ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Lui Greco (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)

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Ottawa, 20 June 2016

Our Reference: 8657-C12-201505505 and 4754-519


Mr. Lui Greco
National Manager of Advocacy, Canadian National Institute for the Blind
15 Colonel Baker Place
Calgary, Alberta
T2E 4Z3

RE:     Application for costs award with respect to the participation of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-239, Review of the structure and mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc.

Dear Mr. Greco,

On 27 May 2016, the Commission received an application for costs from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) with respect to its participation in Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-239, Review of the structure and mandate of the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc. (the proceeding), which led to Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-106.

The purpose of this letter is to request additional information from CNIB regarding its application for costs.

  1. Division of Costs between Broadcasting and Telecommunications

    The proceeding related to both telecommunications and broadcasting issues. This is important to note as there are no provisions for awarding costs for work related to broadcasting matters under the Broadcasting Act. The Commission may only award costs related to telecommunications matters under the Telecommunications Act, however, parties are free to apply to the Broadcasting Participation Fund for the portion of their time dedicated to broadcasting matters in the proceeding.

    CNIB noted in its costs application that it was also submitting costs to the Broadcasting Participation Fund, but did not specify the division between broadcasting and telecommunications.

    The overall division of issues in a combined telecommunications and broadcasting proceeding does not necessarily translate into the amount of time that any specific costs applicant devotes to either telecommunications or broadcasting matters. It is only the individual costs applicant that knows the amount of time it spent on particular issues and whether these issues related to telecommunications or broadcasting matters.

    Accordingly, CNIB must demonstrate to the Commission what proportion of its costs related to telecommunications as opposed to broadcasting matters, including support as to how it determined the amount of time spent on telecommunications matters as opposed to broadcasting matters.

  2. Eligibility Criteria

    On 17 May 2016, the Commission issued Telecom Information Bulletin 2016-188, Guidance for costs award applicants regarding representation of a group or a class of subscribers. In this information bulletin, the Commission provided guidance on the type of information that will generally assist it in its consideration of the costs award eligibility criterion applicable to costs applicants who submit that they represent a group or a class of subscribers who have an interest in the outcome of the proceeding. This is set out as one of the three criteria for an award of final costs in section 68 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure).

    The Commission explained that a costs applicant should make submissions that clearly and specifically identify and describe the group or class of subscribers it purports to represent. The submissions in respect of this criterion should also explain the methods by which the costs applicant represents the group or class of subscribers; it should describe how it determined that the positions put forward reflect the interests of the group or class of subscribers it claims to represent.

    The Commission noted it would consider costs applications filed after 17 May 2016 in light of the general guidance set out within this information bulletin. Therefore, the Commission requests that CNIB make submissions that clearly and specifically describe the group it purports to represent and how it determined that its position put forward in the proceeding reflected the interests of that group or class of subscribers.

  3. Criteria for an Awards of Costs

    Pursuant to section 68(b) of the Rules of Procedure, when assessing costs applications, the Commission considers whether a costs applicant has contributed to a better understanding of the matters that were considered by the Commission. Accordingly, the Commission requests that CNIB elaborate on this criterion to explain how it has contributed to a better understanding of the matters considered in the proceeding.

Filing Information with the Commission

The requested information is to be filed with the Commission by 30 June 2016 (10 days). Any other interested party may file a response by 10 July 2016 (10 days). CNIB may reply to any comments no later than 20 July 2016 (10 days).  All filings are to be copied on all persons copied with this letter.

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (613) 697-4027 or or Alexander Ly at (613) 608-8368.

In the meantime, the Commission is currently continuing its review of this costs application.

Yours Sincerely,

Original signed by

Megan Maloney
Legal Counsel


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