ARCHIVED - Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-11

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Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-11

  Ottawa, 30 July 2004

Application for costs by the Consumers Association of Canada (Manitoba Branch) and Manitoba Society of Seniors - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-6

  Reference: 8665-C12-200307365 and 4754-232


By letter dated 16 March 2004, the Consumers Association of Canada (Manitoba Branch) and the Manitoba Society of Seniors (CAC/MSOS) applied for costs with respect to their participation in the proceeding initiated by Consumer bill of rights, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-6, 13 June 2003 (the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding).


On 6 April 2004, Bell Canada filed comments on behalf of Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications and Société en commandite Télébec (collectively the Companies), and on behalf of TELUS Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications (Québec) Inc. (collectively TELUS) in answer to CAC/MSOS's application.

The application


CAC/MSOS submitted that they had met the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) as they represent a group of subscribers that has an interest in the outcome of the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding, they had participated responsibly in the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding, and they had contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission through their participation in the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding.


In particular, CAC/MSOS submitted that they represent more than 10,000 Manitoba seniors and consumers and that they had coordinated their efforts with other consumer groups across Canada in order to minimize costs and avoid duplication.


CAC/MSOS requested that the Commission fix their costs at $5,642.00, consisting of $5,554.50 for legal fees and $87.50 for disbursements. CAC/MSOS's claim did not include the Federal Goods and Services tax. CAC/MSOS filed a bill of costs with their application.


CAC/MSOS made no submission as to the appropriate respondents in this case.



In answer to the application, the Companies and TELUS stated that they did not oppose CAC/MSOS's entitlement to the amount claimed. The Companies and TELUS submitted that the appropriate respondents and each respondent's share of any costs award made by the Commission should be determined by each respondent's interest and participation in the proceeding.

Commission analysis and determination


The Commission finds that CAC/MSOS have satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the Rules. Specifically, the Commission finds that CAC/MSOS are representative of a group or class of subscribers that has an interest in the outcome of the proceeding, have participated in a responsible way, and have contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission.


The Commission notes that the rate claimed in respect of legal fees is in accordance with the rates set out in the Legal Directorate's Guidelines for the Taxation of Costs, revised as of 15 May 1998. The Commission also finds that the total amount claimed by CAC/MSOS was necessarily and reasonably incurred and should be allowed.


The Commission is of the view that this is an appropriate case in which to fix the costs and dispense with taxation, in accordance with the streamlined procedure set out in New procedure for Telecom costs awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-5, 7 November 2002.


The Commission notes that it has, in previous decisions, allocated the responsibility for the payment of costs among respondents on the basis of the respondents' telecommunications operating revenues (TORs), as an indicator of the relative size and interest of the parties involved in the proceeding. The Commission is of the view that, in the present circumstances, it is appropriate to apportion the costs among the respondents in proportion to their TORs, as reported in their most recent audited financial statements. Given the relative differences in telecommunications revenues between the Companies and TELUS, the Commission finds that the responsibility for the payment of costs should be allocated as follows:
    The Companies 76%
    TELUS 24%


Given the small size of the costs award in this case, the Commission finds that it would impose an unnecessary administrative burden on CAC/MSOS to require the collection of small amounts from the seventelecommunications service providers who participated in the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding. Consistent with its general approach articulated in 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, the Commission makes Bell Canada responsible for payment on behalf of the Companies and TELUS Communications Inc. responsible for payment on behalf of TELUS, and leaves it to the members of the Companies and TELUS to determine the appropriate allocation of the costs among themselves.

Direction as to costs


The Commission approves the application by CAC/MSOS for costs with respect to its participation in the Public Notice 2003-6 proceeding.


Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to CAC/MSOS at $5,642.00.


The Commission directsthat the award of costs to CAC/MSOS be paid forthwith by Bell Canada on behalf of the Companies and TELUS Communications Inc. on behalf of TELUS, according to the proportions set out in paragraph 11.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2004-07-30

Date modified: