35. In all proceedings under this Act, an applicant or appellant may choose to be represented by a pensions advocate from the Bureau, by a service bureau of a veterans’ organization or, at the person’s own expense, by any other representative of the person’s choice.
Marginal note:Place and time of sittings
36. (1) The Board shall sit at such places in Canada and at such times as may be fixed by the Chairperson, having regard to the convenience of the applicant and the Board.
Marginal note:Hearings to be public
(2) Every hearing before the Board shall be open to the public except where the applicant or appellant requests that the hearing be closed and the Board is of the opinion that a closed hearing would not be contrary to the public interest.
- 1995, c. 18, s. 36;
- 1999, c. 10, s. 40.
Marginal note:Questions of interpretation
37. (1) The Minister, the Chief Pensions Advocate, any veterans’ organization incorporated by or under an Act of Parliament or any interested person may refer to the Board for a hearing and decision on any question of interpretation relating to this Act, to the Pension Act, to Part 3 of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, to any other Act of Parliament pursuant to which an appeal may be taken to the Board or to any regulations made under any such Act.
(2) Before making a decision on a question referred to it, the Board shall notify the prescribed persons or organizations and give them an opportunity to present argument on the question.
Marginal note:Refusal to hear trivial questions
(3) The Board may refuse to hear and decide any question referred to it under this section that it considers to be trivial, frivolous or vexatious.
- 1995, c. 18, s. 37;
- 2005, c. 21, s. 114.
Marginal note:Medical opinion
38. (1) The Board may obtain independent medical advice for the purposes of any proceeding under this Act and may require an applicant or appellant to undergo any medical examination that the Board may direct.
Marginal note:Notification of intention
(2) Before accepting as evidence any medical advice or report on an examination obtained pursuant to subsection (1), the Board shall notify the applicant or appellant of its intention to do so and give them an opportunity to present argument on the issue.
Marginal note:Rules of evidence
39. In all proceedings under this Act, the Board shall
(a) draw from all the circumstances of the case and all the evidence presented to it every reasonable inference in favour of the applicant or appellant;
(b) accept any uncontradicted evidence presented to it by the applicant or appellant that it considers to be credible in the circumstances; and
(c) resolve in favour of the applicant or appellant any doubt, in the weighing of evidence, as to whether the applicant or appellant has established a case.
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