and appreciate the significant impact of the pandemic on professional relationships and mental health. Join us as we  consider where we are, where we started, and where we strive to be! The Conference will run from 9:00am to 3:00pm with the opportunity to participate in real time, chat with peers and ask questions.

9:00a.m - 9:15a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks from Conference Co-Chairs

MICHELLE ALTON, General Manager, Corporate Services and City Solicitor, City of Sarnia

CAROLYN GORA, Director, Professional Conduct, College of Nurses Ontario

JOANNE DALLAIRE LL.D, Elder and Senior Adviser, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Toronto Metropolitan University Indigenous Ceremonial Welcome 

9:15am-10:15am OPENING PLENARY
All the Fish in the Sea: Navigating Questions of Identity in Administrative Justice 
Eligible for 1 hour of EDI CPD Requirement

There is a growing awareness of the need to address questions of race and identity in adjudication. But there are significant barriers in doing so, including discomfort, lack of expertise or evidence, and the myth of colour blindness. Our speakers will discuss different strategies and lessons learned in grappling with these important issues. 

MODERATOR: CYNTHIA PAY, Tribunal Counsel, Law Society Tribunal
SPEAKERS: FAISAL MIRZA, Barrister and Solicitor 
JOANNE DALLAIRE LL.D, Elder and Senior Adviser, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Toronto Metropolitan University
additional speakers tbc


WORKSHOP 1 How to SEA through the noise: Culturally Competent Decision-Writing

Eligible for 1 hour and 15 min of EDI CPD Requirement

Writing decisions for a diverse audience presents special challenges and opportunities. A tribunal’s awareness of this diversity contributes to its competence, perceived legitimacy, and ability to build trust with its stakeholders and the public at large. How can we write decisions that are culturally competent and, thus, speak more meaningfully to their readers? Join a panel discussion of the related issues, practical solutions, techniques and tips to help you write more conscious and inclusive decisions. This workshop will explore how plain language writing supports decisions that are culturally competent and speak to the reader. 

MODERATOR: ANSHUMALA JUYAL, Canadian Human Rights Commission


Additional Speakers to be confirmed

WORKSHOP 2  Swimming with the Sharks: Navigating Incivility and Harassment in Administrative Proceedings 
Eligible for 1 hour and 15 min of Professionalism CPD Requirement

Administrative bodies have seen an increase in incivility, impatience, and harassing behaviour in the wake of the pandemic, including the use of social media as a tool of harassment. What has contributed to this trend? What impacts are felt by staff, adjudicators and other participants in the administrative justice system and what effects does this behaviour have on the system itself? What tools can be used to address these concerns?

MODERATOR: GENEVIEVE PLUMMER, Hearings Office Manager, Ontario College of Pharmacists

SPEAKERS:  ROSEMARIE McCUTCHEON, Tribunal Chair and CEO, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT)

EVAN RANKIN, Associate, Singleton Reynolds

AMY STEIN, Deputy Registrar and General Counsel, College of Opticians Ontario


WORKSHOP 3 GONE PHISHING: Casting a Net on Privacy and Security

As our world evolves, distances shrink and our electronic reach increases. We are faced with new challenges to privacy, keeping our personal information close to our chest, keeping our personal lives off-screen, anticipating breaches and invasions. Our panel looks at the three levels of privacy (physical, virtual, third party), how we can protect ourselves, how our tribunals and regulators safeguard us, how they control the damage when transgressions occur (as they inevitably and inexorably will). We will address how our institutions store our personal information; how we can protect our home environment (the screen behind us; the threat of hackers; how government and the private sector ransom breaches). And we will consider real-life examples from the world around us: disclosure of health records; leaked exam questions; surreptitious release of draft decisions.

MODERATOR: PREEYA SINGH, Director of Professional Conduct and General Counsel, CASLPO


JASON KOTLER, Founder and President, CYBFER

DIANA MILES, CEO, Law Society of Ontario

ALYSHA SHORE, Partner, Paliare Roland

WORKSHOP 4 Admin Law Deep Dive

Back by popular demand - SOAR's annual ‘admin law blast’ will cover the trends and developments impacting administrative justice from the past year. Our expert panel will discuss key recent decisions, including the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision, Law Society of Saskatchewan v. Abrametz, and will provide practical tips for counsel, staff, and adjudicators.  You don’t want to miss it!

MODERATOR: ROSEMARY BASA, Member, Refugee Appeal Division, Immigration Refugee Board of Canada

SPEAKERS: PROFESSOR PAUL DALY, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law



STAYING AFLOAT: Resiliency in Turbulent Waters
Eligible for 1 hour of Professionalism CPD Requirement

Drawing from recent findings in neuroscience, renowned occupational therapist and health and social justice champion, Rachel Thibeault, will highlight cognitive strategies to alleviate anxiety and optimize psychological resilience. Dr. Thibeault (PhD) will introduce the Compassion Protocol, one of the best protective factors for individuals exposed to human distress and hopelessness in the course of their work. She will also address the impact of outlook and inner discourse as key determinants of sustained psychological wellbeing.


"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf" - Jon Kabat-Zinn

The SOAR 2022 Conference Committee is responsible for planning this year's workshops and plenaries. As is SOAR’s custom, this volunteer committee ensures there is a wide variety of sessions for both new and seasoned adjudicators, regulators, front-line staff and Tribunal counsel. If you are interested in joining the planning committee, please email SOAR's Executive Director.

Stay tuned to this page for updates!



Please check back for program updates and schedule changes.

Please note that all paid registrations are firm.  No refunds are permitted for cancellations. No sharing of registrations, links or substitutions without prior approval is permitted.


November 3rd, 2022 9:00 AM through  3:00 PM
Delivered Remotely
Event Fee(s)
Individual Registration $ 195.00 + $ 25.35 HST