ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8663-C12-200600066
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Ottawa, 22 June 2006
Our File: 8663-C12-200600066
Delivered by e-mail
To: Distribution List - Interested Parties, Review of regulatory framework for Northwestel Inc., Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-1, 17 January 2006
Re: Organization and Conduct of the Oral Public Hearing
The Commission is scheduled to hold an oral public hearing in connection with the above-noted proceeding commencing on Monday, July 10 th , 2006 , at the Convention Centre of the High Country Inn, 4051-4 th Avenue , in Whitehorse , Yukon .
The purpose of this letter is to provide information to the parties on a variety of matters relating to the organization and conduct of the public hearing.
The Commission intends to begin the hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, July 10 th , 2006 , and to sit Mondays through Fridays during the course of the hearing, with a normal sitting day of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
While the Commission does not anticipate that sittings will extend into the evening or on the weekend, it may be necessary to revisit the schedule and sit longer hours on one or more days, or to sit on Saturday, July 15 th . The Commission notes that it currently intends the hearing to conclude no later than Friday, July 21 st , 2006; however, the hearing could finish before then.
CONSULTATION WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC
The Commission notes that the first day of the hearing will begin with comments from the general public, with the formal public hearing commencing thereafter. Members of the public will have an opportunity to speak to the Commission in person at the Convention Centre in Whitehorse . In addition there will be a teleconference link to Northwestel's offices in Fort Nelson , B.C., Yellowknife , NWT, and Iqaluit , Nunavut .
Opening statements and use of audio-visual presentations
The majority of the parties have requested an opportunity to make oral opening statements. In the circumstances of the present case, the Commission will permit oral opening statements (but not audio-visual presentations) by all appearing parties, not exceeding 10 minutes, at the beginning of the cross-examination phase. The parties should file, as an exhibit, and serve a written copy of their opening statements on all appearing parties at the hearing, immediately before presenting the oral opening statement. Parties wishing to make an oral opening statement should proceed in the order set out in the Attachment.
Order of witnesses to be presented
The following parties have advised the Commission of their intention to make one or more witnesses available for cross-examination. The Commission has determined that the parties should present their witnesses in the following order:
It is important to note that the above order will be adjusted if necessary. Further, in order to provide parties certainty in scheduling witnesses, the Commission intends to hear the testimony of Northwestel's expert witness on issues related to ROE beginning on Wednesday, July 12 th , 2006 and to complete that testimony by the end of day on Thursday, July 13 th , 2006 . To accommodate this, some of Northwestel's panels may be heard before Northwestel's ROE Expert. The Commission intends to hear the testimony of the Yukon Government's witnesses the first week of the hearing and, if necessary, will adjust the order of witnesses accordingly.
Order of cross-examination
Several parties have notified the Commission of their intention to cross-examine one or more witnesses. The Commission has decided that parties wishing to cross-examine witnesses will proceed in the order set out in the Attachment. Any party intending to conduct cross-examination who is not on this list is to notify the Commission of such intention no later than Thursday, June 29 th , 2006.
The Commission notes that, in the case of each witness, questioning by Commission counsel, if any, will follow cross-examination by the parties.
It is the Commission's intention to have oral final argument at the hearing, with a maximum time allowed of 30 minutes per party. Parties wishing to present oral final argument should proceed in the order set out in the Attachment, except that Northwestel should proceed last.
In addition to, or instead of, presenting oral final argument, parties may file written argument, serving a copy on all parties, by the later of July 21 st , 2006 or the end of the oral hearing.
Northwestel may file written reply argument, serving a copy on all interested parties, by August 4 th , 2006. When submitting written final/reply argument, parties are expected to include a brief Executive Summary in point form.
The Commission's plans with respect to final argument may evolve as the proceeding progresses. The Commission will inform parties of its final decision in this respect during the course of the hearing.
Responsibilities of the Parties
Parties are reminded that it is their responsibility to monitor the progress and content of the hearing in order, among other things, to ensure that they are aware of any documents that may have been filed in their absence, any changes to the order of presentation of witnesses or order of cross-examination, and any Commission rulings. The hearing should be webcast on the Commission's website at www.crtc.gc.ca) by June 29 th , 2006 and to provide any updates on July 10 th , 2006 . This will enable the Hearing Secretary to contact parties, if necessary, to obtain information or to inform them of matters relating to the hearing. Copies of the Record of Appearance may be obtained from the Hearing Secretary on the morning of July 11 th , 2006 .
Parties are reminded that traditional examination-in-chief is not permitted at public hearings conducted by the Commission; rather, in accordance with section 21 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure , a party calling a witness should restrict its examination to the following:
The introduction of witnesses by parties should be brief, with little or no reading from witness' curricula vitae.
Witness' curricula vitae
Curricula vitae of witnesses to be presented by parties are to be filed with the Commission as exhibits and copied on all parties no later than Thursday, June 29 th , 2006 .
Procedure for introduction of exhibits
The Commission expects parties to introduce exhibits using the expedited procedure which was adopted in the proceeding leading to Review of Regulatory Framework , Telecom Decision CRTC 94-19, dated 16 September 1994 . For convenience, this procedure is reproduced below:
Responses to Undertakings
Documents other than Responses to Undertakings
Copies of documents filed
All parties are reminded that, with respect to all documents filed at the public hearing, 20 copies must be provided to the Hearing Secretary for the Commission's use.
At the same time, a copy of all such documents must be served on all other parties present at the public hearing on the date the document is filed.
Pre-hearing briefing documents
The Commission intends to make available for inspection by all parties a pre-hearing briefing document prepared by Commission staff to aid Commissioners on various substantive matters likely to be addressed during the course of the oral phase of this proceeding. While this document does not represent an exhaustive discussion of the issues to be examined by the Commission, it does provide an indication of some of the matters arising from the record. The Commission will make copies of this document available in the Public Examination Room at the oral public hearing on the morning of July 10 th , 2006 .
Assistance to parties
In order to ensure that the public hearing may be conducted smoothly and efficiently, Commission counsel (Peter McCallum and Leanne Bennett, Tel: (819) 953-2197, or (819) 953-0634) will be available, both prior to and during the hearing, to assist legal counsel or other representatives of the parties with regard to procedural matters and the practices and procedures of the Commission.
(ORIGINAL SIGNED BY)
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