I'm Plaintiff in Small Claims Court case in Ontario Canada. Defendant filed Defence. So Settlement Conference coming up! I read Charter Basics | Your Right to Silence

What is the Right to Silence?
In the Canadian legal tradition, the right to silence is a subset of the larger principle against self-incrimination. It is closely related to the rules governing confessions and is also enshrined under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

At its most basic, the right to silence means that absent any legal obligation to the contrary, no one is obliged to speak to the police or respond to police questioning1. For accused or detained people, this is a Constitutionally protected right. The right to silence means that a detainee has the right to choose whether or not to speak or give a statement to the police2. Regardless of what the police might say, an accused person has absolutely no obligation to assist the State with an investigation or prosecution.

In my honest opinion, Defendant's lawyer lied some parts of Defence. I looked up Defendant's lawyer at Law Society of Ontario website, and his record and history are not clean. I don't want him or public know my employment or what I do everyday. I know people have falsely accused at workplace or like debt collectors, harass you at work or employer.


1 Answer 1


You're only required to show up for a settlement conference. You're not required to do or say anything at the conference. Nothing you say or do or fail to say or do can be used at trial, and every that happens there is kept strictly confidential. The judge is there just to give advice to both parties and for procedural reasons. The judge will not order you to respond to any questions the defence may have.

From "Important Information About Your Settlement Conference" by the Superior Court of Justice, Office of the Chief Justice:

  1. A settlement conference is an informal, confidential meeting between the parties in the presence of a judicial officer (a judge or deputy judge). The judicial officer at your settlement conference will not be the judge at your trial.
  1. You may feel free to discuss your case openly at your settlement conference. What you say cannot be repeated at trial. Your discussions at a settlement conference are strictly confidential, and will remain so. Unless you consent, the matters discussed at the settlement conference, and during any negotiations, shall not be disclosed to anyone. You must never mention the settlement conference during the actual trial.

Note that normally there is no discovery process in Ontario Small Claims Court, but there is one exception. The judge at a settlement conference can make an order requiring you to produce documents, but this will only be for documents that you yourself would want to provide as evidence at trial and have failed to provide to the defence as required before the settlement conference. Unless you have some document listing your employment that you would need to rely on to win your case, you won't be required to provide anything to the defence that would reveal where you work.