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Dangerous Dog Review Tribunal

The Dangerous Dog Review Tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal that reviews the decisions of Municipal Licensing and Standards' Animal Services staff. The Tribunal has the authority to confirm the determination of a Dangerous Dog Order or rescind the determination of a Dangerous Dog Order and exempt the owner from compliance with Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals ("Chapter 349"), Section 15.1.

Board responsibilities

The Tribunal is established as an Adjudicative Board and local board of the City of Toronto under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The Tribunal is established to provide an independent review of Dangerous Dog Orders issued by the City's Municipal Licensing and Standards division, under section 15.1 of Chapter 349. Tribunal hearings will be conducted in accordance with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.

Tribunal members are responsible for:

  • Reviewing materials filed with each application they hear;
  • Presiding over hearings and rendering a written decision based on the information presented;
  • Attending business meetings of the Tribunal; and,
  • Attending training sessions, as required

In addition to the member responsibilities identified in Section 2, the Chair of the Tribunal is responsible for:

  • Chairing any necessary Business Meetings of the Tribunal in accordance with the Tribunal's procedures by-law;
  • Acting as the lead representative and spokesperson for the Tribunal
  • Preparing the Annual Report to General Government and Licensing Committee on the Tribunal activities;
  • Ensuring that hearing practices of the Tribunal are fair and effective;
  • Ensuring quality and consistency of Tribunal decisions;
  • Obtaining legal advice as needed from the City's Legal Services;
  • Liaison with City staff on administrative support matters;
  • Coordinating member training and professional development; and,
  • Responding to information and privacy related matters respecting the Tribunal

Term of office

The term of office for public members is four years.

Composition

The Tribunal is comprised of five public members including one member appointed as Chair by City Council. Each hearing is conducted by a tribunal panel of three members.

Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the eligibility requirements set out in the Public Appointments Policy, the Dangerous Dog Review Tribunal's public members must satisfy the following additional eligibility requirements:

  • Cannot be former Members of Council who served in the immediately preceding term of City Council;
  • Cannot act as an agent for applicants before the Tribunal or other local boards of the City, and would be required to resign from the Tribunal before doing so;
  • Cannot act as an agent for applicants or individuals appearing in Provincial Offences Court or in matters related to the Dog Owners' Liability Act where these matters are related to the City

Qualifications

In addition to the general eligibility requirements in the Public Appointments Policy, members must demonstrate:

  • Experience in adjudication and mediation;
  • Ability to write clear and concise decisions;
  • Excellent listening skills and ability to analyze complex information received;
  • Sound judgement, tact, fairness, and decorum;
  • Demonstrated high ethical standards and integrity;
  • Ability to adjudicate without bias and free from the influence of advocacy groups;
  • Ability to work under pressure to ensure timely hearing decisions;
  • Respect for access to justice, diversity, and accommodation;
  • Knowledge of the proper care and handling of domestic animals, particularly related to the care, training, behaviour, and handling of dogs would be an asset; and,
  • Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR) certificate or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) training is an asset

In addition to Member Qualifications, the Chair shall also exhibit:

  • Demonstrated leadership and administrative skills;
  • Highly developed chairing and facilitation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others;
  • Knowledge of access to information and privacy legislation; and,
  • The ability to effectively represent the Tribunal and communicate with City Council, City committees, the media, and the general public

Meetings

Public hearings take place at 850 Coxwell Ave, East York Civic Centre on weekdays during business hours by rotating panels of three members. Hearings are expected to last approximately 3 hours (half day) or 7 hours (full days) and will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tribunal members are usually required to attend hearings on a monthly basis, depending on the volume of appeals.

All new Tribunal members are required to successfully complete a five-day Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR) training program within six months of being appointed (unless completed prior).

Remuneration

The chair receives an annual retainer of $2,500, plus full-day per diem of $460 and half-day remuneration (3.5 hours or less) of $275 for attendance at hearings, business meetings and training.

Tribunal members receive an annual stipend of $1,500, plus full-day per diem of $460 and half-day remuneration (3.5 hours or less) of $275 for attending hearings, business meetings, and training.

Related links

Membership

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City Council appointed new members to the Dangerous Dog Review Tribunal in April 2019. Applications for future vacancies are always being accepted.