ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter addressed to David Marshall (Duxbury Law Professional Corporation) and Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

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Ottawa, 24 July 2015

Our reference:  8690-C210-201409219


Mr. David Marshall
Duxbury Law Professional Corporation
500 – 1 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario  L8P 1A4

Mr. Philippe Gauvin
Bell Canada
Senior Counsel – Regulatory Law and Policy
Floor 19, 160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K2P 2C4

Re: An application made on behalf of the City of Hamilton with respect to the establishment of a Municipal Access Agreement between the City and Bell Canada and associated matters – Commission determination regarding a procedural request

Dear Sirs,

This decision addresses a procedural request from the City of Hamilton (the City), as part of the above-referenced application, regarding Bell Canada’s responses to interrogatories.

In its 23 June 2015 responses to interrogatories issued on 2 June 2015, Bell Canada answered the questions that were addressed to it, while also submitting additional responses, commentaries and analysisFootnote 1

In a letter dated 30 June 2015, Commission staff indicated that notwithstanding the procedural irregularities associated with Bell Canada’s additional submissions, the City should be given the opportunity to make submissions going to the substance of the additional responses, commentaries and analysis made by Bell Canada.

In its procedural request to the Commission dated 3 July 2015, the City submitted, among other things, that Bell Canada’s introduction of new matters during the interrogatories raises significant issues of procedural fairness and natural justice.
The City therefore requested the following:

In response to the City’s request, Bell Canada denied that the additional submissions were new documents.  It further argued that given that its responses to the interrogatories directly address matters raised by the City in its Application, Bell Canada does not believe that there is any substantive harm that could prejudice the City's position in the current proceeding if the information is allowed to remain on the record. Bell Canada also argued that this information would assist the Commission with a comprehensive understanding of the matters on which it is being asked to make determinations.

Commission determination

Bell Canada’s decision to submit, as part of its response to the interrogatories, additional responses, commentaries and analysis, is procedurally irregular. The  additional submissions were beyond the scope of the questions asked by staff as part of the interrogatories and could, and should, have been submitted as part of the company’s 5 March 2015 Answer to the City’s Application. The Commission finds that the approach taken is highly inappropriate as it is essentially splitting its submissions into two parts, thereby causing the process to be unnecessarily extended. Further, Bell Canada is a sophisticated party, who is very familiar with the Commission’s regulatory processes.

The Commission is not persuaded that the additional documents are critical to its proper analysis of the file, including its understanding of Bell Canada’s position. This view is buttressed by Bell Canada’s statement that the additional documents were not new information.

Should it be determined, during the analysis phase of the Application, that specific clarifications are required from either party, further interrogatories will be issued by the Commission.

In light of the above, all portions of Bell Canada’s 23 June 2015 response to the interrogatories that did not answer specific questions addressed to it in the interrogatories, specifically Attachments “B” and “C” and portions of Attachment “A” of Bell Canada’s response to the interrogatories, are struck from the record of this proceeding and, hence, will not be considered by the Commission.


Original signed by Luc Bégin for/

John Traversy
Secretary General

Footnote 1

Bell Canada submitted three documents. Attachment “A” included answers to each interrogatory questions as well as it comments on the remaining clauses of the City's proposed MAA. Attachment “B” was Bell Canada’s proposed MAA.  Attachment “C” was a table that sets out each clause contained in Attachment “B”, with a cross-reference to the equivalent clause in the City's proposed MAA.  It also included a blank column for the City to provide its views on the proposed clause.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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