ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2013-525
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Ottawa, 27 September 2013
Determination of costs award with respect to the participation of Media Access Canada in the proceeding leading to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-271
File numbers: 8665-C12-201212448 and 4754-419
1. By letter dated 18 April 2013, Media Access Canada (MAC) applied for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding leading to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-271 (the proceeding).
2. The Commission did not receive any interventions in response to the application.
3. MAC submitted that it had met the criteria for an award of costs set out in section 68 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) because, through its representation of the disability community, it represented a group or class of subscribers that had an interest in the outcome of the proceeding, it had assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered, and it had participated in a responsible way.
4. MAC requested that the Commission fix its costs at $66,802.22, consisting of $37,043.81 for consultant fees, $27,048 for expert witness fees, and $2,710.41 for disbursements. MAC’s claim included the Ontario Harmonized Sales Tax on fees. MAC filed a bill of costs with its application.
5. MAC made no submission as to the appropriate parties to be required to pay any costs awarded by the Commission (the costs respondents).
Commission’s analysis and determinations
6. The Commission finds that MAC has satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in section 68 of the Rules of Procedure. Specifically, the Commission finds that MAC represented a class of subscribers that had an interest in the outcome of the proceeding; that its focused, detailed input on the unique issues facing those subscribers assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered; and that it participated in a responsible way.
7. The Commission notes that the rates claimed in respect of consultant and expert witness fees are in accordance with the rates established in the Commission’s Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs, as set out in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2010-963. The Commission finds that the total amount claimed by MAC was necessarily and reasonably incurred and should be allowed.
8. The Commission considers 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 Telecom Public Notice 2002-5.
9. The Commission notes that it has generally determined that the appropriate costs respondents to an award of costs are the parties that have a significant interest in the outcome of the proceeding in question and have participated actively in that proceeding. The Commission notes that it made all wireless service providers parties to this proceeding, and that they all participated actively throughout the proceeding. The Commission therefore finds that the appropriate costs respondents to MAC’s application for costs are Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, Bell Canada, and Télébec, Limited Partnership (collectively, Bell Canada et al.); Bragg Communications Inc. (operating as EastLink); Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (operating as Mobilicity); Globalive Wireless Management Corp. (Globalive); MTS Inc. (MTS) and Allstream Inc. (collectively, MTS Allstream); Public Mobile Inc. (Public Mobile); Rogers Communications Partnership (RCP); Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel); TELUS Communications Company (TCC); and Videotron G.P. (Videotron).
10. The Commission notes that it generally allocates the responsibility for payment of costs among costs respondents based on their telecommunications operating revenues (TORs) as an indicator of the relative size and interest of the parties involved in the proceeding. For the reasons discussed in Telecom Order 2013-521, also released today, the Commission considers that, in the present circumstances, it is appropriate to apportion the costs among the costs respondents in proportion to their TORs, based on their most recent audited financial statements. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the responsibility for payment of costs should be allocated as follows:
11. The Commission notes that Bell Canada filed submissions in the proceeding on behalf of Bell Canada et al. and that MTS Allstream filed joint submissions. Consistent with its general approach articulated in Telecom Costs Order 2002-4, the Commission makes Bell Canada responsible for payment on behalf of Bell Canada et al. and MTS responsible for payment on behalf of MTS Allstream, and leaves it to the members of the companies to determine the appropriate allocation of the costs among themselves.
Directions regarding costs
12. The Commission approves the application by MAC for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding.
13. Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to MAC at $66,802.22.
14. The Commission directs that the award of costs to MAC be paid forthwith by Bell Canada on behalf of Bell Canada et al., by TCC, by RCP, by MTS on behalf of MTS Allstream, by Videotron, by SaskTel, by EastLink, by Globalive, by Public Mobile, and by Mobilicity, according to the proportions set out in paragraph 10.
- Determination of costs award with respect to the participation of the Consumers Council of Canada in the proceeding leading to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-271, Telecom Order CRTC 2013-521, 27 September 2013
- The Wireless Code, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271, 3 June 2013
- Revision of CRTC costs award practices and procedures, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-963, 23 December 2010
- New procedure for Telecom costs awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-5, 7 November 2002
- 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
 TORs consist of Canadian telecommunications revenues from local and access, long distance, data, private line, Internet, and wireless services.
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