The purported revocation of the Respondents’ motor vehicle dealer licences by the Registrar under the Ontario Motor Vehicle Dealers Act was invalid as the revocation was made without giving the dealers a right to a hearing, which right was absolute under section 7 of the Act

22. November 2005 0

Administrative law – Permits and licences – Suspensions – Compliance with legislation – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Motor Vehicle Dealers – Hearings – Right to hearing

Amerato v. Ontario (Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, Registrar), [2005] O.J. No. 3713, Ontario Court of Appeal, September 8, 2005, K.N. Feldman, E.E. Gillese and H.S. LaForme JJ.A.

An appeal was commenced by the Registrar pursuant to the Motor Vehicles Dealers Act (the “Act”) from a Divisional Court decision declaring revocations of the Respondents’ motor vehicle dealer licences to be invalid. The Registrar submitted that the revocations were lawful because under the terms of the Consent Order previously issued by the License Appeal Tribunal, the motor vehicle dealers had consented to revocation for breach of the terms of the Order, without a hearing, and the Registrar had determined that a breach had occurred. The Registrar submitted that the Divisional Court had erred in holding that the Respondents could not waive their right to a hearing under the Act and in holding that the Consent Order was inconsistent with the statutory scheme.

The appeal was dismissed. The Court held that the Act gave the Registrants the right to decide whether to require that a hearing be held. Where the Registrar issued a Notice of Proposal to Revoke, the Registrant had an absolute right to require a hearing. Second, the Consent Order was inconsistent with the scheme of the Act and amounted to an improper delegation of authority and a fettering of discretion. If the Registrar wished to revoke the licences for breach of conditions of the Consent Order, the Registrar had to comply with the requirements of section 7 of the Act and issue a fresh notice of proposal to revoke the registration which included a notification to the Respondents of the right to require a hearing.

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