ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8678-C12-200615578

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Ottawa, 23 July 2007

File No: 8678-C12-200615578


Mr. Martin Bergevin
Director General
Centre Québécois de la déficience auditive
65 Castelnau Street West
Room 101
Montreal, Quebec
H2R 2W3

- and -

Mr. Jacques Racicot
Assistant to the Director
Centre de communication adaptée
3600 Berri
Room A-64
Montreal, Quebec
H2L 4G9

Dear Mr. Bergevin and Mr. Racicot:

Re:   Review of proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15 - Requests from Centre québécois de la déficience auditive and Centre de communication adaptée

This letter is in response to the requests dated 19 February 2007 of Centre québecois de la déficience auditive (CQDA) and Centre de communication adaptée (CCA) for the inclusion of francophone organizations in the consultation process, and the translation and adaptation of documents, in the context of the proceeding initiated by Review of proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts , Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15, 30 November 2006 (PN 2006-15).

On 19 March 2007, Bell Aliant Regional Communications, L.P. (Bell Aliant), Bell Canada, MTS Allstream Inc. (MTS), Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) and TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) provided comments with respect to these requests.   On 23 March 2007 , CQDA and CCA provided reply comments.

With regard to additional consultations with francophone organizations, CQDA and CCA specified that their request pertained to Bell Canada and TELUS as they had submitted proposals for the province of Quebec .  

Commission staff notes that in Decision 2006-9, the ILECs were directed to consult with the appropriate advocacy organizations for persons with disabilities prior to submitting their proposals to improve access to telecommunications services for approval.   The determination as to which organizations should be consulted was left to the ILECs.   We note that Bell Canada and TELUS indicated that they had consulted with national and regional advocacy organizations, and took other steps to obtain input from interested parties prior to filing their proposals.   Our view is that Bell Canada and TELUS adhered to the Commission's direction.   We also consider that the existing process allows all parties, including parties which might not have been part of the consultations, an adequate opportunity to comment on the ILECs' accessibility proposals. In light of this, we consider that it is neither necessary nor appropriate at this time to require additional consultations from Bell Canada and TELUS.  

We note Bell Canada 's commitment to ongoing consultation and encourage all ILECs to consult on an ongoing basis with organizations for persons with disabilities, including regional organizations as appropriate, in matters related to improving access to telecommunications services.  

With respect to the translation of documents, as noted by CQDA and CCA, all Commission documents in this proceeding are placed on the public record in both official languages.   In accordance with the Official Languages Act , parties are free to communicate with the Commission and make submissions in the official language of their choice.   No obligation to translate their documents is imposed on parties and our view is that it would not be appropriate to impose such an obligation in this proceeding.   We note that Bell Canada has provided on its own motion an unofficial French translation of some of its accessibility submissions, and that TELUS likewise has submitted for the public record responses to interrogatories in French.   We encourage Bell Canada and TELUS to continue to make information related to their accessibility proposals available in French insofar as it relates to the province of Quebec .

Concerning the adaptation of documents into American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ), if a proceeding involved an oral component and the need for ASL and/or LSQ was demonstrated by a party to allow that party's active participation, the Commission would provide such an accommodation.   In the case of the current proceeding however, which is entirely written, our view is that the adaptation of documents in ASL and/or LSQ is not required to allow parties to understand, assess and comment on the ILECs' proposals.

With respect to the adaptation of documents for the visually impaired, all Commission documents are available in alternative format upon request, including text formats compatible with reader systems or Braille.   As with translation, we consider that it would be inappropriate to oblige parties to provide such an adaptation of their submissions.   However, we note that both Bell Canada and TELUS have made submissions available in text format, and we encourage other ILECs to do the same , upon request.   We further note that should this not be adequate to meet the needs of a specific visually impaired party, the Commission would strive to make available , upon specific request from that party , necessary documents reasonably necessary for that party's participation in a format which meets the needs of that particular party.

Alternatively, consistent with the position advocated by SaskTel and TELUS, we consider that a registered party to this proceeding could include the cost of adapting another party's documents into Braille or another alternative format for the visually impaired in a claim for a costs award, provided that the party meets the criteria for obtaining a costs award as set out in s.44 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure .   We note that any party making such a claim would be required to demonstrate that this adaptation was necessary for its participation in the proceeding initiated by PN 2006-15.

Yours sincerely,

'Original signed by C. Bailey'

Christine Bailey
A/Senior Manager, Tariffs

cc:   Michel Murray, CRTC (819) 997-9300,

Interested parties to Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15 : ;  ; ;  ;  bcgrey_bear@hotmail.combsk@valkyrieriders.commorin_sm@yahoo.cadpingitore@lightspeed.caelbrt4@rogers.comtmcampbell@rogers.comkc.2020@hotmail.comgerichard@rogers.comrikerstarr@yahoo.comronpegfee@telus.netwaltsask@shaw.casophiet@sasktel.netelainemanning@gmail.comdez.rayzak@ontario.catodd.tobin@statcan.caottawadeafcentre@rogers.comnewfiedjh@yahoo.comjutta.treviranus@utoronto.cajeremy.wells@sympatico.caaaron.walsh@sympatico.cadmomotiuk@smd.mb.campotvin@ccbnational.netkier@cailc.calaurie@ccdonline.cadave@damar.netdaans@ns.sympatico.cabmd@accesswave.cadeafmb@mts.netoadpresident@gmail.comjj@deafontario.cagaryb@neilsquire.cajoweber@accesscomm.caSilvergirl46@hotmail.comDodie865@hotmail.comrlhutchinson@sasktel.netfordgk@shaw.cawegcap@netidea.commbach@cacl.cadennis.mudryk@gov ; amadill@hwy16.combmykle@telus.netkristen.pranz ;

Date Modified: 2007-07-23
Date modified: