Telecom - Commission letter addressed to Mr. Evan Kosiner (Philanthropolis)
Ottawa, 15 January 2021
Our reference: 1011-NOC2020-0124
Mr. Evan Kosiner
550 Eglinton Avenue West, #23-031
Toronto, Ontario, M5N 1B6
Re: Request for information with respect to the application for deferral account funding of Broadcast Advocacy Group/Philanthropolis in the proceeding initiated by Telecom and Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-124
In Telecom and Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-124-2 (NOC 2020-124-2), the Commission approved a proposal by Bell Canada to use the amount remaining in its deferral account to fund public interest and accessibility intervener participation in the present proceeding and, potentially, in a follow-up proceeding.
The Commission indicated that it would distribute these funds in a manner that closely resembles its general practices and procedures in respect of applications for final telecommunications costs awards, and provided directions to parties seeking to apply for a portion of the funds, which included the following:
15. … [P]arties to the proceeding that would like to request a share of the available funds are to file an application with the Commission within 30 days of the close of record, setting out an account of their costs incurred, along with a brief justification of the party’s eligibility. Eligibility for a share of these funds will be evaluated according to the criteria set out in section 68 of the Rules of Procedure, namely
- 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.
Broadcast Advocacy Group filed an intervention in the proceeding and, on 7 July 2020, filed forms setting out an account of its costs relating to its participation in the proceeding.
By letter dated 26 November 2020, Philanthropolis submitted that “the entity formerly known as Broadcast Advocacy Group…is now part of Philanthropolis, a registered charity”.
Before further consideration of the application may be undertaken, Philanthropolis is requested to provide the following information:
- Please address the matters identified by the Commission at paragraph 15 of NOC 2020-124-2 with respect to:
- whether Broadcast Advocacy Group had, or was a representative of a group or class of subscribers that had an interest in the proceedingFootnote1;
- the extent to which the Broadcast Advocacy Group assisted the Commission in developing a better understanding of the matters that were considered; and
- whether Broadcast Advocacy Group participated in the proceeding in a responsible way.
- Please explain how both the amounts claimed in consultant fees and for the preparation of the survey conducted by Google were necessarily and reasonably incurred by Philanthropolis in connection with its participation in the proceedingFootnote2 . Please further explain how Philanthropolis’s intervention is commensurate with the scope of the issues being considered in the proceeding.
- Please provide additional information regarding the transactions or other processes that led to Broadcast Advocacy Group becoming part of Philanthropolis and confirm whether this should impact the application in any further manner.
- In this regard, please also confirm whether Philanthropolis, as a registered charity, is entitled to a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rebate and, if so, provide your views on whether it remains appropriate for HST to be claimed in respect of fees.
- Please confirm the identity of the claimant for consultant fees, as the application forms are not consistent in this regard, indicating, at different places, that the claimant is both Mr. Kosiner and Kosiner Enterprise Holdings
- Please provide your views on whether it remains appropriate to claim fees in respect of the claimant at the external senior consultant rate of $225 per hour in lieu of the in-house consultant rate of $470/day, given that the record appears to indicate that Mr. Kosiner is both a Director of the applicant, Philanthropolis, as well as a consultant.Footnote3 Please provide further information regarding the claimant’s role as a consultant for the Broadcast Advocacy Group, including whether the claimant acts or has acted as a consultant for other groups or for the Broadcast Advocacy Group in other matters.
- Please explain any relationship between Mr. Kosiner, Kosiner Enterprise Holdings, Broadcast Advocacy Group and Philanthropolis other than those already set out on the record.
- Please verify and address the apparent discrepancy in the amounts claimed for Consultants and Analysts Fees in Form V and Form III. In Form V - Summary of Fees and Disbursements, the amount claimed by Philanthropolis for Consultants and Analysts Fees is $17,775.00. However, in Form III - Summary of Consultant and Analyst Fees, the total amount claimed for these fees is $17,339.85. Please confirm the actual amounts being claimed for consultant fees and for the application as a whole.
Philanthropolis is to file a response to the request for information by 22 January 2021. Should these matters not be addressed to the Commission’s satisfaction, it may be unable to determine eligibility for a share of the available funds or to determine the appropriateness of the amounts claimed.
A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the record of the proceeding.
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