In the first decision of its kind, Fogler, Rubinoff lawyers Justin Jakubiak and Adam Varro were successful in obtaining a cost award against the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC), Ontario’s motor vehicle sales regulator.
The application was made further to our client’s successful appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) of OMVIC’s proposal to refuse his salesperson’s licence on account of alleged improper conduct as a sales manager of a large franchise dealership. In her decision, the presiding member acknowledged the high burden to achieve a cost award but found it unreasonable that “the Registrar continued the hearing to completion (a startling 13 days of evidence), despite the case…showing multiple weaknesses early on and throughout the hearing.” The presiding member further found that OMVIC acted unreasonably by failing to entertain numerous offers to settle made before and during the hearing.
Costs are rarely awarded at the LAT, and we are unaware of another decision where they have been awarded against a regulator. This decision serves as an important precedent for future instances where a regulator unreasonably pursues its case and in doing so causes unnecessary expense and prejudice to an applicant’s ability to participate in their industry of choice. The full decision can be found here.