[Ed. Note: I sent this e-mail out last week (twice), with no answer yet from the ERT. I thought it would be a short matter of just looking at the rules and saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. My opinion: we (the public) should have access to the Transcripts as soon as the ERT has possession of them. That’s what the rules say, if I’m reading them right. Ask for a digital copy of a transcript or two… could be valuable material for a court case or something down the road. Oh and let me know if the ERT responds (-;]
Dear Ms. Pietrzyk,
Please forward this concern and request on to the members of the Environmental Review Tribunal.
On Friday November 8, 2013 at the Adelaide ERT hearing in London, Mr. Harvey Wrightman asked the ERT chair Mr. Dirk Vanderbent if the tribunal would be receiving and using a transcript for this hearing.
The discussion went as follows:
Vanderbent – We don’t request transcripts. The rules provide that if the parties order one they have to provide a copy. If nobody orders one we don’t get one.
MLWAG – All right, so if there is one you’ll get one in other words.
Vanderbent – That’s right.
MLWAG – All right – but we don’t. That’s the whole point, and that’s been a point of contention in the hearings that we’ve been in, because we have no access to the transcript unless we – we have no money to pay for it.
Vanderbent – Well, the short answer is that the Tribunal doesn’t deal with that. That’s not within our jurisdiction, in the sense that we can’t order people to provide funding to another parties.
MLWAG – Some other Tribunals do though. I guess it’s a rules thing, right?
Vanderbent – There’s nothing further I can say on that, I mean, our rules govern what we do and how we do it.
MLWAG – The rules are not terribly fair to the appellants then.
Vanderbent – Well, that’s a policy evaluation which we can’t comment on as it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the rules.
NextEra Energy (Torys LLP) hired a court reporter to transcribe all hearing days including teleconference calls, the preliminary hearing and motion days.
Having reviewed the Rules of Practice for the ERT it appears that if they are followed, all parties in this case should receive an electronic copy of the full transcript when it is in the possession of the ERT:
- Verbatim Reporters and Transcripts
178. Any Party may arrange for the attendance of a qualified verbatim reporter at his or her own expense, provided that the first Party to order a transcript shall also provide, at their expense, an electronic copy to the Tribunal as part of the record.
- Access to Documents and the Tribunal Record
210. All persons are entitled to have reasonable access to the Tribunal’s public record unless the Tribunal makes an order under Rule 211.211. At the request of a Party or on its own initiative, the Tribunal may order all or part of a document to be marked “confidential”, where appropriate, in which case it shall not form part of the public record.
- “public record” includes an application or Notice of Appeal, the decision appealed or referred to the Tribunal, any Notice, all documents filed with the Tribunal, any correspondence to and from the Tribunal, transcripts, orders of the Tribunal, and the Tribunal’s final decision, recommendation or report, but does not include those documents that are marked confidential by order of the Tribunal under Rule 211, or members’ notes or members’ recordings of Tribunal proceedings;
I request that as soon as the transcripts for the Wrightman v. MOE hearing are available to the ERT and form part of the ‘public record’, that a digital copy be promptly distributed to the other parties.