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Public Services Sustainability Board Regulations

made under Section 29 of the

Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act

S.N.S. 2015, c. 34

O.I.C. 2017-208 (August 22, 2017), N.S. Reg. 129/2017


1     These regulations may be cited as the Public Services Sustainability Board Regulations.


2     In these regulations,


“Act” means the Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act;


“Chair” means the Chair of the Board;


“hearing” means a hearing in any proceeding;


“member” means a member of the Board;


“panel” means the member or members established as a panel of the Board by the Chair in accordance with Section 15;


“party” means a party to a proceeding;


“proceeding” means a proceeding before the Board in relation to any matter that the Board has jurisdiction to determine under the Act or these regulations;


“Vice-chair” means the Vice-chair of the Board.

Appointment of members and term

3     (1)    The Board must have at least 3 members.


       (2)    Members must be appointed by the Governor in Council.


       (3)    A member may hold office for a term determined by the Governor in Council and may be reappointed.

Remuneration and expenses of Board

4     The expenses of the Board and remuneration and expenses of its members must be paid out of the General Revenue Fund of the Province.

Designation of Chair and Vice-chair

5     The Governor in Council must designate a member to be the Chair and another member to be the Vice-chair.

Remuneration and expenses of members

6     The Chair and the other members must be paid remuneration as fixed by the Governor in Council, and be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred by them in the discharge of their duties.

Powers and duties of Chair

7     (1)    The Chair has general supervision and direction over the conduct of the affairs of the Board, and is responsible for the administration of the Board.


       (2)    The Chair must convene any meetings of the Board that the Chair considers advisable.


       (3)    Meetings of the Board must be presided over by 1 of the following:


                (a)    the Chair;


                (b)    if the Chair is absent or unable to act, the Vice-chair.

Powers and duties of Vice-chair

8     (1)    If the Chair is absent or unable to act, the Vice-chair must exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chair, including any duties the Chair assigns to the Vice-chair.


       (2)    If the office of the Chair is vacant, the Vice-chair must exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chair until the Governor in Council designates a new Chair.

Powers, privileges and immunities of Board

9     (1)    The Board has the jurisdiction to exercise the powers conferred on it by the Act and these regulations and, in accordance with the limitations in subsection 8(4) of the Act, may determine all questions of fact or law that arise in any application before it.


       (2)    In any matter over which the Board has jurisdiction, the Board and each member has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act.


       (3)    In performing its duties, the Board may do anything necessary to enable it to fulfill its responsibilities under the Act and these regulations, including any of the following:


                (a)    require any party, before or during a hearing, to do any of the following:


                         (i)     furnish particulars in a form and manner and within a time period specified by the Board,


                         (ii)    produce documents or things that may be relevant to a matter before it in a form and manner and within a time period specified by the Board;


                (b)    in the same manner as a court of record in civil cases, summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to do any of the following:


                         (i)     give oral or written evidence on oath or affirmation,


                         (ii)    produce any documents or things that the Board considers necessary for the full investigation and consideration of matters within its jurisdiction;


                (c)    administer oaths and affirmations;


                (d)    accept any oral or written evidence as it considers proper, regardless of whether the evidence would be admissible in a court of law.

Vacancy on Board

10   A vacancy on the Board does not impair the power of the remaining members to act.

Continuation of jurisdiction upon resignation and expiry of term of office

11   (1)    The jurisdiction of a member who resigns or whose term expires in respect of any application, proceeding, matter or thing heard before the person or commenced or considered by the person as a member, including the power to complete any unfinished matter and give a decision on it, continues for any period of time that the Governor in Council orders.


       (2)    For greater certainty, a member whose jurisdiction has been continued under subsection (1) for a period ordered by the Governor in Council has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a member during that period.


       (3)    An order to extend a member’s jurisdiction under subsection (1) may


                (a)    be made before or after the member resigns or their term of office expires;


                (b)    be made retroactive to any date determined by the Governor in Council; or


                (c)    be made to apply specifically to the member or generally to all members.

Civil servants made available to Board

12   If requested by the Board, the Public Service Commission may make the services of any employee of the civil service available to the Board as the Commission considers necessary for the operations of the Board.

Board procedures and practices

13   (1)    Subject to Section 14, the Board may determine its own procedures and practices, including doing any of the following:


                (a)    establishing rules governing the procedure and practice before it that are of general or particular application;


                (b)    making orders about procedures and practices that apply in a particular proceeding.


       (2)    The Board must make any rules established under clause (1)(a) that are of general application available for examination by the public.

Evidence and representations

14   (1)    The Board must give all parties an opportunity to present evidence and make representations.


       (2)    The Board or a panel may provide the opportunity to present evidence and make representations by any 1 or combination of the following:


                (a)    oral hearing;


                (b)    written hearing;


                (c)    electronic hearing.

Establishment of panels

15   (1)    The Chair may establish a panel to hear or consider any matter within the jurisdiction of the Board or to exercise any power or discharge any duty of the Board.


       (2)    A panel must be made up of the following number of members, as assigned by the Chair:


                (a)    1 member; or


                (b)    3 or more members.


       (3)    Two or more panels may act concurrently.


       (4)    The Chair may change the assignment of members to panels at any time.


       (5)    The Chair may direct any person whose services are made available under Section 12 to attend any meeting or hearing of a panel, and may prescribe their duties.


       (6)    A panel constitutes a quorum of the Board.

Powers and decisions of panel

16   (1)    A panel may exercise any of the powers and may discharge any of the duties of the Board, and any decision, determination, direction, declaration, order, interim order or ruling of a panel, or any act or thing done by a panel, is a decision, determination, direction, declaration, order, interim order or ruling of the Board, or an act or thing done by the Board.


       (2)    The decision of the majority of members of a panel is the decision of the panel, and if the panel is only 1 member, the decision of the member is the decision of the panel.

Who must preside at meetings and hearings of panel

17   A meeting or hearing of a panel must be presided over by 1 of the following:


                (a)    the Chair;


                (b)    if the Chair is not a member of the panel, the Vice-chair;


                (c)    if neither the Chair nor the Vice-chair is a member of the panel, a member of the panel designated by the Chair.

Extending or shortening set time periods

18   On application by a party, the Board may extend or shorten any time period set by the Board or these regulations for any of the following, regardless of whether the time period has expired:


                (a)    serving a notice;


                (b)    filing a report, document or paper;


                (c)    commencing or advancing a proceeding.

Parties to proceeding before Board and persons entitled to receive documents in proceeding before Board

19   (1)    The Board must determine the parties to a proceeding before it, and may order that any person be added or removed as a party to a proceeding or be sent any document in the proceeding.


       (2)    Before an order is made under subsection (1), the Board must give any person who may be affected by the order an opportunity to be heard in relation to the issue.

Criteria for reconsideration of decision or order of Board

20   (1)    The Board must be satisfied that 1 or more of the following grounds is established in order to reconsider any of its decisions or orders under subsection 8(3) of the Act:


                (a)    the Board did not have the necessary jurisdiction to issue the decision or order;


                (b)    the Board’s decision was erroneous in law;


                (c)    there are significant new facts that could not have been brought to the attention of the Board at the time of the proceeding that resulted in the decision or order;


                (d)    the Board failed to respect a principle of natural justice;


                (e)    any other substantial ground.


       (2)    A party may request reconsideration of a decision or order of the Board resulting from a proceeding to which they were a party by filing an application in a form approved by the Board and containing all of the information and documents required by the Board.


       (3)    An application under this Section must be filed with the Board and served on the other parties to the proceeding that resulted in the decision or order no later than 30 days after the date that the reasons for the decision or the order is issued.

Notice of hearing and effect of non-attendance

21   (1)    The Board must give all parties reasonable notice of a hearing.


       (2)    Once notice of a hearing is provided in accordance with this Section, the Board may proceed in the absence of any party or without the participation of any party, and the party is not entitled to any further notice in the proceeding.


       (3)    A notice of a hearing must state all of the following:


                (a)    the date, time and place of the hearing;


                (b)    the purpose of the hearing;


                (c)    the form of the hearing, as determined by the Board in accordance with subsection 14(2);


                (d)    that if the party does not attend or participate in the hearing in accordance with the notice, the Board may proceed in the party’s absence or without the party’s participation and the party will not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding.

Notice of decision

22   (1)    The Board must send a copy of its final decision or order to all of the following:


                (a)    each party who participated in the proceeding, or the party’s representative;


                (b)    the Attorney General for the Province.


       (2)    A copy of a decision or order sent under subsection (1) must be sent by 1 of the following methods, in accordance with the most recent contact information the Board has for the person:


                (a)    regular mail;


                (b)    e-mail;


                (c)    fax;


                (d)    any method that allows proof of receipt.

Decision, order or ruling purporting to be signed by Chair

23   (1)    A decision, order or other ruling of the Board must be signed by the Chair, the Vice-chair or a duly appointed officer of the Board.


       (2)    A decision, order or ruling of the Board is presumed to have been signed by the person purporting to have signed it, without proof of the signature, authority or appointment of that person and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is admissible in evidence in any proceeding as proof of its making and of its content.

Order may be made order of Court

24   (1)    The Board may register an order of the Board with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia by filing a certified copy of the order endorsed in accordance with subsection (2) with the Court and, once entered as a record by the prothonotary, the order is enforceable in the same manner as a judgment of that Court.


       (2)    The following endorsement, signed by the Chair, must be on any order of the Board that is to be registered under subsection (1):

Register the within with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

Dated this . . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., 20. . .


Chair of the Public Services Sustainability Board


       (3)    Any order made by the Board that rescinds or varies an order filed under subsection (1) may also be registered in accordance with subsection (1).


       (4)    On the registration of an order that rescinds or varies a previous order,


                (a)    the previous order, if rescinded, ceases to have effect; and


                (b)    the previous order, if varied, may be enforced as varied in a like manner as the original order.

Attorney General for the Province is party to judicial review or other proceeding

25   The Attorney General for the Province is a party as of right to every action, cause, matter or proceeding that may be attempted to be brought before any court or administrative tribunal from or in relation to a decision of the Board despite subsection 8(2) of the Act.

Production of evidence in relation to matter under Act

26   A member of the Executive Council, member or person employed in the administration of this Act, may not be required to give evidence in relation to a matter under the Act in any legal proceedings.

Protection from personal liability

27   No action or other proceeding for damages may be commenced against a member for any act done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of the member’s duty or for any alleged neglect or default in the good faith performance of the member’s duty.