Government of Canada announces appointment of Social Security Tribunal members

OTTAWA, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, today announced the appointment of Mr. G.R (Randy) Barber, Dr. Michael Tyler Moore, Mr. Patrick Michael O'Neil, Ms. Shuang Qiao, Mr. Raymond H. Raphael and Dr. David J. Somer as full-time members of the new Social Security Tribunal (SST).

The new SST is a single decision-making body that consolidates the work previously done by four separate tribunals. By offering one point of contact for submitting an appeal, it simplifies the appeal processes, while ensuring continued access to administrative justice for appellants and providing greater value for Canadians.

"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," said Minister Kenney. "Mr. Barber, Dr. Moore, Mr. O'Neil, Ms. Qiao, Mr. Raphael and Dr. Somer bring a wide variety of professional experience, education and extensive community involvement, making them excellent additions to the SST."

The SST is comprised of two levels of appeal. The General Division, the first level of appeal, includes an Employment Insurance (EI) Section for EI appeals, and an Income Security Section for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) appeals. The Appeal Division is the second level of appeal as it decides appeals of decisions made by the General Division.

To date, 50 members, in addition to the Chairperson and three vice-chairpersons, have been appointed from all regions of the country to ensure regional representation and fairness of decisions. The SST began its operations on April 1, 2013.

For more information on the SST, visit canada.gc.ca/sst-tss.


backgrounder


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 receives Royal Assent

  • March 12, 2013 - Announcement of SST Chairperson

  • March 31, 2013 - Last day for the CPP/OAS Review Tribunals, the PAB 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 begins 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

G.R. (Randy) Barber, Markham, Ontario

Prior to being appointed as a member of the SST, Mr. Barber has served as a chairperson of the EI Boards of Referees and as a member of the Parole Board of Canada. He has exemplary leadership and communications skills and has an extensive professional network of contacts across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Mr. Barber is very involved in his community and is an active member of several charitable organizations and initiatives.

Michael Tyler Moore, Bailieboro, Ontario

Dr. Michael Tyler Moore has been a practicing chiropractor and the medical director at the Taunton Chiropractic and Health Centre. He attended McMaster University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Psychology. He obtained his Doctor of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and received his diploma in Acupuncture from the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program. Dr. Moore served as a medical panel member of the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals and has been an active member of several chiropractic associations.

Patrick Michael O'Neil, Kingsville, Ontario

Mr. Patrick Michael O'Neil attended the University of Windsor where he studied law and graduated with high honours. He practiced law for close to thirty years.  In 2001, he became a legal member of Ontario's Consent and Capacity Board.  He subsequently served as a legal panel member of the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals.  Mr. O'Neil has extensive community involvement, including Public Utilities Commissioner, Police Commissioner, Mayor of the Town of Kingsville, and Warden of the County of Essex.

Shuang Qiao, Markham, Ontario

Shuang Qiao received her Bachelor of Arts degree at the Bournemouth University in the U.K. and then completed her MBA at York University in Toronto, Ontario. She was a chairperson of the EI Boards of Referees and has extensive experience in contract negotiations, relationship management and business development. She is a strategic thinker with strong analytical and communications skills. Ms. Qiao is fluent in three languages and has worked in North America, Europe and Asia.

Raymond H. Raphael, Toronto, Ontario

Mr. Raphael studied law at the University of Toronto where he co-founded the University's law school newspaper and co-edited the 1970 Law Review. He has extensive legal experience and served as a legal panel member of the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals. He received several awards for his excellence in law and received scholarships to complete his education.

David J. Somer, Hamilton, Ontario

Dr. Somer attended the University of Toronto where he graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He served as a medical panel member of the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals. Dr. Somer has served in leadership positions in several associations representing his profession as well as being an active member of other community organizations. He has received several awards and other forms of recognition throughout his life.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada



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