ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 98-6

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 18 February 1998
Telecom Costs Order CRTC 98-6
In re: Implementation of Price Cap Regulation, 1997 Contribution Charges and Related Issues, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-11
Reference: 8085-RP0003/97
1. Application for Costs by the Consumers' Association of Canada (Alberta Branch) (CACAlta).
2. By letter dated 28 November 1997, CACAlta applied for costs in relation to this proceeding. CACAlta submitted that it had commented effectively and responsibly on the issues of rate of return (ROE) and risk, and had presented clear arguments with respect to these two factors. CACAlta submitted that the Stentor member companies should be made respondents to any award of costs made by the Commission.
3. In its answer, dated 10 December 1997, Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) objected to an award of costs to CACAlta on the basis that CACAlta had not contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission. In Stentor's submission, CACAlta was "unqualified" to comment on ROE issues. Stentor submitted that CACAlta had relied on the submissions of other parties to make its points, and that any departure from the conclusions of those submissions resulted in little more than the expression of superficial opinion which was not based on in-depth analysis.
4. In its reply, dated 16 December 1997, CACAlta noted that no party had objected to its submission and no interrogatories had been posed in relation to it. CACAlta submitted that a party should not have to file expert evidence and/or arrive at different conclusions from other parties in order to contribute to a better understanding of the issues. CACAlta noted that by limiting the scope of the discussion on ROE issues to changes in conditions since Telecom Decision CRTC 95-21, the Commission was directing participants away from the resource consuming traditional methods of assessing risk and ROE. CACAlta submitted that it had followed this directive.
5. The Commission is of the view that CACAlta is representative of a group of subscribers with an interest in the proceeding, and has participated in a responsible manner. The Commission is also of the view that CACAlta's participation in this proceeding was helpful in evaluating, among other things, the approach to setting an appropriate ROE. Accordingly, the Commission considers that CACAlta has met the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) and should be awarded costs for its participation in this proceeding.
6. With respect to the appropriate respondents to CACAlta's application, the Commission notes that the present proceeding is akin to a rate case for each federally regulated Stentor member company. In light of that fact, and given that the Stentor member companies will derive the principle benefit of price cap regulation, the Commission considers it appropriate to name Stentor as the sole respondent to CACAlta's application.
7. The application of CACAlta for an award of costs in respect of this proceeding is approved.
8. Costs awarded herein shall be subject to taxation in accordance with the Rules.
9. Costs awarded herein shall be payable to CACAlta by Stentor.
10. Costs awarded herein shall be taxed by Anne-Marie Murphy.
11. CACAlta shall, within 30 days of this Order, submit a Bill of Costs and an Affidavit of Disbursements directly to the Taxing Officer, serving a copy on Stentor.
12. Stentor may, within two weeks of receiving those documents, file comments directly with the Taxing Officer with respect to the costs claimed, serving a copy on CACAlta.
13. CACAlta may, within two weeks of receiving Stentor's comments, file a reply directly with the Taxing Officer, serving a copy on Stentor.
14. Documents to be filed or served must be actually received, not merely sent, by the dates indicated.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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