ARCHIVED - Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-4

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Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-4

  Ottawa, 5 April 2004

Canadian Association of the Deaf's application for costs - Access to pay telephone service, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-6

  Reference: 8665-C12-18/02 and 4754-221


By letter dated 24 June 2003, the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) applied for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding initiated by Access to pay telephone service, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-6, 5 December 2002 (the Public Notice 2002-6 proceeding). In its application, CAD suggested that the appropriate respondents to its application were Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications and Télébec, Limited Partnership, (collectively, the Companies) and TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) and TELUS Communications (Québec) Inc., (collectively, TELUS).


The Companies on 14 July 2003 and TELUS on 17 July 2003 wrote to the Commission stating that they had no objection to the applicants' entitlement to costs or the amount claimed.

The application


CAD 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) as it represented a group of subscribers that had an interest in the outcome of the proceeding, it participated responsibly and it contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission through its participation in the proceeding.


In particular, CAD submitted that its participation had contributed to a better understanding of the issues by providing evidence with respect to the number of deaf users, the discriminatory situation that exists with respect to access to pay telephones by deaf users, the technological alternatives for use of pay telephones by deaf users and a proposed access initiative to address existing discrimination. In addition, CAD submitted that it provided important legal arguments as to why its proposed initiative was required under Canadian law.
5. CAD requested that the Commission fix its costs at $24,363.90 all of which was attributable to legal fees. CAD's claim included the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) on fees less the rebate to which CAD is entitled in connection with GST. CAD filed a bill of costs with its application.


CAD submitted that the appropriate respondents in this case were the Companies and TELUS.

Commission analysis and determination


The Commission finds that CAD has satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the Rules. Specifically, the Commission finds that CAD is representative of a group or class of subscribers that has an interest in the outcome of the Public Notice 2002-6 proceeding, has participated in a responsible manner, and, has contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission.


The Commission notes that the rates claimed in respect of legal fees are 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 CAD 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.


With respect to the issue of the appropriate respondents, the Commission notes that it has generally determined that the appropriate respondents to an award of costs are the parties who are affected by the issues and have participated actively in the proceeding.


The Commission notes, however, that it has recognized the fact that if too large a number of respondents are named, the applicant may have to collect small amounts from many respondents.


The Commission finds that it would impose an unnecessary administrative burden on CAD to require the collection of small amounts from the seven telecommunications service providers who participated in the Public Notice 2002-6 proceeding.


The Commission finds, therefore, that the appropriate respondents to CAD's costs application are the Companies and TELUS.


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 follow:
  The Companies 76%
  TELUS 24%


The Commission notes that Bell Canada filed submissions on behalf of the Companies and TCI filed submissions on behalf of TELUS. 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 TCI 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 CAD for costs with respect to its participation in the Public Notice 2002-6 proceeding.


Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to CAD at $24,363.90.


The Commission directs that the award of costs to CAD be paid forthwith by Bell Canada on behalf of the Companies and by TCI on behalf of TELUS, according to the proportions set out in paragraph 14.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2004-04-05

Date modified: