Before the hearing
Hearing location and date
Protection for Persons in Care (PPC) hearings are usually held in a community near you. Before the hearing happens, the Appeals Secretariat will contact everyone involved. They will ask everyone if they want to come to the hearing in person or just receive written information throughout the appeal process.
Then the Appeals Secretariat sends you a scheduling letter with the date, time and hearing location (if you are taking part in person).
Contact the Appeals Secretariat when you get their letter if you:
- have to change the hearing date and pick a new date that you, PPC, anyone else taking part in person and the appeal panel agree on
- cannot go in person and need another way to take part in the hearing
- have decided not to attend and want the hearing to proceed based on the information you provided
Your information and role
The Appeals Secretariat’s scheduling letter tells you how and when to submit documents that support your appeal. Make sure you follow the instructions and provide this information before the deadline in the letter.
If you are attending the hearing, your role is to:
- present your case to the appeal panel based on the information you submitted
- explain why the appeal panel should decide in your favour
- bring witnesses, if you choose, to support your case
The Appeals Secretariat sends an appeal package to you, PPC and the appeal panel at least one week before the hearing. Make sure to:
- read this package when it comes – it includes copies of all the documents that:
- you gave to support your appeal
- PPC provided to support the director’s’ decision
- anyone else involved provided
- bring the package to the hearing if you are taking part
If you do not get the package or documents are missing, contact the Appeals Secretariat.
At the hearing
Appeal hearings are usually held from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
These people will take part in every hearing:
- 3 appeal panel members including 1 chair and 2 members
These people may also be there:
- the person in care who was reported as being abused
- the person who was reported to have caused the abuse
- the person who reported the abuse
- the service provider
- anyone acting on behalf of any of the people listed above or assisting them
- someone from PPC and anyone supporting them
What takes place
Usually, the hearing happens as follows:
- The chair introduces everyone and goes over the rules, then asks if:
- everyone who is there understands the decision being appealed
- anyone objects to the people on the panel or their right to decide the appeal
- If there are no objections, the chair asks if everyone received the appeal package and if they can confirm all their documents were included. The chair also asks if anyone has information that was not included in the appeal package that the appeal panel should consider. If there is, then anyone who is there can ask for:
- copies of the new information
- a short break to review it
- the hearing to be moved to another day to allow more time to review it
- The person from PPC and their supporters present their information first.
You and the panel will:
- let them speak without interrupting them to hear why they made their decision
- be able to ask questions after each person speaks
- Next, you or the person acting on your behalf, and others who support your appeal will present your information. The person from PPC and the panel will:
- let you speak without interrupting you to hear why you disagree with the decision that was made
- be able to ask questions after each person speaks
- If other people choose to attend the hearing in person, the panel will determine when they will present their information.
- The chair asks everyone who is there to summarize their information and the decision they would like the panel to make.
- The chair ends the hearing and lets you know when you can expect the panel's decision.
After the hearing
The appeal panel will decide to agree with, reverse or change part of the PPC director’s decision. Once this happens:
- you should get a letter after the hearing date with the appeal panel’s decision and reasons for the decision
- the appeal panel’s decision is final – this means they cannot look at new information or change their decision
- you cannot file another appeal on their decision or the PPC director’s decision
Concerns about the hearing
If you think the appeal hearing was unfair or the appeal panel’s decision does not follow the PPC Act or Regulations you have 2 options:
Option 1. File a complaint to the Ombudsman
You can make a complaint to the Alberta Ombudsman’s office. They cannot reverse or change an appeal panel decision, but they can:
- review the appeal process
- make recommendations, including that the appeal panel re-hear the case
Option 2. Apply for a judicial review
A judicial review happens through the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Court cannot reverse or change an appeal panel decision, however they can decide if the appeal panel:
- acted within its legal authority
- followed a fair process
- made a reasonable decision based on the situation
When a judicial review happens, the Court:
- cannot make a new decision
- will send the case back for the appeal panel to hear again if it agrees the hearing is unfair – if this happens, different panel members may hear your appeal
If you wish to apply for a judicial review, you must:
- file an Originating Application for Judicial Review, Form 7, Alberta Rules of Court, Rule 3.8) with the Court within 6 months from the date the appeal panel made its decision
- decide if you need a lawyer to assist you – if you do, then contact the Law Society of Alberta’s referral service at 1-800-661-1095 or Legal Aid Alberta at 1-866-845-3425 for help finding one
The Appeals Secretariat is a neutral government office that runs separately from Protection for Persons in Care.
To connect with the Appeals Secretariat:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed 12 to 1 pm and statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
2nd Floor, Agronomy Centre
6903 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5Z2