Ottawa, 28 July 2015
File numbers: 8663-C12-201313601 and 4754-482
Determination of costs award with respect to the participation of l’Union des consommateurs in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-551
- By letter dated 4 February 2015, l’Union des consommateurs (l’Union) applied for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-551 (the proceeding).
- The Commission did not receive any interventions in response to the application for costs.
- L’Union submitted that it had met the criteria for an award of costs set out in section 68 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) because it represented a group or class of subscribers that had an interest in the outcome of the proceeding, it had assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered, and it had participated in a responsible way.
- L’Union requested that the Commission fix its costs at $6,030.00, consisting of $4,230.00 in internal analyst fees, and $1,800.00 in internal legal fees. L’Union filed a bill of costs with its application.
- L’Union made no submission as to the appropriate parties to be required to pay any costs awarded by the Commission (the costs respondents).
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The criteria for an award of costs are set out in section 68 of the Rules of Procedure, which reads as follows:
68. The Commission must determine whether to award final costs and the maximum percentage of costs that is to be awarded on the basis of the following criteria:
- whether the applicant had, or was the representative of a group or a class of subscribers that had, an interest in the outcome of the proceeding;
- the extent to which the applicant assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered; and
- whether the applicant participated in the proceeding in a responsible way.
- L’Union has satisfied these criteria through its participation in the proceeding. In particular, l’Union provided helpful information and constructive arguments with respect to consumers’ access to wireline services and the appropriate type and level of wholesale market regulation to achieve this goal. L’Union’s submissions thus helped the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered in the proceeding.
- The rates claimed in respect of internal analyst and internal legal fees are in accordance with the rates established in the Commission’s Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs, as set out in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2010-963. The Commission finds that the total amount claimed by l’Union was necessarily and reasonably incurred and should be allowed.
- This is an appropriate case in which to fix the costs and dispense with taxation, in accordance with the streamlined procedure set out in Telecom Public Notice 2002-5.
- The Commission has generally determined that the appropriate costs respondents to an award of costs are the parties that have a significant interest in the outcome of the proceeding in question and have participated actively in that proceeding. The following parties to the proceeding had a significant interest in the outcome of the proceeding and participated actively throughout the proceeding: Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies); Bragg Communications Incorporated, operating as Eastlink; the Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc.; Cogeco Cable Inc.; MTS Inc. and Allstream Inc.; Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of its affiliate Videotron G.P.; Rogers Communications Partnership (RCP); Saskatchewan Telecommunications; Shaw Cablesystems G.P.; and TELUS Communications Company (TCC).
- The Commission considers that, consistent with its practice, it is appropriate to allocate the responsibility for payment of costs among costs respondents based on their telecommunications operating revenues (TORs), as an indicator of the relative size and interest of the parties involved in the proceeding. However, in Telecom Order 2015-160, the Commission considered $1,000 to be the minimum amount that a costs respondent should be required to pay due to the administrative burden that small costs awards impose on both the applicant and costs respondents. Accordingly, the Commission finds that, in this case, the appropriate costs respondents are the Bell companies, RCP, and TCC, and that responsibility for payment of costs should be allocated as follows:
Company Percentage Amount TCC 35.5% $2,140.65 RCP 33.1% $1,995.93 The Bell companies 31.4% $1,893.42
- Consistent with its general approach articulated in Telecom Costs Order 2002-4, the Commission makes Bell Canada responsible for payment on behalf of the Bell companies, and leaves it to these companies to determine the appropriate allocation of the costs among themselves.
Directions regarding costs
- The Commission approves the application by l’Union for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding.
- Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to l’Union at $6,030.00.
- The Commission directs that the award of costs to l’Union be paid forthwith by TCC, RCP, and the Bell companies, according to the proportions set out in paragraph 11.
- Determination of costs award with respect to the participation of the Ontario Video Relay Service Committee in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2014-188, Telecom Order CRTC 2015-160, 23 April 2015
- Review of wholesale services and associated policies, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-551, 15 October 2013, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-551-1, 8 November 2013
- Revision of CRTC costs award practices and procedures, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-963, 23 December 2010
- New procedure for Telecom costs awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-5, 7 November 2002
- Action Réseau Consommateur, the Consumers’ Association of Canada, Fédération des associations coopératives d’économie familiale and the National Anti-Poverty Organization application for costs – Public Notice CRTC 2001-60, Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2002-4, 24 April 2002
- Date modified: