General Division was entitled to make determinations about how it held its hearings

Federal court | Pensions | Federal and provincial pension plans | Federal pension plans

General Division of Social Security Tribunal held that applicant was not eligible for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability pension. Appeal Division denied leave to appeal General Division’s decision on basis appeal had no reasonable chance of success that it was procedurally unfair for General Division hearing to be heard by teleconference. Appeal Division rejected applicant’s argument that hearing should have been done in person, found that person’s demeanour was only one factor of many in credibility assessment, and held that format of hearing was discretionary decision. Appeal Division found that applicant had not objected to forum of hearing before General Division and did not allege technical issues. Applicant brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Appeal Division did not err in denying leave to appeal. Applicant’s broad comments about demeanour evidence were not accepted. General Division was entitled to make determinations about how it held its hearings. There was no evidence that applicant would have presented anything differently had hearing been in person or by videoconference. Hearing lasted longer than time it was set for so applicant was allowed to fully present his case. Appeal Division looked at issue as alleged breach of procedural fairness and treated it as such, concluding that ground did not have reasonable chance of success.

Brochu v. Canada (Attorney General) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 177, 2019 CarswellNat 507, 2019 FC 113, 2019 CF 113, Glennys L. McVeigh J. (F.C.).

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