As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the courts and other administrative agencies have been conducting virtual hearings. The OEB is beginning to take steps to ensure that we are ready to hold virtual oral hearings, in the event it becomes necessary to do so.
While the work of the OEB continues, our physical offices have not yet re-opened. There is a possibility that some applications may be ready to proceed to oral hearing while the OEB’s offices are closed or while participants are not able to attend the OEB in person. So as not to delay the timely processing of applications, the OEB may choose to proceed to hold virtual hearings as an alternative to in-person hearings.
On June 17, 2020, the OEB issued a letter to stakeholders seeking feedback on the OEB’s plan for conducting virtual hearings. We received comments from various stakeholders, including OPG, electricity distributors and ratepayer groups. We thank Randy Aiken (Aiken and Associates), Alectra, BOMA, E.L.K., Hydro One, Hydro Ottawa, Nextbridge, OPG, Pollution Probe, Mark Rubenstein (Shepherd Rubenstein Professional Corporation) and Toronto Hydro for submitting their comments.
On March 17, 2021, the OEB posted its Virtual Hearings Guide. This document outlines the process for participating in a virtual hearing.