Telecom and Broadcasting Commission letter addressed to John Lawford (Public Interest Advocacy Centre)

Ottawa, 27 July 2018

Our reference: 1011-NOC2018-0246

BY EMAIL

Mr. John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
jlawford@piac.ca

Re: Telecom and Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2018-246, Notice of Hearing, Report regarding the retail sales practices of Canada’s large   telecommunications carriers, Procedural Request of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre to clarify privilege for current and former employees of Major TSPs – Response to Procedural Request

Dear Mr. Lawford:

On 6 June 2018, the Governor in Council issued an Order in Council pursuant to the Telecommunications Act (the Act) directing the Commission to make a report on the retail sales practices of Canada’s large telecommunications carriers. The Order in Council stated that the employees of Canada’s large telecommunications carriers and the third parties who offer the telecommunications services of those carriers for sale (collectively, the service providers) are to be among the important sources of information to be considered in evaluating the retail sales practices of those carriers.

On 16 July 2018, the Commission issued Telecom and Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2018-246 (the Notice), which launched a public consultation seeking comments on any misleading or aggressive retail sales practices by the service providers and potential solutions to address these practices. The public consultation uses a variety of means to obtain input from Canadians, including from consumers, employees of the service providers, and persons who may be vulnerable due to their age, a disability or a language barrier.

On 17 July 2018, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) filed a procedural request asking that the Commission amend the procedures in the Notice, citing potential confidentiality concerns regarding current and former employees of the service providers who may wish to provide evidence in the context of this proceeding. On 24 July 2018, Telus responded to PIAC’s procedural request by asking that the Commission deny PIAC’s request as Parliament had provided a remedy under the Act and because PIAC’s proposals would unlawfully fetter the Commission’s discretion.

Commission staff notes that Commission proceedings allow parties, including members of the public, to provide input so that the Commission can make better, more informed decisions. To ensure an open and transparent process, information submitted to the Commission in its proceedings is generally made public.

Submissions in response to the Notice are being reviewed on an ongoing basis by Commission staff in order to identify confidentiality or related issues facing those employees who wish to participate in this proceeding. Other measures are also available to the Commission, such as ordering that a public hearing be held in part in camera. These measures are available, if required, to address any party’s specific concern arising from submitting information on the public record of this proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

ORIGINAL SIGNED BY Noah Moser for/

Scott Shortliffe
Chief Consumer Officer and Executive Director
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy

cc: Distribution list
Bell Canada
Bragg Communications Incorporated, carrying on business as Eastlink
Cogeco Connexion Inc.
Northwestel Inc.
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications
Shaw Communications Inc.
TBayTel
TekSavvy Solutions Inc.
TELUS Communications Inc.
Videotron Ltd.
Xplornet Communications Inc.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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