Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List
Ottawa, 17 November 2020
Our reference: 8690-R28-202006353
Mr. Kevin Contzen
Legal Counsel, Ministry of Attorney General
Province of British Columbia
Mr. Paul Cowling
SVP, General Counsel and Regulatory Affairs
Shaw Cablesystems G.P.
Ms. Pamela Dinsmore
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
Mr. Stephen Schmidt
Vice-President – Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Telecom Policy & Regulatory Affairs
RE: Part 1 Application by Rogers Communications Canada Inc. and Shaw Cablesystems G.P. for compensation for costs of relocating lines located on, over, under or along British Columbia highways - Request for disclosure of information designated as confidential
Dear Mr. Contzen, Ms. Dinsmore, Mr. Cowling, and Mr. Schmidt:
This letter addresses a request for disclosure of information designated as confidential made in the proceeding associated with CRTC file number 8690-R28-202006353.
In a letter dated 16 October 2020, the Province of British Columbia, as represented by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (the Province), requested disclosure of information for which confidentiality had been claimed by Rogers Communications Canada Inc. and Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Rogers and Shaw, collectively the Applicants) in their Application.
In a letter dated 20 October 2020, the Applicants opposed the Province’s request.
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 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission 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 and whether any such harm outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
In making this evaluation, a number of factors are taken into consideration and are discussed in more detail in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, as amended by Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961-1.
In the circumstances of this case, Commission staff considered, among other relevant considerations, whether disclosure of the information would meaningfully benefit public participation, the degree to which the information had been aggregated, and the competitive sensitivity of the information itself.
Commission staff considers that the Applicants are not required to disclose the information on the public record, for the following reasons:
- The information falls into a category for which confidentiality can be claimed; specifically, disclosure of the information on the public record (including the aggregated amounts redacted from paragraphs 5, 35 and 64 in the body of the abridged version of the Application) can reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of the Applicants. The fact that both Rogers and Shaw filed individual confidential and abridged versions with the Commission, so as not to disclose their respective relocation costs to each other as well as on the public record, speaks to the Applicants’ concerns regarding the specific, direct harm that they could incur if the information were to be disclosed.
- It is not necessary for the Province to have knowledge of the cost amounts redacted from the abridged version of the Application in order to formulate a complete answer, as the dollar amount of expenses (regardless of whether they are expressed in aggregated or in disaggregated form) incurred by the Applicants due to relocations initiated by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is not determinative of the issue in this proceeding. Commission staff considers that the issue is whether the Applicants should be compensated by the Province for any expenses incurred (i.e. regardless of the amounts involved) for relocating their transmission lines due to MOTI-initiated relocations and, if so, what method should be utilized to determine the portion of the Applicant’s expenses for which they should be compensated.
Regarding the Province’s alternative request that the Applicants’ cost amounts be disclosed only to the Province, staff considers that selective disclosure of the information would also not be in the public interest. Additionally, selectively disclosing this information to the Province is not necessary for the Province to formulate a complete answer.
Therefore, the Applicants are not required to disclose the information on the public record, nor are they required to disclose the information only to the Province; the information originally designated as confidential may remain confidential.
Original Signed by
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Rudy Rab, CRTC, email@example.com
- Date modified: