ARCHIVED - Telecom Procedural Letter Addressed to Jonathan Blakey (Bell Canada) and David McComb (Edenshaw Developments Limited)
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Ottawa, 13 January 2015
Our reference: 8622-B2-201411256
19-160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2C4
President & CEO
Edenshaw Developments Limited
260 Brunel Rod
Mississauga, Ontario L4Z 1T5
RE: Bell Canada - Part 1 Application for access to the Edenshaw Homes Limited’s Chaz Yorkville multi-dwelling unit- Procedural requests from Edenshaw Homes Limited
On 16 December 2014, Edenshaw Homes Limited (Edenshaw) filed procedural requests regarding Bell Canada’s 9 December 2014 final reply comments submitted in the context of the above-identified Part 1 application. On 17 December 2014, Bell Canada filed its reply comments to these requests, followed by Edenshaw’s final reply on 19 December 2014.
In its application, Edenshaw requested the following:
(i) that Bell Canada be required to disclose certain information that it redacted from its final reply comments;
(ii) that Edenshaw be provided with a period of seven days from the date of a CRTC order to review and provide comments on the material filed for the first time by Bell Canada as a part of its final reply comments; and
(iii) that attachment 26 to Bell Canada's final reply comments be struck from the record since that attachment was explicitly stated to be "without prejudice" or
alternatively, that Edenshaw be permitted to comment on that attachment.
Requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential are addressed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) and sections 30 and following of the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure. In evaluating a request, an assessment is made as to whether the information falls into a category of information that can be designated confidential pursuant to section 39 of the Act. An assessment is then made as to whether there is any specific direct harm likely to result from the disclosure of the information in question and whether any such harm outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Factors considered as part of this evaluation are discussed in more detail in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961 Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings.
Commission staff notes that in its 17 December 2014 reply, Bell Canada argued that its claims for confidentiality were limited to specific financial and commercial proposals exchanged between itself and Edenshaw and to other information concerning Bell Canada’s negotiations with other entities. Bell Canada represented that such information was consistently treated by the company in a confidential manner and that its disclosure would provide competitors and builders with detailed information that would enable competitors to formulate specific, detailed responses which could prejudice the company in future MDU access negotiations.
Commission staff considers that some of the information designated as confidential by Bell Canada is information that is already publically available. As such, Commission staff does not consider that disclosure of this information as part of the current proceeding could reasonably be expected to prejudice Bell Canada’s competitive position or affect its contractual negotiations.
Commission staff considers that certain other information designated as confidential by Bell Canada are of a general nature and serve to further elucidate statements that the company has publically disclosed on the public record. With respect to such statements, staff similarly does not consider that their disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice Bell Canada’s competitive position or affect its contractual negotiations.
Commission staff further finds that without disclosure of some of the information in Bell Canada’s 9 December 2014 final reply comments, Edenshaw has no way to evaluate whether such information is accurate, relevant, or advances new arguments.
Accordingly, Commission staff considers the following with respect to Bell Canada’s 9 December 2014 final reply comments:
|Documents||Commission Staff’s View||Reasons|
|Paragraph 20||Information to be placed on public record||Information that is already publicly available.|
|Paragraph 21||The only section to be granted confidential treatment starts on the seventh line, immediately after, but not including, “...rights only”, up until, but not including “every building is unique .....”||The information to be place on the public record is of general nature. If disclosed, that information would not provide competitors with detailed information that would enable them to formulate specific, detailed responses which could prejudice Bell Canada in future MDU access negotiations
The remaining information designated as confidential relates either to Bell Canada’s interactions with specific entities or comprises commercially sensitive information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to prejudice Bell Canada’s competitive position and/or affect its future MDU access negotiations. The likely harm in disclosure that specific information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
|Paragraph 22||The only section to be granted confidential treatment starts on the second line, immediately after, but not including, “...was to”, up until, but not including “We only .....”
The names of any third parties in paragraph 22 are also to be granted confidential treatment.
|Paragraph 29||An un-redacted version of this paragraph should be provided to Edenshaw.||This information relates to negotiations between Bell Canada and Edenshaw, as well as public information about a third party.
While information relating to negotiations between parties is usually granted confidential treatment and not disclosed to the general public, Edenshaw should be given the opportunity to evaluate whether the information at paragraphs 29 and 32 is accurate.
|Paragraph 32||An un-redacted version of this paragraph should be provided to Edenshaw.|
|Paragraph 31||Information to be placed on public record.||Most of the information is already on the public record as it was included in Bell Canada’s 3 November 2014 Application.
As for the information that relates to Bell Canada’s interactions with an individual builder that may not already be publically disclosed, there is no basis for supporting the confidential designation of this information.
|Paragraphs 30 & 46||Information to be placed on public record.||Information that is already on the public record as is was included in Bell Canada’s 3 November 2014 Application.|
|Attachment 34||Only columns D and G are to be granted confidential treatment.||The information set out under columns D and G provides disaggregated data that can be traced back to negotiations with specific builders for access to specific buildings. Commission staff notes that paragraph 37 of Bell Canada’s 9 December 2014 reply comments sets out the information contained in these columns but in aggregated form. Commission staff considers that the disclosure of this aggregated information is sufficient to satisfy the public interest.
As for the rest of the document to be disclosed, Bell failed to demonstrate that the information would, if disclosed, provide competitors with detailed information that would enable them to formulate specific, detailed responses which could prejudice Bell Canada in future MDU access negotiations
|Paragraph 35||Information to be placed on public record||Some of the information is already publicly available, while the other is only aggregated information.|
|Paragraphs 36 & 37||Information to be placed on public record||Bell failed to demonstrate that the disclosure of this information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the company’s competitive position and/or affect its future MDU access negotiations and that the likely harm in disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure.|
Commission staff further considers that Edenshaw should be given the opportunity to comment on the substantial amount of supporting materials that Bell Canada filed in its final reply, including attachment 26.
In light of the forgoing, Bell Canada is to re-file with the Commission, by 14 January 2015, its 9 December 2014 final reply comments with paragraphs 20, 30, 31, 35, 36, 37 and 46 un-redacted.
Also un-redacted should be paragraph 21, except for the section starting on the seventh line, immediately after, but not including, “...rights only”, up until, but not including “every building is unique .....”, as well as paragraph 22, except for the section starting on the second line, immediately after, but not including, “...was to”, up until, but not including “We only .....”. Furthermore, the names of any third parties identified in paragraph 22 are to remain redacted. As for attachment 34, only columns D and G should be redacted.
Finally, an un-redacted version of paragraphs 29 and 32 of Bell Canada’s 9 December 2014 final reply comments is also to be provided to Edenshaw by the same date.
Edenshaw will have until 20 January 2015 to file comments in answer to the supporting materials filed by Bell Canada with its 9 December 2014 reply. Bell Canada will have 3 days following Edenshaw’s answer to the supporting materials filed by Bell Canada to file comments in reply to any answer provided by Edenshaw.
Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.
Original signed by
Director, Dispute Resolution
c.c.: Joel Fortune, Barrister & Solicitor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Dinsmore, Rogers Communications, email@example.com
Beanfield Technologies Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Jean-François Léger, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Friesen, MTS and Allstream Inc., email@example.com
Danny Moreau, CRTC, firstname.lastname@example.org
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