The EAB must issue decisions in writing. In urgent cases, this may be shortly after a hearing concludes, but it will generally take weeks or months for a panel to consider all the evidence and submissions, and to write a decision. The EAB has a Practice Directive that sets out expectations for how long panels will take to write decisions after hearings complete, although in any given case the time may be less or more.
When a decision is complete, the EAB will provide copies to all parties and to the relevant minister(s). The EAB will also publish the decision on its website and may provide it to archives of court and tribunal decisions (for example, Lexis or CanLII) for greater access by the public, representatives and other decision-makers.
The EAB can confirm, vary, or rescind any decision under appeal. Under all appeals except those brought under the Mines Act, the EAB can also:
• send a decision back to the decision-maker, with directions, for a new decision, or
• make any decision the original decision-maker could have made that is reasonable in the circumstances.
When the EAB issues a decision, it cannot change it. The EAB can, however, amend a decision to fix:
- a clerical or typographical error;
- an accidental or inadvertent error, omission or other similar mistake; or
- an arithmetical error made in a computation.
The EAB can also “reopen” an appeal to “cure a jurisdictional defect”, which includes making a decision the EAB is not empowered to make, failing to address an issue in an appeal, or acting unfairly.
Parties can also ask the EAB to clarify a decision within 30 days of the decision being issued, and the EAB may do so at its discretion.
Otherwise, if you disagree with a decision, you can apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for a judicial review of that decision, under the Judicial Review Procedure Act. You could also ask that Cabinet to vary or rescind a decision of the EAB, as they are authorized to do in the public interest, under the Environmental Management Act.