Inquiry’s Third Public Step
- The Public Hearings are open to all members of the public. Everyone is welcome to attend, in person or by watching the daily webcast.
- You will be able to access the daily webcast, daily transcripts and exhibits entered at the Public Hearings on the Inquiry website.
Purpose of the Public Hearings
- The Commission inquired into the events that led to Elizabeth Wettlaufer’s offences and the surrounding conditions and circumstances that allowed those offences to occur. The Public Hearings are designed to present the results of these inquiries to the public and to give the Participants the opportunity to examine, challenge and add to these results.
Dates and Times of the Public Hearings
- The Public Hearings will take place during the weeks of June 5, 11, 18, 25, July 16, 23, 30, August 7 and September 24, 2018. The first day of the Public Hearings is Tuesday June 5, 2018.
- Generally, the Public Hearings will run from Monday through Thursday in any given week.
- However, they will run on Friday June 8, 15 (morning only) 22, July 27, August 3, 10 and may run on other Fridays.
- The hours of the Public Hearings are from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to approximately 4:30 p.m., with short morning and afternoon breaks. The hearings may run later than 4:30 p.m. to accommodate witnesses and the calling of evidence.
Schedule for the Evidence at the Public Hearings
- The evidence in the Public Hearings will be presented as follows:
- Evidence about the Facilities and Agencies – the weeks of June 5, 11, 18, 25
- Evidence about the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service – the week of July 16
- Evidence about the– College of Nurses of Ontario – the week of July 23
- Evidence about the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – the weeks of July 30 and August 7
- For each of these four sections of the Public Hearings, the evidence led by Commission Counsel will be called first. The other Participants may ask each witness additional questions. After Commission counsel have finished calling their witnesses, the Participants may call additional witnesses. Commission counsel may then call evidence in reply.
- A list of anticipated witnesses for the upcoming hearing week, will generally be posted the Friday before each hearing week, beginning Friday, June 1, 2018. Please note that the witnesses called and the order in which they are called is subject to change without notice.
- The Elgin County Courthouse is an accessible, barrier-free building with elevators and accessible washrooms. The Courtrooms feature infrared hearing assistance for the hearing impaired.
- Please enter the Elgin County Courthouse from the main entrance on Wellington Street. You will be required to pass through security upon arrival. You will need to walk through a metal detector and your belongings will be subject to search.
Photography, Audio & Video Recording
- Photography inside the Courtroom is permitted only at the start of the Public Hearings through arrangements with Peter Rehak, the Inquiry’s Director of Communications and with the Commissioner’s leave.
- Photography elsewhere in the Courthouse is not permitted at any time.
- Audio and video recording is not permitted anywhere in the Courthouse, including the courtrooms.
Etiquette during the Public Hearings
- When the Commissioner enters the courtroom, everyone in the room must rise to show respect. Please rise and remain standing until the court Registrar invites you to be seated.
- When the courtroom is open, please find a seat in the public gallery. Standing is not generally permitted when the Public Hearings are in session.
- Members of the public are free to enter and leave the courtroom as they wish during the Public Hearings, provided they do so quietly and do not disrupt the proceedings.
- Food, gum, and drinks are not permitted in the courtroom, except for water.
- Hats and headwear must not be worn in the courtroom, except for religious reasons.
- Please remain silent during the proceedings. If you need to speak to someone, please leave the courtroom to do so.
- Please do not lean on the chair in front of you or put your feet on the chairs.
- Court staff are responsible for maintaining security and decorum in the courtroom. Please comply with any directions that they give you.
- The use of electronic communication devices – all computers, personal electronic and digital devices, and all phones – is only permitted in the Hearing room in silent or vibrate mode.
- Talking on electronic communication devices is not permitted in the Courtroom while the Public Hearings are in session.
- The Public Hearings will be webcast live. Webcast recordings will remain available until the end of the Public Hearings.
- Beginning June 5, 2018, the webcast will be accessible via a link on the Inquiry homepage and the Inquiry’s Public Hearings webpage.
- Up to three cameras will be used in the Courtroom for webcasting – one focused on the witness, one focused on counsel, and one wide-angle shot.
- Transcripts of the daily proceedings will be posted on the website the following morning by 9:00 AM.
- Transcripts will be accessible via the Transcripts webpage.
Elgin County Courthouse
4 Wellington Street
St. Thomas, Ontario
There is ample parking close to the Courthouse. Free 10 hour parking is available on Centre Street and a paid parking lot is located on the corner of Wellington Street and Crocker Avenue.