“Premonitory” – Serving to warn beforehand
22% appointed to terms of one year or less expiring in December
A study of the data on the Public Appointments Secretariat’s website as of November 23, 2019, reveals that in the past year, the government appointed 223 adjudicators to Ontario’s adjudicative tribunals to terms of one year or less, virtually all of which are to expire in December 2019. This is 22% of all filled positions.
18% appointed to terms of more than one year expiring by the end of March
The same study shows that there are 175 appointees serving terms of more than one year whose terms are scheduled to expire in the ordinary course within the next 4 months.
The data also shows that of a total of 1,121 designated adjudicative tribunal positions there are currently 125 that are standing vacant.
500 appointments by the end of March required to stay even
Given the vacancies, the soon-to expire more-than-one-year terms, and the one-year-or-less terms that expire in December, if the government intends to maintain the capacity of the administrative justice system at roughly what it was under the previous government it would have to appoint or reappoint 500 adjudicators – 400 part-time and 100 full-time – within the next four months.
Number of current positions being advertised: 10
The ATAGA Act requires the government to give public notice of vacancies it intends to fill and it is currently advertising only 10 adjudicative positions, of which only 4 are for full-time positions.
The government must be contemplating the possibility of a massive reduction in the resources allocated to administrative justice in Ontario and has paved the way.
Other possibilities and issues
The large number of less-than-a-year appointments may also be in part a means for facilitating under-the-radar patronage appointments to adjudicative tribunals. But of this, more later.
The large number of one-year-or-less appointments also has implications for adjudicative tribunal independence and for tribunal competence and efficiency. Also, more on this later.