ARCHIVED - Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2003-6

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Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2003-6

  Ottawa, 4 September 2003

Public Interest Advocacy Centre application for costs - Follow-up to Order 2000-393 - Bill Management Tools (BMT) Committee

  Reference: 8638-C12-46/01 and 4754-218


By letter dated 1 April 2003 and amended 8 April 2003, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)applied for costs with respect to its participation on the Bill Management Tools (BMT) Committee, initiated in Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002. In its application, PIAC suggested that the appropriate respondents to its application were the same as those in Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the National Anti-Poverty Organization and Action Réseau Consommateur applications for costs - Order CRTC 2000-393, Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2002-15, 22 October 2002 (Costs Order 2002-15), Bell Canada and TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS). PIAC also submitted that responsibility for the payment of intervener costs should be the same in this application as it was in Costs Order 2002-15, namely 75% for Bell Canada and 25% for TELUS.


On 9 April 2003 Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc., and Saskatchewan Telecommunications (the Companies) wrote to the Commission stating that they had no objection to the applicants' entitlement or the amount claimed. In their submissions the Companies indicated that they did not oppose the Commission using the approach set out in Costs Order 2002-15 to determine respondents in the current costs claim as a matter of expediency and given the particular circumstances.

The application


PIAC submitted that it had met the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) because it represented a group of subscribers who would be materially affected by the outcome of the BMT Committee's deliberations, it participated responsibly in the show cause proceeding, and it contributed to a better understanding of the issues through its participation on the BMT Committee.


PIAC requested that their costs be fixed at $10,593.23, all of which is attributable to legal fees. PIAC submitted a bill of costs with its application.


PIAC claimed 44.5 hours at a rate of $230/hour.


As noted above, in its application, PIAC submitted that the appropriate respondents in this case were Bell Canada and TELUS and proposed that any award of costs be made payable by these respondents in the same proportion as that applied in Costs Order 2002-15.

Commission analysis and determination


The Commission finds that PIAC has satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the Rules. Specifically, the Commission finds that PIAC is representative of a group or class of subscribers that has an interest in the outcome of the BMT Committee, participated in the BMT Committee in a responsible manner, and contributed to the Commission's better understanding of the issues.


The Commission notes that the rate claimed in respect of preparation and attendance is in accordance with the rates set out in the Legal Directorate's revised Guidelines for the Taxation of Costs, dated 15 May 1998. The Commission finds that the total amount claimed was necessary and reasonably incurred and should be allowed.


The Commission is of the view that this is an appropriate case in which to fix costs and dispense with taxation.


The Commission is also of the view that, in light of the small amount claimed, the appropriate respondents for costs are Bell Canada and TELUS, in the following proportions:
    Bell Canada 75%
    TELUS 25%

Direction as to costs


The Commission approves the application by PIAC for costs with respect to their participation in the BMT Committee.


Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to PIAC at $10,593.23.


The Commission directs that the award of costs to PIAC be paid forthwith by Bell Canada and TELUS, according to the proportions noted in paragraph 10.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2003-09-04

Date modified: