Environmental Appeal Board/ Forest Appeals Commission/ Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal - 6 Part-Time Positions

Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 to Monday, October 14, 2019

Six positions are available to become part-time member(s) of the Environmental Appeal Board, the Forest Appeals Commission, and the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal (collectively, the “Tribunals”). 

Time commitment varies depending on the nature of the appeals assigned to members by the Chair. Most members work between two and six weeks over the course of a typical year.  A Member’s initial term is 2 to 4 years, with a possibility for reappointment for additional terms of up to 5 years.

Remuneration is set by Treasury Board Directive 1/17. On initial appointment, depending on the body for which work is being done and the nature of the work being done, remuneration ranges from $425 to $575 per day. Rates of pay may increase after 12 months and with reappointment, or may change with any amendment or replacement of Treasury Board Directive 1/17.

The Tribunals are independent, quasi-judicial bodies established by statute to hear appeals from specified decisions of government officials in the areas of environmental protection, and the allocation and management of publicly owned natural resources. Each tribunal operates at arm’s length from the government in their decision-making capacities. Members are appointed and potentially re-appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council after a merit-based process.

The Tribunals decide the merits of an appeal by weighing the evidence, making findings of fact, interpreting the legislation and the common law, and applying the law and legislation to the facts. The Tribunals hear and determine complex cases and must conform to the rules of procedural fairness. Decisions must be timely and well-written.

The Tribunals’ specific jurisdictions are as follows:

The Environmental Appeal Board is established under Part 8 of the Environmental Management Act. It adjudicates appeals from decisions made by government officials on environmental issues under eight statutes (Environmental Management Act, Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act, Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuels) Act, Integrated Pest Management Act, Mines Act, Water Sustainability Act, Water Users’ Communities Act, and Wildlife Act). The decisions that may be appealed under these statutes range from the issuance or refusal of water licences and hunting quotas to contaminated site remediation orders, authorizations to emit potential contaminants into the environment, and penalties for statutory contraventions.

The Forest Appeals Commission is established under Part 8.1 of the Forest and Range Practices Act. It adjudicates appeals from decisions made by government officials on matters related to forests and the environment under five statutes (Forest Act, Forest and Range Practices Act, Private Managed Forest Land Act, Range Act, and the Wildfire Act). The decisions that may be appealed under these statutes range from determinations of stumpage and administrative penalties for unauthorized timber harvesting, to cost recovery orders related to wildfires.

The Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal is established under Part 2, Division 2 of the Oil and Gas Activities Act and adjudicates appeals of decisions made by the Oil and Gas Commission under that statute. Decisions that may be appealed include orders and permitting decisions in relation to an “oil and gas activity”.

The Tribunals’ general mandates are to provide the public with fair and accessible appeal processes that decide the issues under appeal in an unbiased, timely, and cost-effective manner. Their mandates are also to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the appeal processes and, where warranted, recommend improvements.

Together, the Tribunals receive an average of 200 appeals per year. Hearings on the merits of the appeals vary in format (written or oral), length, and complexity. Oral hearings can range from one day to six weeks, and may be heard by a single member or a panel of three members. The members are responsible for the independent, efficient, timely, and fair adjudication of potentially complex, contentious appeals. While there is decision-making autonomy among members, they are expected to conform to the framework established by the procedures, policies, and rules of the Tribunals.

The impact of the Tribunals’ decisions may be considerable. Constitutional issues, including issues related to First Nations’ consultation, may be decided.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACCOUNTABILITIES

  • This Position is responsible for the independent, objective, fair, efficient, and timely adjudication of any appeals assigned by the Chair of the Tribunals, in accordance with the Tribunals’ statutory jurisdiction, the rules of natural justice, and administrative law principles. This Position may require adjudicative decision-writing to clearly, effectively, and understandably articulate appropriate legal tests, summarize relevant evidence, and provide well-structured reasons in support of the conclusion(s) in any given appeal.
  • Members may be expected to respond to preliminary applications on an as-needed basis, including with little to no advanced warning in the context of an ongoing oral hearing. Such preliminary applications are to be decided with reference to the same hallmarks of quality decision-making as the appeals overall.
  • Members may also need to field media inquiries and are expected to do so in a manner consistent with their impartiality but respecting the open and accessible nature of the hearings held by the Tribunals.
  • Members must be comfortable with and productive while working in a remote, unsupervised context. This may involve various means of electronic communication and technology-based work processes. Members are expected to be computer literate.

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

A member should possess the following personal attributes: 

  • high ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings;
  • appreciation of the responsibilities to the public;
  • flexibility, responsiveness and willingness to consider others’ opinions;
  • the ability to maintain order of potentially large, lengthy, contentious oral hearings;
  • strong reasoning, analytical, and time-management skills;
  • independence, objectivity, and fairness;
  • well-developed cultural competencies;
  • ability to demonstrate and sustain an independent perspective and a high level of situational judgment in relating to conflicting parties and their positions;
  • ability to recognize conflict of interest and a duty to recuse in case of a direct or indirect conflict of interest;
  • ability and willingness to fulfill the time commitments required to carry out responsibilities; and
  • commitment to continuous learning about the Tribunals, the rules of administrative law, cultural competencies, and the administrative tribunal community.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • A member should have a professional degree in an applicable area of need to the Tribunals. Preference given to those with expertise in the law, agrology, engineering, and petrochemical and/or mining resource exploration and extraction.
  • A member should have a minimum of 3 years’ current experience in the field of legislative decision-making or administrative law, such as representing clients in court, before tribunals or boards, or other, similar experience.
  • A member must demonstrate integrity, credibility, and a sound reputation in one’s chosen field.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) are also required.

COMPETENCIES

A member should possess the following core competencies:

  • Understand the functions and processes of an independent adjudicative tribunal;
  • Professional knowledge of law (including administrative, natural resources, constitutional, and aboriginal law), agrology, engineering, and/or petrochemical/mining resource exploration and extraction, as well as statutory interpretation;
  • The ability to conduct adjudicative (evidentiary) hearings, analyze complex legal, factual and constitutional issues, and produce timely, well-reasoned decisions;
  • The ability to manage complex cases effectively and fairly, including the ability to read large volumes of complex technical information, identify issues, analyze evidence, interpret and apply relevant legal principles, and to write well-reasoned decisions;
  • Computer literacy;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; and
  • Excellent analytical and decision-making skills.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Members may be located throughout British Columbia. Travel may be required to attend appeals throughout the province. Within the context of the required board skills requirements, consideration is given to diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, and knowledge of or membership in the communities served by the organization.

For further information, and to apply by Oct 14, 2019, please visit https://www.brainhunter.com/frontoffice/seekerViewJobDetailAction.do?sit...