ARCHIVED -  Letter

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Ottawa, 2 March 2012

File Nos.  8622-C193-201201110

By email

Michael Janigan
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7

Re: Applications by: (a) CIDG for dispute resolution, by way of an expedited hearing and subsequent final offer arbitration, with respect to a dispute with Bell Media; and (2) Bell Media for final offer arbitration with respect to a dispute with Cogeco – PIAC’s request to file comments

Dear Mr. Janigan:

This letter is to advise the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) that its request to file written comments and appear at the oral hearing in the above-noted proceeding is denied.

In its letter dated 27 February 2012, PIAC submitted that, while it does not typically intervene in disputes between broadcasting undertakings, it represents the perspective of consumers who have a direct stake in the matters currently before dispute resolution. PIAC submitted that its interest is focused on consumer flexibility and choice of programming, which relate to the distribution and packaging, and non-linear program rights distribution issues in this proceeding. PIAC further requested the opportunity to appear at the oral hearing because written comments would only allow it to address in a general sense the facts and issues of this dispute. Lastly, PIAC acknowledged its delayed filing and explained that this proceeding did not come to its attention until after the filing deadline had passed.

The Commission is of the view that PIAC’s concerns relate primarily to general policy considerations as opposed to the issues specific to this dispute, and consequently, PIAC’s concerns are outside the scope of this bilateral dispute.

The Commission also notes that PIAC’s request to file comments in this proceeding was submitted well after the deadline of 15 February 2012 set out in the Commission’s organization and conduct letter. The Commission considers that expedited hearings have, as the central objective, the resolution of competitive disputes as expeditiously as possible. As a result, the procedural steps and time limitations set by the Commission in each case are particularly important to the timely conduct of an expedited proceeding.

The Commission considers that granting PIAC’s request at this late stage would impede the timely progression of this proceeding, and would therefore prejudice the parties to the dispute. Accordingly, PIAC’s request to file comments and appear at the oral hearing is denied.


Original signed by

John Traversy
Secretary General

c.c. Jennifer Salmon,
David Spodek,

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