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Opportunity to be heard

An opportunity to be heard is offered to someone whose interests may be affected by a CNSC decision. Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, applicants for a licence or other regulatory authorization are entitled to have the opportunity to be heard before a decision is made on their application. The same applies to those who are named in or subject to an order. For the opportunity to be meaningful, the person whose interests are at stake in the proceeding must know the regulatory basis for the decision being considered, and must have the chance to present their case to the decision maker.

The process

When the Commission makes a licensing decision, it conducts a public hearing that gives the licence applicant the opportunity to be heard and to make their case. The hearing process may move forward in writing, orally, or in any other manner that the Commission deems appropriate for a fair and expeditious review of the matter.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Rules of Procedure include some process requirements for such proceedings.

Some opportunities to be heard are held in closed sessions while others make it possible for the public to be present or watch online. Regardless of format, the Commission always meets its statutory obligations.

Note: It is not only the Commission that must extend an opportunity to be heard. Designated officers (DOs) must also offer an opportunity to be heard to an applicant before reaching a negative decision on certification and licensing. Where a DO conducts the statutory review of an order that has been issued by an inspector, the persons named in or subject to the order have the opportunity to be heard as part of that review. When someone receives a notice of violation, they also have the right to request a review with respect to the violation, the amount of the penalty, and the time required to comply with the order.

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