Customer Service
1.877.ESA.SAFE / 1.877.372.7233

Appealing ESA Licensing Decisions - A Step-by-Step Guide

There are 3 steps to the appeals process:

  1. Appeal before the Director
  2. Appeal before the Review Panel
  3. Divisional Court

For further information on the guidelines and rules for hearings and filing an appeal, please click on the links below:

Step One: Appeal before the Director

There are 4 steps to the Appeal before the Director:Appeal before the Director

(i) Notice Served to Party

Appeals before the Director may be requested to the Director of Appeals within 15 days (holidays and weekends not included) after being served with a Notice of Proposal.  Generally, the notice shall be deemed to have been served on the third day after the date on the Notice of Proposal.  The date on the Notice of Proposal is usually when the decision is sent via registered mail to the individual named in the Notice of Proposal.  For more information regarding service of notice, please refer to s. 113.3 under the Electricity Act, 1998.

(ii) Submitting a Notice of Appeal

When submitting a Notice of Appeal before the Director, the following items must be included:

  • Notice of Appeal before the Director of Licensing form, with all sections complete and signed within 15 days (holidays and weekends not included) of being served a Notice of Proposal;
  • A copy of the Notice of Proposal being appealed; and
  • Written submission and all supporting documentation

Please remember to consult the checklist before filing an appeal.

The Director of Appeals ensures that the application form is complete and must decide if the application is accepted or rejected.  Once the appeal is accepted, the Director of Appeals will arrange for the Director of Licensing to conduct the hearing. 

(iii) Hearing before the Director

There are three formats in which a hearing may be held: oral, electronic and written (or any combination of the three).

Generally, the hearing before the Director is a written hearing; the Director reviews the appeal and provides a written explanation of a decision rendered.

The Director will issue a Notice of Hearing to the appellant and indicate that if the appellant wishes to present further evidence or make further submissions, this disclosure is to be received by the Director no later than 5 days before the hearing. 

The notice of hearing sets out a deadline for submitting additional info to the Director. Any information submitted after this date will not be considered by the Director in rendering a decision.

The Director will review all information submitted to the Director of Appeals by the appellant in their Notice of Appeal application and any additional information submitted prior to the date of the hearing.

Once the Director has reviewed all information, a decision will be rendered.

(iv) Decision

The decision of the Director will be sent from the office of the Director of Appeals to the appellant.  A written copy of the Director’s decision shall be served either by:

  • Registered mail;
  • In person;
  • Fax; or
  • Any other form of electronic transmission providing there is a record that the notice has been sent.
Step Two: Appeal before the Review Panel

A person may within 15 days (holidays and weekends not included) of receiving notice of the Director’s decision, file a Notice of Appeal before the Review Panel with ESA’s Director of Appeals.

There are 5 steps to the Appeal before the Review Panel:

Review Panel

(i) Submitting a Notice of Appeal

When submitting a Notice of Appeal before the Review Panel, the following items must be included:

  • Notice of Appeal before the Review Panel application formwith all sections complete and signed;
  • Written submission and all documentation;
  • A copy of the Director’s decision;
  • Written confirmation of legal representation (if applicable).
  • A copy of the Notice of Proposal being appealed;  and
  • Payment of $113 including HST (non-refundable filing fee), payable to the "Electrical Safety Authority"

Please remember to consult the checklist before filing an appeal.

(ii) Setting up a Review Panel Hearing

The Director of Appeals ensures that the application form is complete and must decide if the application is accepted or rejected.

Once the Director of Appeal accepts the appeal, the Director of Appeals will arrange the hearing date, location, time and select up to three members from the Review Panel Roster to make up the Review Panel to conduct the hearing.  Depending on the nature of the appeal, every effort is made to ensure that at least one panel member is a representative from that particular area that is being appealed.
There are three formats in which a hearing may be held: oral, electronic and written (or any combination of the three).

Generally, an appeal before the Review Panel is an oral hearing conducted in person.  Unless an extension is requested, the hearing will be scheduled within 25 days of receiving a notice of appeal before the Review Panel.

(iii) Disclosure

The Director of Appeals will require Notice and Consent from all parties to confirm their participation. Please note, this is required to confirm the date and time a hearing will be held.

The Director of Appeals will also request that all parties provide disclosure to the other party.

  • Please note:  evidence presented during a hearing must be included as part of the disclosure.  Disclosure must include the statements from any witnesses upon which you will rely on to make more or less probable the existence or non-existence of a fact or situation that must be proved.

Disclosure needs to be provided to the Director of Appeals at least 5 full days (holidays and weekends not included) before the scheduled hearing before the Review Panel.  A full set of disclosure will be required for:

  • Review Panel (3 copies);
  • Legal Counsel of the Director of Licensing (1 copy); and
  • Director of Licensing (1 copy).

The Director of Appeals will provide all parties with copies of the disclosure.

(iv) During the Hearing

Hearing Room

Room

Hearings are held in large rooms, rather than formal court rooms. Up to 3 members of the Review Panel Roster will form a Review Panel. The Review Panel will sit at the front, with the parties to the case and their representatives sitting opposite on the front row of chairs with others behind.

The appellant appears before the Review Panel. Legal Counsel to the Review Panel is present to ensure the appropriate procedures are carried out during the hearing.  

Please note that this process is generally open to individuals wishing to attend the hearing as observers. However, either the Director or the appellant may at their discretion request a closed hearing.

Hearing Procedure

  • Each party gives their opening statements:
    • The opening statement gives the full details and factual information genuine to the issue at hand to give an exact nature of the case.
  • The Appellant proceeds first with their evidence and may call on witnesses:
    • Evidence is information provided to make more or less probable the existence or non-existence of a fact or situation that must be proved.
  • All witnesses are cross-examined under oath by affirmation
    • The Review Panel members may ask questions to the witnesses at any time while the witness is testifying.
  • The Legal Counsel to the Director presents their evidence and may call on witnesses.
    • Once all evidence has been presented, the appellant gives their closing arguments, followed by the Legal Counsel for the Director.
  • The hearing then closes.

(V) After the Hearing

Following the hearing, the Review Panel members meet with their legal counsel present to come to a decision. 

The decision, once rendered, is sent to the Director of Appeals. The Director of Appeals sends the decision to all parties. Once all parties have received the decision, the decision will be posted on the Review Panel Decisions section of ESA’s website.

A decision will be sent within 10 days (holidays and weekends not included) following the conclusion of the proceeding.  

As set out under section 113.10(1) of the Electricity Act, 1998, decisions that may be rendered include:

  1. Grants the authorization subject to restrictions, limitations or conditions imposed on it by the Director;
  2. Renews the authorization subject to restrictions, limitations or conditions imposed on it by the Director;
  3. Refuse to grant the authorization;
  4. Refuse to renew the authorization;
  5. Suspends the authorization; and
  6. Revokes the authorization
Step Three: Divisional Court

Any party to a proceeding before the Review Panel may choose to appeal the decision of the Review Panel and file an appeal with Divisional Court.  For more information on how to file a Notice of Appeal with the Divisional Court by visiting the Ontario Superior Court of Justice website.

Please note that an appeal to Divisional Court will not be accepted if the reason for the appeal is a question of fact alone.