GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, today announced the appointment of four full-time members to the new Social Security Tribunal (SST).
Mr. John Janes Eberhard Q.C. and Dr. Adriano Persi were appointed to the General Division of the SST. Ms. Hazelyn Ross, currently a member of the Income Security Section of the General Division, and Ms. Janet Lew were appointed to the Tribunal's Appeal Division.
Ms. Ross' appointment was effective as of December 17, 2013. Ms. Lew's and Dr. Persi's appointments are effective as of February 1, 2014, and Mr. Eberhard's appointment is effective as of March 1, 2014.
- The new SST is a single decision-making body that consolidates the work previously done by four separate tribunals. It simplifies the appeal processes for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and Employment Insurance (EI) with a single point of contact, while providing greater value for Canadians.
- The SST is comprised of two levels of appeal. The General Division, the first level, includes two sections: an EI section for EI appeals, and an Income Security section for CPP and OAS appeals. The Appeal Division is the second level.
- To date, 57 members, in addition to the chairperson and three vice-chairpersons, have been appointed from all regions of the country. The SST began its operations on April 1, 2013.
"The members and staff of the new Social Security Tribunal are implementing simplified, efficient and effective appeal processes that will improve administrative justice for Canadians. They are committed to operating a tribunal that is fair, credible, impartial and independent. The new members bring a wide variety of professional experience, education and exemplary leadership skills, making them excellent additions to the SST."
Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
SST backgrounder (including new SST member biographies)
Social Security Tribunal
Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012, the new Social Security Tribunal (SST) replaces the four separate tribunals for social security appeals. It is an administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial powers and provides fair, credible, impartial and independent appeal processes for government decisions on Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS).
The new tribunal system simplifies and streamlines the process for appellants by providing them with a single decision-making body for EI, CPP and OAS appeals. The SST is led by a chairperson and three vice-chairpersons appointed by the Governor in Council. The SST comprises two levels of appeal. For the first level of appeal, a vice-chairperson heads each of the EI and Income Security (CPP and OAS) sections of the General Division. The third vice-chairperson heads the Appeal Division, which is the second level of appeal. The Appeal Division decides appeals of decisions made by the General Division.
The first year of operations for the SST is a transition period during which it will hear all new appeals while the four tribunals finalize and render decisions on cases already heard. The transition period will be complete by April 1, 2014, at which time the SST will be the only body hearing and deciding appeals for EI, CPP and OAS.
On March 12, 2013, Ms. Murielle Brazeau was appointed to the role of Chairperson of the SST, along with 34 full-time members, by the Governor in Council. Members have been appointed from all regions of the country to ensure fairness and regional distribution.
Members of the SST are expected to maintain the public trust and avoid any conflicts of interest. These members are also supported by advisors with legal and medical expertise and have access to professional training.
Key SST milestones:
- March 29, 2012—SST announced in Economic Action Plan 2012.
- June 21, 2012—SST received Royal Assent.
- March 12, 2013—SST Chairperson announced.
- March 31, 2013—Last day for the CPP/OAS Review Tribunals, the Pension Appeals Board and the EI Umpire to hear new cases. The Boards of Referees will continue to hear appeals filed up to this date.
- April 1, 2013—SST began operations.
- April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014—Four tribunals finalize cases and wind down operations; SST receives all new appeals.
- October 31, 2013—The EI Boards of Referees must have issued all decisions on cases filed before March 31, 2013.
- March 31, 2014—The CPP/OAS Review Tribunals, PAB and EI Umpire will have issued their decisions on all appeals heard before March 31, 2013.
- April 1, 2014—SST becomes the only decision-making body.
For more information on the SST, visit canada.gc.ca/sst-tss.
Newly appointed Social Security Tribunal members
John Janes Eberhard, London, Ontario
Mr. Eberhard is a former member of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunals. He has been a crown prosecutor, mediator for the Canadian Bar Association, and a member of the Civil Aviation Tribunal. He was appointed as an Honorary Queen's Counsel and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Mr. Eberhard is a past Rotary International Director, most recently the Executive Director for Canadian Rotary Collaboration for International Development (2000-2012). He received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Western University and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Assumption University.
Janet Lew, Vancouver, British Columbia
Ms. Lew is a former member of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunals. Her past experience has also included serving on a federal policy task force reviewing CPP legislation and regulations. Her law practice focuses on aspects of the law related to coverage issues, insurance, policy interpretation and assessment of claims. Ms. Lew is also a practice standards reviewer for the Law Society of British Columbia. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, where she was awarded both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.
Dr. Adriano Persi, Hamilton, Ontario
Dr. Persi is a former member of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunals. He is a registered chiropractor and pharmacist and is currently Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) at McMaster University. He is also the Clinic Director at AssessNet Inc., a multidisciplinary clinic that provides independent, third-party health care assessments. Dr. Persi has worked in private practice as a chiropractor, and as a staff pharmacist with St. Joseph's Hospital. He received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, completed a residency in nuclear pharmacy at McMaster University and graduated cum laude from the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.
Hazelyn Ross, Toronto, Ontario
Ms. Ross is currently a full-time member for the Income Security section of the Social Security Tribunal. She has also served as the Assistant Deputy Chairperson on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and was a member of the Board's Immigration Appeal Division and the Refugee Protection Division. She is a sought-after speaker and has delivered presentations at numerous national conferences. Ms. Ross attended Concordia University in Montreal, where she received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Arts. She is a graduate of the University of West Indies (Barbados) and earned her legal degree in Trinidad.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister