ACTS OF 1992
1 This Act may be cited as the Utility and Review Board Act. 1992, c. 11, s. 1.
3 The Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, the Expropriations Compensation Board, the Nova Scotia Municipal Board and the Nova Scotia Tax Review Board are continued as the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 3.
(a) this Act, the Assessment Act, the Expropriation Act, the Gasoline and Diesel Oil Tax Act, the Health Services Tax Act, the Heritage Property Act, the Insurance Act, the Motor Carrier Act, the Municipal Government Act[,] the Public Utilities Act, the School Boards Act, the Shopping Centre Development Act, the Tobacco Tax Act or any enactment; and
(2) The Governor in Council may assign to the Board the powers, functions and duties of any board, commission or agency and while the assignment is in effect, that board, commission or agency is discontinued and Sections 49 and 50 apply mutatis mutandis with respect to that board, commission or agency. 1992, c. 11, s. 4; 1998, c. 18, s. 582.
5 (1) The Board consists of such number, not less than eight and not exceeding ten, of full-time members appointed by the Governor in Council and such number, not exceeding eight, of part-time members appointed by the Governor in Council as the Governor in Council determines.
(5) Notwithstanding subsections (1) to (4) and notwithstanding any cross-appointments of members of a predecessor board to other predecessor boards, a member of the Board, who, immediately before the coming into force of this Section, is a member of a predecessor board, is a member of the Board and holds office as a member thereof on the same full-time or part-time basis as the case may be, for the same term and upon the same conditions as for the predecessor board to which the member was first appointed and of which the member is, immediately before the coming into force of this Section, still a member.
(6) Where a member of the Board resigns or retires from the Board, the member shall, during such period of time as the Governor in Council determines, in respect of any application, appeal, proceeding, matter or thing heard before the member or commenced by the member as a member, have and exercise the jurisdiction of a member, including the power to complete any unfinished matter and give a decision therein as if the member had not so resigned or retired.
(7) A determination by the Governor in Council pursuant to subsection (6) may be made before or after such resignation or retirement and may be retroactive in effect. 1992, c. 11, s. 5; 1995, c. 7, s. 1; 2007, c. 23, s. 1; 2008, c. 68, s. 1.
7 Notwithstanding subsection (5) of Section 5, a member shall be paid such remuneration as the Governor in Council determines and, subject to the regulations, shall be reimbursed for reasonable travelling and other expenses necessarily incurred by the member in connection with the work of the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 7.
8 (1) No member who acts in a matter affecting a public utility shall be directly or indirectly employed by or interested in a public utility or interested in a share, stock, bond, mortgage, security or contract of the public utility and, if a member voluntarily becomes so interested, the member's office becomes vacant or, if the member becomes so interested otherwise than voluntarily, the member shall, within a reasonable time, dispose of the interest.
9 (1) The Chair shall appoint a Clerk, who shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Board, have the custody and care of all records and documents belonging to or pertaining to the Board and perform such duties as the Board requires.
(4) The Board may avail itself of the services of an officer or other employee of a board, commission or department of the Province, subject to the approval of the minister or other person in charge of the administration of the service in which the officer or employee is employed.
(5) For greater certainty and notwithstanding subsection (3), the persons who, immediately before the coming into force of this Section, are officers and employees of the predecessor boards are officers and employees, respectively, of the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 9.
10 (1) For all purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act, each full-time member and each full-time employee of the Board is and is deemed to be a person employed in the public service of the Province and full-time service in employment of the Board is and is deemed to be public service.
(2) The Board shall deduct from the salary of each full-time member and each full-time employee of the Board such amount as is directed by the Governor in Council to be deducted from the salary of employees in the public service of the Province, and shall pay the same to the Minister of Finance, and such amounts when so received shall be paid into and form part of the Superannuation Fund pursuant to the Public Service Superannuation Act.
(3) Where, by the Public Service Superannuation Act, a payment is directed to be made into the Superannuation Fund by the Government or by the Minister of Finance, or where by such Act a superannuation allowance or other sum is directed to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of the Province, then, in respect of a full-time member of the Board or of a full-time employee of the Board, the payment, superannuation allowance or other sum shall be defrayed by the Board and shall form part of the annual expenses of the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 10.
11 (1) The expenses of the Board shall be paid out of the levies made by the Board and out of money appropriated by the Legislature therefor and, until an appropriation is granted, out of the Consolidated Fund of the Province on the direction of the Minister of Finance.
13 (1) The Chair has the responsibility for the administration of the Board and the members thereof and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, shall, from time to time, assign the members of the Board to its various sittings and may change an assignment at any time.
15 (1) The Chair may authorize a member of the Board to inquire into and report to the Board upon a matter within the jurisdiction of the Board or pending before it, and when so authorized that member has, for the purpose of taking evidence or obtaining information for the report, all the powers of the Board.
16 In a matter over which the Board has jurisdiction, the Board and each member has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act. 1992, c. 11, s. 16.
17 (1) A member may administer oaths or affirmations, certify as to official acts and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents and testimony.
(2) Where a person fails to comply with an order of the Board or a subpoena or where a witness refuses to testify to a matter regarding which the witness may be interrogated before the Board or a member, a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court shall, on application of the Board or a member, compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued by the Court or a refusal to testify therein. 1992, c. 11, s. 17.
18 The Board may, in an investigation, cause the evidence of witnesses residing within or without the Province to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions and civil actions in the Supreme Court. 1992, c. 11, s. 18.
19 The Board may receive in evidence any statement, document, information or matter that, in the opinion of the Board, may assist it to deal with the matter before the Board whether or not the statement, document, information or matter is given or produced under oath or would be admissible as evidence in a court of law. 1992, c. 11, s. 19; revision corrected.
23 (1) In determining a question of fact, the Board is not bound by the finding or judgment of a court in a proceeding involved in the determination of the fact, but such finding or judgment is, in proceedings before the Board, prima facie evidence only.
25 It is not necessary that an order of the Board show upon its face that any proceedings or notice were had or given or circumstances existed necessary to give it jurisdiction to make the order. 1992, c. 11, s. 25.
28 (1) Except in respect of a proceeding pursuant to the Planning Act, costs of and incidental to a proceeding before the Board are in the discretion of the Board and may be fixed at a sum certain or may be taxed.
(4) The Clerk shall forward the certified copy so endorsed to a prothonotary of the Supreme Court, who shall, upon receipt thereof, enter the same as of record, and it thereupon becomes and is an order of the Supreme Court and is enforceable as a rule, order, decree or judgment of the Court.
(5) Where a decision or order of the Board has been made a rule or order of the Supreme Court, a decision or order of the Board rescinding or varying the same shall and shall be deemed to rescind or vary the rule or order, and may in like manner be made a rule or order of the Supreme Court. 1992, c. 11, s. 29.
30 (1) An appeal lies to the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court from an order of the Board upon any question as to its jurisdiction or upon any question of law, upon filing with the Court a notice of appeal within thirty days after the issuance of the order.
31 (1) The Board may, upon its own motion with leave of the Attorney General or the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court or upon the request of the Governor in Council, state a case in writing for the opinion of the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court upon a question that, in the opinion of the Board, is a question of law.
32 (1) A document purporting to be certified by a member or by the Clerk to be a true copy of a document deposited with the Board or of any portion thereof is, without proof of signature or office of the person who purported to have signed the document, prima facie evidence
(2) A copy of a regulation, order, plan or document in the custody of the Clerk or on record with the Board, purporting to be certified by a member of the Board or by the Clerk to be a true copy and purporting to be sealed with the seal of the Board, is prima facie evidence of the regulation, order, plan or document without proof of the signature of the person purporting to certify it.
(3) Upon application and upon payment of the fee prescribed by the Board, the Clerk shall provide a certified copy of a regulation, rule, decision or order of the Board or of a map, plan or document deposited with the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 32.
33 (1) The Board shall, in each year, make a report to the Governor in Council on its activities during the fiscal year ending in that year, and the report shall contain such particulars as the Governor in Council may prescribe.
(e) permitting persons who are not parties to an application, appeal or other matter or proceeding before the Board to participate in an application, appeal or other matter or proceeding, with power to prescribe the extent of the participation;
(2) A regulation made pursuant to subsection (1) may be of general application or may apply to such class or classes of hearings, applications, appeals or other matters or proceedings and to such class or classes of orders and information as the Governor in Council determines and there may be different regulations with respect to different classes.
47 A reference in any Act of the Legislature or in any rule, order, regulation, by-law, ordinance or proceeding or in any document whatsoever to the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, the Expropriations Compensation Board, the Nova Scotia Municipal Board or the Nova Scotia Tax Review Board shall, as regards any subsequent transaction, matter or thing, be held and construed to be a reference to the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 47.
48 Where the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, the Expropriations Compensation Board, the Nova Scotia Municipal Board or the Nova Scotia Tax Review Board is, immediately before the coming into force of this Act, required by an enactment to make a periodic report, the enactment, to the extent that it requires a periodic report, continues to apply to that Board except that the enactment shall be read and construed as requiring that compliance with the requirement be completed as soon as practical after the coming into force of this Act. 1992, c. 11, s. 48.
49 For greater certainty, every matter before a predecessor board immediately before the coming into force of this Act shall be continued before the Board and, where any such matter has been heard, in whole or in part, by any members of a predecessor board, it shall be heard by such of those members as are members of the Board. 1992, c. 11, s. 49.