Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Maple Communications Group Inc.
Ottawa, 5 March 2018
Our Reference: 1011-NOC2017-0033 and 4754-582
DELIVERED BY EMAIL
Mr. Devin Currie
Chief Executive Officer
Maple Communications Group Inc.
118‐14088 Riverport Way
Richmond, BC V6W 0A7
RE: Application for costs award by Maple Communications Group Inc. with respect to its participation in Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-33 Review of the regulatory framework for text-based message relay services.
Dear Mr. Currie:
On 8 January 2018, Maple Communications Group Inc. (Maple) filed an application for final costs with respect to its participation in Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-33, Review of the regulatory framework for text-based message relay services (the proceeding).
On 12 January 2018, Telus Communications Inc. (TCI) filed an answer in response to Maple’s costs application. By letter dated 21 January 2018, Maple filed a reply to TCI’s answer.
The purpose of this letter is to notify other parties as well as to request additional information relating to Maple’s costs application. Commission staff therefore requests Maple to provide the following information:
- Service on Other Parties
Pursuant to section 66(3) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure), a costs applicant must serve the application on all other parties. It appears that your application may not have been served. By way of the present letter, therefore, all parties to the proceeding are provided with notice of the claim for costs, which is posted on the Commission’s website under the “Costs” link associated with the above-noted file number.
Pursuant to section 67 of the Rules of Procedure, potential costs respondents have ten days from the date the application is filed to file an answer to the application. In order to give potential costs respondents a fair opportunity to respond to the application and the additional information you will provide, the period for filing a response is extended until 26 March 2018(10 days). Maple may reply to any comments no later than 5 April 2018 (10 days). All filings are to be copied on all persons copied with this letter.
- Criteria for an Award of Final Costs
As mentioned in Commission staff letter addressed to Maple on 13 December 2017, the Commission exceptionally grants costs awards to for-profit organizations and the threshold to meet the award of final costs criteria is high.
Pursuant to section 68 of the Rules of Procedure, the Commission determines whether to award final costs on the basis of the following criteria:
- whether the applicant had, or was the representative of a group or a class of subscribers that had, an interest in the outcome of the proceeding;
- the extent to which the applicant assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered; and
- whether the applicant participated in the proceeding in a responsible way.
Accordingly, please provide detailed submissions as to how the applicant meets each one of the three criteria for an award of costs.
Particularly in reference to section 68(a) of the Rules of Procedure, in its letter dated 21 January 2018, Maple submitted that it is “a Deaf-owned-and-operated company that interacts with the Deaf community on a grassroots level” and that it “was established by the Deaf community, for the Deaf community, and remains fully invested in the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing community’s interests.” Commission staff requests that Maple provides detailed examples and evidence to support these claims as well as an explanation of how these claims demonstrate that Maple had, or was the representative of a group or a class of subscribers that had, an interest in the outcome of the proceeding.
In making submissions in relation to Rule 68(a), Commission staff requests that Maple clearly and specifically describe the group it purports to represent and how it determined that the position put forward in the proceeding reflected the interests of that group or class of subscribers, consistent with the guidance issued by the Commission in Telecom Information Bulletin 2016-188, Guidance for costs award applicants regarding representation of a group or a class of subscribers.
In reference to section 68(b) of the Rules of Procedure, in its letter dated 21 January 2018, Maple submitted that its “assessments and considerations have added value to CRTC’s proceedings.” Commission staff requests that Maple provides detailed examples to support this claim.
- Appropriate Costs Respondent(s)
Pursuant to section 66(1)(b) of the Rules of Procedure, applicants must identify the respondents that should pay the costs. Commission staff requests that Maple make submissions on the appropriate costs respondent(s).
- Cost’s Form III
As part of the application filed, Maple filed one Form III, for Devin Currie in his role as in-house consultant. Commission staff notes that the total time claimed in Form III states 4.5 days, however, the addition of all the time claimed results in 6 days, which corresponds with the total amount claimed at the daily rate of $470 ($2,820 in total). Please clarify the total number of days claimed.
- Form IV and Exhibit A
Maple is claiming a disbursement as part of its costs application (a third-party expense billed to Maple). According to the Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs (the Guidelines), as set out in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2010-963, the applicant must file a notarized affidavit of disbursements in Form IV, including a summary statement of disbursements as Exhibit A.
Although Maple filed one Exhibit A as part of its application, this document includes the in-house consultant fees for Devin Currie – which is not a disbursement but a fee (the appropriate form for consultant fees is Form III). Commission staff requests that Maple provides a revised Exhibit A, which should only include the disbursement.
- Cost’s Form V
According to the Guidelines, an applicant shall file a summary of the total fees and disbursements claimed as prescribed in Form V. Commission staff requests that Maple provide a completed Form V.
Filing Information with the Commission
The information requested above is to be filed with the Commission by 15 March 2018 (10 days).
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 (819) 639-4716 or email@example.com.
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