How to claim telecommunications proceeding expenses

When you participate in a telecommunications proceeding, it may be possible for some of your expenses to be reimbursed; this is called applying for costs. We consider that active participation of individuals and groups that represent consumer interests often provide a valuable contribution to decisions. We also recognize that these individuals and groups may require financial assistance in order to effectively participate in such proceedings. Therefore, we award costs to facilitate the informed participation of these individuals and groups in telecommunications proceedings.

Rules and regulations about costs awards

We may award costs further to section 56 of the Telecommunications Act. The costs awards practices and procedures are set out in sections 60-70 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) and the Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs (the Guidelines). Previous costs awards determinations also provide guidance on practices and procedures.

Find more information in the Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs.

The CRTC does not accept applications for costs for participation in broadcasting proceedings. For broadcasting proceedings, parties may apply for reimbursement of costs with the Broadcasting Participation Fund (BPF).

In the case where both broadcasting and telecommunications matters are involved in a proceeding, we’ll administer only the costs related to the telecommunications portion of the proceeding. Parties may apply to the BPF with respect to the broadcasting portion.

On this page

Telecommunications proceedings: interim and final costs

There are two categories of costs that parties can apply for: interim costs and final costs. The costs awarded are not paid by the CRTC; they are generally paid by some or all of the telecommunications service providers that participate in the proceeding — in other words, phone, Internet, and wireless companies.

Interim Costs

Interim costs can be awarded in circumstances where individuals and groups do not have sufficient financial resources to participate effectively in a proceeding. Therefore, in their interim costs application, individuals and groups must demonstrate that they do not have sufficient financial resources to participate effectively in the proceeding.

When to apply for interim costs

You should submit your application as early as possible to allow for processing to occur in time for your participation in the proceeding.

Who is eligible for interim costs

Only individuals and groups that meet the following criteria will be eligible for interim costs:

Final Costs

Final costs are expenses that you claim after the proceeding has ended. These expenses include travel, accommodation, legal fees, expert witness fees, and consultant and analyst fees. If you were awarded any interim costs, you are required to file an application for final costs and you must provide an explanation of any difference between those interim costs and your final costs. Final costs are the most common type of costs awarded as part of a telecommunications proceeding.

When to apply for final costs

You must submit your application within 30 days of the last date to file documents in the proceeding (known as "close of record").

For example:

If the last day for filing documents in the proceeding is 17 May 2021,

The deadline for costs applications would be 16 June 2021.

Who is eligible for final costs

Only individuals and groups that meet the following criteria will be eligible for final costs:

Forms to complete to apply for costs

Select and complete the appropriate cost assessment forms and include them in your application. There are six forms in total (not all forms may be required, depending on the type of costs claimed). 

What to include in your costs application

Your application for costs must include the following:

How to file and serve your costs application

Your application for costs must be (i) filed with the CRTC and (ii) served on the other parties to the proceeding. Your application should be addressed to the Secretary General.

  1. To file a costs application with the CRTC, you have two options: 
    1. Submit with your “My CRTC Account” and a GCKey.
    2. Complete the question/complaint form and attach the application letter and all completed forms at step 4 then click “Yes, submit” at step 5.
  2. To serve other parties to the proceeding, the applicant must send the application to all parties to the proceeding. You can find out who the parties are to a telecommunications proceeding by going to the Telecom Proceedings and selecting the relevant proceeding in which you are applying for costs. Service may be done electronically.

Related links

Date modified: