What happens at an HRTO hearing?

1. Decide if you want to try mediation again

Mediation usually happens some time before your Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO)) hearing. But sometimes you get another chance at on the day of the hearing.

Mediation on the day of the hearing

Just before a hearing starts, the Tribunal member often asks the Applicant and the Respondent if they would like to try mediation again instead of starting the hearing. Whether you tried mediation before or not, you can always try it again if the member offers you the chance.

Mediation is always voluntary. You cannot be forced to try mediation. If you really don't want to try to reach an agreement with the Respondent, you can say “no”.

The Tribunal member is your mediator

If you agree to try mediation on the day of the hearing, the Tribunal member who asked whether you wanted to try mediation will be in charge of the mediation. If you don't reach an agreement during mediation the same Tribunal member will be in charge of the hearing.

You have to sign a Mediation or Adjudication agreement to take part in mediation that same day.

Everything that you say during the mediation is confidential. This means the things you say to the Tribunal member during the mediation cannot be used later in a hearing. The Tribunal member must run the hearing as though they were not involved in the mediation. They cannot use what you say in the mediation when they make their decision. They can only use the evidence they heard or saw during the hearing.

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