UPDATE: FFW lawyer Donnelly Law has undertaken to condense the number of oral Participant presentations – those Participants who will speak during the hearing next year – from the large pool of registered participants who will all submit written statements. Donnelly Law has circulated a letter to all Participants outlining its plan to reduce the number of participants presenting orally at the hearing – thereby reducing the length and cost of the hearing – and has requested that all Participants send them an outline describing which issues they plan to address in their statements. If you are a registered Participant, please email your outline to Anne Sabourin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the August 31st OMB Prehearing, at which more than 40 people signed on to be Participants, a number of you have had questions about the role of Participants. No wonder! This is a mystifying process. Adding to the confusion, it was suggested at the August 31st Prehearing that the number of Participants should be reduced in order to curtail the length and cost of the eventual Hearing. This has a number of you wondering where you stand.
We hope that the following Q & A will answer your questions:
Q. I know there’s a second Prehearing on Monday, October 26 at 10 a.m. I signed up as a participant at the first Prehearing at the end of August. Do I need to be at the second Prehearing? And do I need to have my Participant statement ready by then?
A. No, you do not need to attend the October 26th Prehearing, though you’re welcome to do so if you’re available. And no, you do not need to have your Participant statement ready for the October 28th Prehearing.
Q. Because of the large number of people who wish to be Participants it was suggested at the Prehearing that we should reduce the number of Participant presentations by grouping Participants by issue. Have I got that right?
A. Yes . . . and no. In order to control the length and cost of the hearing, which will take place sometime in 2016, FFW lawyer David Donnelly will review outlines of written statements and suggest a handful of Participants to make Oral Presentations during the hearing. He may also suggest that Participants with like issues cooperate on their statements, in order to avoid duplication.
However, we encourage all those who signed up as Participants to complete a written Participant statement (we will be circulating and posting a template for this). The OMB must consider all written submissions before making their decision, so the more written statements they receive, the better.
Q. When will the Hearing take place?
A. We expect that the Hearing date and estimated length will be decided at the 2nd Prehearing – on Monday, October 26, 10.m. at the North Kawartha Community Centre. (UPDATE: The hearing is scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, and is expected to continue for four weeks.)
If you have any further queries, please let us know.