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Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages

Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.

In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.

However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE

             THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND

               TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

 

 

 

 

             TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT

              LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION

           ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES

 

 

                      SUBJECT / SUJET:

 

 

 

Proceeding to consider the organization and mandate of the

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services /

Instance portant sur l'examen de la structure et du mandat

du Commissaire des plaintes relativement aux services

de télécommunications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HELD AT:                              TENUE À:

 

Conference Centre                     Centre de conférences

Outaouais Room                        Salle Outaouais

140 Promenade du Portage              140, Promenade du Portage

Gatineau, Quebec                      Gatineau (Québec)

 

November 14, 2007                     Le 14 novembre 2007

 


 

 

 

 

Transcripts

 

In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages

Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be

bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members

and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of

Contents.

 

However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded

verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in

either of the official languages, depending on the language

spoken by the participant at the public hearing.

 

 

 

 

Transcription

 

Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues

officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront

bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des

membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience

publique ainsi que la table des matières.

 

Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu

textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée

et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues

officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le

participant à l'audience publique.


               Canadian Radio‑television and

               Telecommunications Commission

 

            Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des

               télécommunications canadiennes

 

 

                 Transcript / Transcription

 

 

 

Proceeding to consider the organization and mandate of the

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services /

Instance portant sur l'examen de la structure et du mandat

du Commissaire des plaintes relativement aux services

de télécommunications

 

 

 

 

 

BEFORE / DEVANT:

 

Konrad von Finckenstein           Chairperson / Président

Len Katz                          Commissioner / Conseiller

Michel Morin                      Commissioner / Conseiller

 

 

 

 

ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:

 

Chantal Boulet                    Secretary / Secrétaire

Philippe Kent                     Staff Team Leader /

Chef d'équipe du personnel

Lori Pope                         Legal Counsel /

Anthony McIntyre                  Conseillers juridiques

 

 

 

 

HELD AT:                          TENUE À:

 

Conference Centre                 Centre de conférences

Outaouais Room                    Salle Outaouais

140 Promenade du Portage          140, Promenade du Portage

Gatineau, Quebec                  Gatineau (Québec)

 

November 14, 2007                 Le 14 novembre 2007

 


- iv -

 

           TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

                                                 PAGE / PARA

 

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

CCTS Members                                        5 /   29

Interim CCTS Commissioner McKendry                21 /  117

CIPPIC                                            147 /  755

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council              185 /  945

Consumers Council of Canada and the               214 / 1091

  National Anti-Povery Organization

Canadian Cable Systems Alliance                   242 / 1213

 

 

 

 


- v -

 

              EXHIBITS / PIÈCES JUSTIFICATIVES

 

 

No.                                              PAGE / PARA

 

CRTC-1        Chart representing the              84 /  414

nomination process

 

 

 

 

 

 


                  Gatineau, Quebec / Gatineau, Québec

‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    at 0935 / L'audience débute le mercredi 14

    novembre 2007 à 0935

LISTNUM 1 \l 11                THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, Madame Boulet.

LISTNUM 1 \l 12                LA SECRÉTAIRE : Bonjour, Monsieur le Président.  Bonjour à tous.

LISTNUM 1 \l 13                Mr. Chairman, did you want to proceed with your remarks before I start with mine?

LISTNUM 1 \l 14                THE CHAIRPERSON:  I am supposed to have opening remarks but I can't find them right now.

LISTNUM 1 \l 15                Basically, this is a hearing of the CCTS, as you know.  By order in council the Minister asked the industry to set it up and the industry has responded and the hearing here is now to verify and see whether what you have put together actually meets the requirements of the Commission.

LISTNUM 1 \l 16                I am assisted today by Len Katz, the Vice‑President Telecom, and Michel Morin, National Commissioner.


LISTNUM 1 \l 17                Really, this hearing will focus on the following matter, whether membership in the consumer industry should be mandatory for all telecommunication service providers, whether the consumer industry's proposed government sector ensures its independence from the telecommunications industry and whether the consumer agency's proposed mandate is appropriate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 18                That is really all I have to say.

LISTNUM 1 \l 19                Madame Boulet, I turn it over to you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 110               LA SECRÉTAIRE : Merci, Monsieur le Président.

LISTNUM 1 \l 111               Bonjour à tous.

LISTNUM 1 \l 112               First, I would ask when you are in the hearing room to please turn off your BlackBerrys and your cell phones.  We would appreciate your cooperation throughout this hearing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 113               Please note that the Commission members may ask questions in either English or French.  You can obtain interpretation receivers from the commissionaire sitting at the entrance of the conference centre.

LISTNUM 1 \l 114               Le service d'interprétation simultanée est disponible durant cette audience.  L'interprétation anglaise se trouve au canal 1, et l'interprétation française au canal 2.


LISTNUM 1 \l 115               We expect the hearing to be completed within the next two days.  We will begin at 9:30 again tomorrow morning and adjourn each afternoon at approximately 4:30.  We will take an hour for lunch and a break in the morning and in the afternoon.

LISTNUM 1 \l 116               All submissions heard at this public hearing will be transcribed and will form part of the public record of this proceeding.

LISTNUM 1 \l 117               Please note that the full transcript of this hearing will be made available on the Commission's website shortly after the conclusion of the hearing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 118               Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of the transcript may speak to the court reporter or the company Mediacopy.

LISTNUM 1 \l 119               Pendant toute la durée de l'audience, vous pourrez consulter les documents qui font partie du dossier public pour cette consultation dans la salle d'examen qui se trouve dans la Salle Papineau, à l'extérieur de la salle d'audience, à votre droite.

LISTNUM 1 \l 120               Any parties wishing to apply for an award of costs should file a request on or before January 7th, 2008, copying all other parties, and parties should reply by January 14, 2008.  In doing so, parties are encouraged to identify the specific amount of costs for which they wish to apply and to file with the Commission all information necessary for the Commission to fix costs.


LISTNUM 1 \l 121               We will now proceed with the presentations in the order of appearance set out in Schedule A of the letter dated October 26 on the organization and conduct of this consultation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 122               Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances ARCH Disability Law Centre will make their presentation via videoconference at the end of the day today.

LISTNUM 1 \l 123               Copies of the revised order of appearance are available at the back of the room and the information is also posted on our website.

LISTNUM 1 \l 124               Each party will be granted 20 minutes for their presentation.  Questions from the Commission will follow the presentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 125               Parties are reminded that copies of their oral presentation are being provided for convenience only and do not form part of the public record of this proceeding.

LISTNUM 1 \l 126               I would now invite the representative of the CCTS Members to make their presentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 127               Please introduce yourself for the record and then you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 128               I believe, Mr. Bibic, you will be starting the presentation.  Please go ahead.


PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

LISTNUM 1 \l 129               M. BIBIC : Bonjour, Monsieur le Président, conseillers.

LISTNUM 1 \l 130               Je m'appelle Mirko Bibic, et je suis le chef des Affaires réglementaires chez Bell Canada.

LISTNUM 1 \l 131               Mes collègues et moi représentons les fournisseurs de services de télécommunication membres du CPRST, Commissaire des plaintes relativement aux services de télécommunications.

LISTNUM 1 \l 132               Nous sommes très heureux de pouvoir vous parler du service de règlement des plaintes que nous avons créé ensemble en réponse au décret du 4 avril 2007.

LISTNUM 1 \l 133               Après avoir présenté les membres de notre panel et formulé des observations d'ordre général sur les exigences du décret, je passerai la parole à Dennis Béland de Quebecor Media qui discutera de certains enjeux spécifiques de cette instance.

LISTNUM 1 \l 134               With me this morning, as mentioned, Dennis Béland, Director, Regulatory Affairs, at the extreme right, for Quebecor Media.

LISTNUM 1 \l 135               To my right, I have Bill Abbott, Senior Counsel, Regulatory Affairs for Bell Canada.


LISTNUM 1 \l 136               To my left, Willie Grieve, Vice‑President, Telecom Policy and Regulatory Affairs for TELUS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 137               To Willie's left, Craig McTaggart, Director, Regulatory Affairs, TELUS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 138               And to the extreme left, Jennifer Crowe, Counsel, Regulatory Affairs for MTS Allstream.

LISTNUM 1 \l 139               Our colleague Joe Parent from Vonage Canada had previously been identified as a member of our representative panel but was unfortunately unable to join us today.

LISTNUM 1 \l 140               Seated in the row behind me, we have David McKendry, Interim Commissioner, CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 141               To David's right, we have Peter Paul, a Bell Canada employee seconded to CCTS as its Interim Executive Director until a permanent commissioner is appointed.

LISTNUM 1 \l 142               And to David's left, we have Scott Fletcher of Gowling Lafleur Henderson, Counsel to CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 143               Mr. McKendry is not part of the Members' panel per se but rather is here to speak to the current operations of CCTS and also to share his experience as the former Ombudsman for Long Distance Telecommunications Services.


LISTNUM 1 \l 144               While Mr. McKendry functions independently of the Members in his role as Interim Commissioner, we felt it would be most efficient if he were to make himself available to the Commission for questioning at the same time as this panel.

LISTNUM 1 \l 145               Mr. Paul and Mr. Fletcher are also not formally part of the Members' panel but rather are here to support Mr. McKendry and the rest of us as necessary.

LISTNUM 1 \l 146               Mes collègues et moi, nous présentons devant vous, au nom du collectif des Membres du CPRST.

LISTNUM 1 \l 147               Le nombre d'entreprises membres est récemment passé à 13, car NorthwestTel et Télébec ont récemment accepté de se joindre à Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Bragg Communications, Cogeco, MTS Allstream, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Vidéotron, Virgin Mobile Canada et Vonage Canada.

LISTNUM 1 \l 148               Nous sommes extrêmement fiers de cette réalisation car nous avons créé le CPRST à partir de rien, en moins de cinq mois, en réponse à la demande que la Gouverneur en conseil a faite à l'industrie de créer un organisme indépendant qui aurait le mandat de régler les plaintes faites par les particuliers et les petites entreprises de détail.  De l'avis des Membres, le CPRST respecte toutes les exigences du décret.

LISTNUM 1 \l 149               Mr. Chairman, I want to spend a moment on the order in council in itself and the kind of body that it requires.


LISTNUM 1 \l 150               Most obviously, the Members note that the primary requirement of the OIC is for the Commission to make a report once per year regarding complaints that it receives from individual and small business retail customers regarding services provided by TSPs until it approves a body established by industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 151               In the preamble clauses, the Governor in council describes the attributes of an independent industry‑created complaints resolution body that was viewed as an integral component of a deregulated telecom market.

LISTNUM 1 \l 152               The link between the preamble and the operative clause in the OIC is that the Commission is to continue to make reports until such time as a consumer agency has been established by industry and approved by this Commission.

LISTNUM 1 \l 153               The task facing the Commission in this proceeding is to therefore determine whether to approve the CCTS' structure and mandate and consequently not to make any such reports.


LISTNUM 1 \l 154               In the Members' view, the OIC sets out the government's expectation that the industry will establish and fund an independent dispute resolution mechanism.  It did not dictate the specific characteristics of the dispute resolution mechanism nor did it direct the Commission to do so or to micromanage its attributes and operations.

LISTNUM 1 \l 155               Consistent with the Governor in council's view that the Commission should rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible as the means of achieving the Telecom Policy objectives and that when relying on regulation the Commission should use measures that are efficient and proportionate to their purpose and that interfere with the operation of competitive market forces to the minimum extent necessary, the Governor in council entrusted the task of defining the features of the dispute resolution mechanism to the industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 156               Some parties appear to have misconstrued the nature of the proceeding and offer their views as to the ideal design of a comprehensive self‑regulatory body of a kind that could only be created or mandated by statute.  The OIC describes a more focused industry‑established body and that is what we have created.

LISTNUM 1 \l 157               It is important to start from the understanding that the OIC does not establish a statutory body, regulator or policy‑maker.  Rather, it calls for an independent complaints‑resolution body.


LISTNUM 1 \l 158               The Governor in council's reference to deregulated telecom markets is also significant.  It highlights the fact that the services in question are forborne services already determined by the Commission to be subject to competitive forces that are sufficient to protect the interests of users.

LISTNUM 1 \l 159               In the Members' view, the Governor in council conceived of this service as part of a competitive marketplace, not a substitute for it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 160               The CCTS is a valuable new avenue of recourse for consumers and small businesses with respect to unresolved complaints.  Funded entirely by the industry and operated without charge to complainants, it has been designed to be independent, impartial, accessible and an efficient alternative to the courts for individuals and small business customers.

LISTNUM 1 \l 161               It is emphatically not a substitute for the courts nor for the operation of market forces which will continue to protect users.

LISTNUM 1 \l 162               Under the mechanism designed by the Members, if attempts to resolve a complaint through a direct communication between a complainant and a TSP have proven unsuccessful, then the CCTS is available to facilitate resolution of the complaint.


LISTNUM 1 \l 163               If the Commissioner is not successful in bringing the parties to an agreed upon outcome, then the Commissioner has been empowered, first, to recommend a solution to the complaint.

LISTNUM 1 \l 164               If the parties are unable to agree regarding the recommendation, the Members have also given the Commissioner the ability to render a decision that is binding on the TSP in question if the complainant accepts it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 165               TSP Members agree as a condition of membership to abide by such decisions from which they have no right of appeal and which are made public.

LISTNUM 1 \l 166               Je demanderais maintenant à Dennis Béland de parler de certains enjeux précis qui, de l'avis du Conseil, lui serviront à déterminer si la structure et le mandat du CPRST respectent les exigences du décret.

LISTNUM 1 \l 167               Dennis.

LISTNUM 1 \l 168               M. BÉLAND : Merci, Mirko.

LISTNUM 1 \l 169               Dans une lettre datée du 17 octobre 2007, le personnel du Conseil a demandé aux parties de structurer leurs soumissions selon certaines voies.  C'est ce que je vais faire, en offrant la position des Membres sur plusieurs des enjeux que le personnel a mentionnés.


LISTNUM 1 \l 170               D'abord, les Membres.

LISTNUM 1 \l 171               Comme les Membres l'ont indiqué dans leurs commentaires écrits du 1er octobre 2007, nous ne croyons pas qu'il faille imposer l'adhésion au CPRST.  Même si nous voyons des avantages à ce que la totalité ou la quasi‑totalité des FST en fasse partie, les Membres croient que dans un marché concurrentiel, la décision de se joindre au CPRST devrait revenir à chaque FST.

LISTNUM 1 \l 172               Les Membres ont estimé qu'il était intéressant pour eux d'adhérer au CPRST et de donner à leurs clients particuliers et petites entreprises de détail l'accès au service de règlement des plaintes qu'il fourni.  Certains FST peuvent avoir leur raison de ne pas devenir membre, et les Membres considèrent que cette différence dans les offres des fournisseurs est une des marques d'un marché concurrentiel.

LISTNUM 1 \l 173               Les Membres font observer qu'ils sont 13 des plus grands FST au Canada, et que, ensemble, ils desservent la vaste majorité des clients de résidence et des petites entreprises de détail au pays.  Par conséquent, les intérêts de la plupart des clients sont déjà protégés sans qu'il soit nécessaire d'imposer l'adhésion au CPRST.

LISTNUM 1 \l 174               Le financement.


LISTNUM 1 \l 175               Concernant la structure de financement, les Membres ont pris soin de créer un modèle qui pourrait accommoder un nombre indéterminé de FST de toute taille.

LISTNUM 1 \l 176               Les Membres comprennent que les groupes qui représentent les petits FST se préoccupent du fait que les frais d'adhésion non‑récurrents proposés seraient trop élevés pour de très petits fournisseurs de services.

LISTNUM 1 \l 177               Les Membres ont l'intention de consulter ces groupes en vue d'établir des catégories à frais moins élevés pour encourage l'adhésion des petits fournisseurs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 178               Les Membres fourniront les détails de cette nouvelle structure de frais dans leur réplique écrite du 23 novembre 2007, mais ils envisagent de ramener les frais non‑récurrents les moins élevés à $1 000.

LISTNUM 1 \l 179               Next, governance structure.  The working group that put together the CCTS made the CCTS's independence from the industry their guiding principle.


LISTNUM 1 \l 180               In their comments to the Commission, some parties have alleged that the CCTS lacks the independence required by the Order in Council.  These comments, however, are focused almost entirely upon the composition of the CCTS's board of directors and not on the CCTS's complaints resolution procedures.

LISTNUM 1 \l 181               In the members' view, those comments are misguided.  The raison d'être of the CCTS is the resolution of complaints, which will be performed by a commissioner who is completely independent of the industry and of any other groups or interests.  It is useful to recall that the directors are barred from having any involvement in or any exposure whatsoever to the resolution of individual complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 182               Industry directors constitute a minority on the board and can thus be outvoted by the independent directors on most matters that come before the board.

LISTNUM 1 \l 183               Further, detailed oversight of a number of matters has been delegated to a committee comprised solely of the independent directors.  I want to emphasize that the provisional board plays no role in the selection of the initial independent directors.


LISTNUM 1 \l 184               The CCTS's by‑laws provide that the three initial independent directors are to be recruited by an independent ad hoc nominating committee operating at arm's length from the provisional board.  The ad hoc nominating committee is comprised of three highly respected Canadians with no ties to the telecommunications industry:  Denis Desautels, Al Hatton and David Zussman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 185               More information about this committee and its work can be found in a letter filed by the members yesterday.

LISTNUM 1 \l 186               The provisional board must appoint the three candidates whom the nominating committee recommends.  It has no discretion in the matter.  Thereafter, the group of independent directors will be self‑perpetuating.  The provisional board will step down as soon as possible after the CCTS is approved and its permanent board is in place.

LISTNUM 1 \l 187               To ensure accountability in relation to funding, the members have, in a completely transparent way, reserved certain protections for those entities that fund the CCTS with respect to the narrow range of fundamental corporal and financial matters.  As an independent organization that the members by definition cannot control, yet must fund, it is entirely reasonable for the CCTS's governance structure to contain such protections.


LISTNUM 1 \l 188               The measures contained in the CCTS's constating documents that ensure financial and management discipline on the part of the CCTS are not inconsistent with the independence of the commissioner in all matters related to complaint resolution.

LISTNUM 1 \l 189               Mandate.  Turning to the CCTS's mandate, considerable effort was devoted by the members to define the services that are in and out of scope.  In setting out the CCTS's mandate, the members focused on the Order in Council's request for a complaint resolution mechanism in relation to forborne retail telecommunications services.  Until the Commission forbears, it should continue to handle the adjudication of complaints relating to regulated services and conditions of service.

LISTNUM 1 \l 190               Similarly, only retail services are in scope, and complaints by TSPs against other TSPs should not be entertained.

LISTNUM 1 \l 191               Third, the service in question must be a telecommunications service.

LISTNUM 1 \l 192               Finally, complaints relating to the sale or provision of equipment are not in the scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 193               Le Conseil a déjà demandé aux Membres et aux autres parties s'ils étaient d'avis que le CPRST devrait traiter les plaintes liées aux services réglementés et aux règles sur les télécommunications non sollicitées.


LISTNUM 1 \l 194               Pour ce qui touche le traitement par le CPRST des plaintes liées aux services réglementés, au‑delà du risque évident de chevauchement des compétences, les Membres considèrent qu'en élargissant le mandat du CPRST, on dépasserait les intentions du décret.

LISTNUM 1 \l 195               Quant aux plaintes liées aux règles sur les télécommunications non sollicitées ou le télémarketing, les Membres font observer qu'aucune partie n'a appuyé l'idée que le CPRST fasse enquête sur ce type de plainte.

LISTNUM 1 \l 196               Franchement, les Membres ne comprennent pas comment les plaintes concernant le télémarketing pourraient être traitées par une agence du secteur des télécommunications, ni pourquoi elles devraient l'être.  Ce sont des secteurs entièrement différents, et les entreprises qui verseraient des frais ne seraient pas du tout les mêmes.  Une agence hybride serait très difficile à concevoir, surtout à cette étape de l'évolution du CPRST.

LISTNUM 1 \l 197               Je termine ici, et je passerai la parole à Mirko pour la conclusion.

LISTNUM 1 \l 198               MR. BIBIC:  Thank you, Dennis.


LISTNUM 1 \l 199               The members would like to conclude by reiterating their view that the issue before the Commission in this proceeding is whether the CCTS meets the requirements of the Order in Council.  We believe it does, and that the Commission should approve its structure and mandate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1100              It is our view that modifications should only be required to the extent aspects of the CCTS do not conform with the requirements of the OIC.  The members took great care to design the CCTS to meet the Governor in Council's explicit expectations and conducted consultations with stakeholders along the way to make sure they had the complete picture.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1101              Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, it is frankly remarkable that 13 of the country's largest TSPs have been able to come together so quickly and amicably to create something powerful for their customers.  As I mentioned at the start, the members are proud of the hard work put in by our employees and team members in creating the CCTS in a very short time frame and doing so openly, in consultation with many TSPs and other stakeholders.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1102              The benefits of this approach have been obvious.  We now have up to 13 members.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1103              Consultations resulted in accommodating several suggestions from consumer groups and the CRTC was kept apprised of developments each step of the way.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1104              The members urge the Commission to let the CCTS continue to develop as a voluntary body without responsibility for complaints related to regulated services or telemarketing.  In the members' view, that model is the one that is most consistent with the requirement and the policy direction requiring the Commission to rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1105              Thank you for this opportunity to present our position.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1106              Before we move to answering questions, I would like to ask CCTS's interim Commissioner, David McKendry, to provide a very brief report on how the CCTS's first three months of operations have gone.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1107              MR. LAWFORD:  Mr. Chairman, I would like to object.  It is John Lawford from the Consumer Groups.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1108              We just note that the interim Commissioner is not a party to this proceeding, and we had no advance notice that he would be making a statement here today.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1109              You can certainly ask him questions, if you wish, and you can certainly let him make a statement if you wish, but that is our objection.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1110              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I asked for Mr. McKendry to be here because I want to hear from him firsthand how the CCTS operation is running so far and what his experience has been.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1111              As you know, he was Commissioner and long distance ombudsman, so it is very relevant experience, and I think it will benefit all parties to understand.  That is what he is here for, to tell us what his experience has been so far.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1112              We have something provisionally operational.  I want to know how it functions.  This would be to your benefit to hear this.  You will hear his answers and questions too, and to the extent that you want, you can obviously use it in your comments to us.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1113              MR. LAWFORD:  I will just note that the questions that the panel could ask Mr. McKendry could be exactly what he has in his statement here, and in effect he gets to restate twice.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1114              Again, we weren't advised that he was going to be making a statement.  That is my only objection.  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1115              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I hear you.  I think it will be to the benefit of everybody that we hear from Mr. McKendry before we question him.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1116              Mr. McKendry, would you please go ahead?

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

LISTNUM 1 \l 1117              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners.  I have the pleasure to be here today as the CCTS interim Commissioner, a position that I have held since July 23rd, 2007.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1118              I will hold this position until the first permanent Commissioner is appointed by the full independent board when it takes office.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1119              In addition to being a former CRTC Commissioner, I also previously held the position of ombudsman for telecommunications services.  This industry self‑regulatory position was voluntarily created by new entrant long distance companies to address the slamming problem experienced in the early days of long distance competition.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1120              I was also the founding consumer representative on the former Cable Television Standards Council, a self‑regulatory body created by the cable television industry to deal with consumer complaints.  As an aside, Mr. Chairman, when this three‑person council was created several years ago, the founding industry member was Elizabeth Duncan, who is now one of your colleagues at the Commission.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1121              I am here today to answer any questions the Commission may have about CCTS's current operations.  In that regard, I am pleased to report the launch of CCTS has been very successful.  We have handled well over 1,000 contacts since July 23rd.  Virtually all of the complaints that we have dealt with have been resolved.  Eighteen complaints have now reached the investigation stage and will require recommendations on my part.  However, I expect that some of these complaints will be resolved amicably prior to my needing to issue a recommendation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1122              No complaints have reached the binding decision stage yet, which is not surprising, considering the short time that CCTS has been in operation.  Based on my experience, I expect that industry members will prefer to resolve complaints before they reach the final binding stage.  In fact, in my time as the long distance ombudsman, I never had to issue a single formal decision.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1123              Of course, the scope of CCTS's mandate is broader, but I find that a phone call with the parties involved goes a long way towards resolving complaints.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1124              CCTS staff tell me that we have been receiving very positive feedback in the service.  Our staff is trained to answer most inquiries that individual and small business customers may have with regards to their dispute resolution rights.  Consumers are happy to be able to talk to a live person when they call, and if CCTS cannot deal with their complaint, CCTS staff generally try to refer the complainant to another agency or tribunal that might be able to help.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1125              Accessibility of our procedures is of great concern to me and CCTS's members.  I have read with interest the submissions of ARCH and the Canadian Association of the Deaf.  We have already taken steps such as ensuring that our website is WC3 compliant, but there is more to do and I intend to consult with ARCH and the Canadian Association of the Deaf and other groups to ensure the accessibility of CCTS to all who may need it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1126              I look forward to your questions about the CCTS's operations and my experience as interim Commissioner.  Let me now turn it back to Mr. Bibic.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1127              MR. BIBIC:  Mr. Chairman, we are available for questions.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1128              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1129              Mr. Bibic, I see you filed yesterday an extra letter of clarification regarding the constating documents.  Can you walk us through those changes?  What are those quantificational changes that you filed yesterday?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1130              MR. BIBIC:  Certainly.  I will turn it over to Craig McTaggart to walk you through that letter, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1131              MR. McTAGGART:  It is my pleasure, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1132              This letter explains certain changes, in fact all of the changes that have been made to the constating documents of the CCTS since the original versions were filed with the Commission on the 23rd of July.  I will just go through them one by one.  They are quite minor changes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1133              The first one is a change to the French name of the corporation.  As the letter says, it was brought to our attention early on and, indeed, Commission staff were perhaps the most helpful with regards to this point.  We decided that it would be in the best interest of the company to change the name in French, and we did that quite promptly and received supplementary letters patent on August 3.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1134              The second change was to correct an error in the by‑law that I think parties will recognize was inconsistent with the rest of the materials filed on the 23rd of July.  In the section of the by‑law relating to the eligibility of government employees or, more accurately, those who have recently be government employees to serve as independent directors, the three‑year, what we call cooling off period was incorrectly indicated to apply to recent government employees.  There is no three‑year cooling off period for those who have recently served as a government employee that would otherwise make them ineligible to serve as an independent director.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1135              The next change relates to the timing of the constituting of the full board of directors.  Parties will understand that in the by‑law, the members made specific provision for the ending of the life of the provisional board and the constituting of the full independent board within 90 days of the start of the CCTS.  When the public notice was issued, we felt that it would be prudent to stop the process of populating the board, given the uncertainty with respect to its final form.  So, a technical amendment was required to the by‑law to simply move that 90 day time period to 90 days out from the Commission's decision in the proceeding, instead of 90 days from the start of the CCTS.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1136              The next changes relate to the membership agreement.  So, a separate document.  The first one described as modification to forborne revenue reporting mechanism is really kind of an internal funding matter of the members, but, again, the membership provided a particular mechanism by which the cost sharing mechanism process would work.  It did not prove possible to implement the mechanism that we originally planned.  We had to come up with an alternative.  That alternative was agreed to by all the members and certain changes with required to the membership agreement.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1137              I can go into those in detail later if there is interest, but I don't expect that I need to right now.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1138              The next change is described as clarification regarding single start‑up cost fee for affiliates, simply clarifying that corporations that are affiliates of each other need not pay a separate start‑up cost fee every time one joins.  Again, this change was consented to by the members.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1139              The next clarification relates to the effective date of new membership.  This simply clarifies that a member becomes a member of the CCTS upon executing the membership agreement, clarifying a clause that was originally in the membership agreement.  It made it unclear whether membership was effective immediately or on the first day of the following quarter.  That actually applies to the funding obligation, not the membership currency.  So, again, just a bit of an internal clarification matter for the members.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1140              The final point, and this is a change that was just made last week because the potential inconsistency in the documents only came to our attention last week.  This is the one entitled "Clarification regarding publication of decisions rendered by Commissioner."  Despite the documents having been reviewed by many people over the course of several months, one of our members pointed out that by operation of section 15.3 of the procedural code, decisions of two types would be made public.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1141              It has been the intention of the members since early summer when, on the recommendation from the consumer groups who we met with in June, we made provision for final decisions of the Commissioner to be made public.  In the procedural code, it is provided that recommendations of the Commissioner that are accepted by the parties become decisions.  That was put in place more with an eye to enforcement of the decision against the member than with respect to publication.  Frankly, we didn't think about how that might operate to suggest that accepted recommendations will become public as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1142              That was not the intention of the members and that is inconsistent with the materials that the members have provided to date.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1143              So, this last change merely indicates by way of a change to section 15.3 of the procedural code that only decisions that are rendered by the Commissioner following an unsuccessful recommendation stage, only those decisions would be made public, not decisions that only became decisions by operation of the procedural code, but really were accepted recommendations.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1144              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Run that by me again.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1145              MR. McTAGGART:  Remember that at the recommendation stage the Commissioner is still trying to facilitate a solution among the parties that they can both agree to.  If either party rejects that recommendation, then the matter moves to the final binding decision stage.  But if both of the parties accept it, that resolves the matter; that ends the matter, but by operation of the procedural code, that accepted recommendation becomes a decision.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1146              As I say, that was done mainly so that it could be enforced against the member like any other decision.  It wasn't done with the purpose of making that accepted recommendation public.  The intention was only that the final rendered formal decisions of the Commissioner would be made public.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1147              THE CHAIRPERSON:  In short, only the decisions that are imposed by the Commissioner will be made public?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1148              MR. McTAGGART:  That is right, and that is exactly the change that was made in that last clause.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1149              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1150              First of all, Mr. Bibic and other members of the panel, I am delighted that we have a CCTS and it is up and running.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1151              As you know, at the telecom summit, I challenged industry to put it up and have it operational before the first forbearance order would become effective, and you managed to meet that challenge and put it up and in operation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1152              I am delighted to hear from Mr. McKendry that it seems to be working rather well.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1153              That being said, obviously we have to now look in detail whether this temporary creature meets all the requirements of the Order in Council and is the best way to resolve these issues.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1154              I am going to ask you some questions on governments and remedies; my colleague, Len Katz, on membership and operation; and Michel Morin on mandate and delegation.  They don't fall that neatly into categories and there will be certain overlap, et cetera.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1155              Let's start off with membership.  Len.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1156              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1157              Can I take the panel to their page 8 on membership, and perhaps ask them, in the second sentence it says:

"While we can certainly see the advantages to all or substantially all TSPs being members..."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1158              Can you cite for us what some of those advantages that you have alluded to here would be?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1159              MR. BÉLAND:  Yes.  The principal advantage I guess would be a financial one, spreading the costs.  Some of the costs of the Commissioner are fixed.  Most are probably variable, but to the extent that there are some fixed costs and you have more members, you clearly spread those costs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1160              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Are there any other ones?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1161              MR. BÉLAND:  Perhaps related to visibility as well, but that is principally what we had in mind, is that sure, we would all be happy if more and more telecommunication service providers joined the organization, but once again, we are not of a view that that needs to be mandated.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1162              MR. BIBIC:  From our perspective, I would harken back to my opening comments, which is it is the design of an agency of sorts; it is a powerful avenue for consumers to resolve their complaints and, at the end of the day, I am sure I will be speaking on behalf of all members here, that customer service is top priority for all TSPs, so this is another avenue to resolve complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1163              From Bell Canada's part and Bell Aliant, we don't like to see bad press about customer service and when we can't address customer concerns on a bilateral relationship and this can provide an avenue to do that, I think that's a positive as well.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1164              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  But to the extent that it is an avenue for customers, for some customers where the company has joined the CCTS; it is not an avenue for other customers who do not have availability of the CCTS because their underlying carrier has not joined.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1165              MR. BIBIC:  And I think over time I could see the possibility that certain TSPs would seek to differentiate their global service offerings by virtue of the fact that they are a member and some others aren't.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1166              It is a bit difficult to answer that particular question from where we sit, Mr. Katz, because I mean you are asking us about mandatory membership when we voluntarily signed up to this thing and are quite willing to fund it and to proceed with it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1167              None of the members here are members that have refused to sign on so kind of difficult to answer the question from the perspective of those who have chosen not to.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1168              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Surely you can answer a conceptual question:  Why should the consumer suffer just because one of his TSPs has decided not to become a member of CCTS?  I mean, what's the rationale?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1169              You said in your opening this should be part of a competitive marketplace.  So we have a competitive market making sure that the consumer doesn't suffer.  We have CCTS.  Why should it then depend on the voluntary joining of ‑‑ I mean, you can answer that question, notwithstanding that you have decided to join.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1170              MR. BIBIC:  I suppose I could, Mr. Chairman.  From my perspective ‑‑ right now I am going to speak for Bell Canada and Bell Aliant.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1171              From my perspective I don't feel very strongly about voluntary versus mandatory.  I don't think it's necessary, but one way or the other I don't feel strongly.  We are in, and if you choose to make membership mandatory I think we are getting into questions of jurisdiction and elegance of regulatory solutions of which I do have use, actually.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1172              Perhaps, Willie, you do too.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1173              MR. GRIEVE:  Yes, we are in the same position.  We don't really have any objection to it being made mandatory.  We just have a problem with how it would actually be enforced ‑‑ enforced being, you know, jurisdiction and enforcement of making such a membership mandatory would be our major concern.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1174              And even if you pass the jurisdictional test how do you find 81 wireless ISPs in Alberta?  How do you make it compulsory for people like every single carrier across the country ‑‑ not carrier ‑‑ every single TSP and how do you enforce it on TSPs?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1175              I know the Commission has asked these questions but even if you could find every one I'm not sure how you would enforce it.  I was thinking this morning, for example, Shaw has decided not to join.  I mean, you couldn't really disconnect Shaw for not joining.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1176              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  I mean, it begs the question if someone has joined, the service provider has joined and the underlying network provider from whom they buy services has voluntarily opted out and a complaint comes in, I'm not sure how that small business ‑‑ that consumer can get adequate relief from the CCTS, given that they will look at it ‑‑ they will look at the service provider and say, "Well, you bought services from somebody else.  Unfortunately, that party is not a member here so we can't investigate it" and the small business guy is just out.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1177              MR. BIBIC:  Yes, it's a competitive market and they have the option of switching providers or other industry bodies like this and other industries, even in industries under the jurisdiction of the CRTC which are voluntary.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1178              At the end of the day; again, for Bell Canada and Bell Aliant, and others can subscribe to my view if they wish, but our principle concern is with enforcement of mandatory membership.  The principle of making membership mandatory doesn't concern us all that much.  It's how you go about enforcing it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1179              Under the Telecom Act, as it is constructed today, the Commission has to take the very inelegant regulatory solution of indirectly making Canadian carriers responsible for the behaviour of those which are not subject to their direct jurisdiction.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1180              And the last thing we would want from a policy and practical perspective from our end, Bell Canada and Bell Aliant, is being forced to investigate whether or not the multitude of TSPs that are out there, and wireless ISPs and basic local phone service providers, are members and what to do if they are not.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1181              Would it be encumbent on us to then file applications with the CRTC to disconnect, for example ‑‑ just as an example ‑‑ some of these carriers or providers who aren't members because they are not members?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1182              I mean, those are the kinds of things that I would be very reluctant to engage into.  But the concept doesn't disturb us.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1183              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I am unclear now.  In your opening statement you say it is voluntary.  Now, I hear you, Mr. Grieve, saying you are indifferent as to whether it is made mandatory or not.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1184              Do the founding members have a position or not?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1185              MR. BIBIC:  We can all agree that voluntary is the best way to go and when we ‑‑ when you start asking questions about mandatory membership I spoke on behalf of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant and TELUS spoke on ‑‑ Willie spoke on TELUS' behalf.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1186              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Well, can I hear from Quebecor and MTS?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1187              MR. B_LAND:  Yes, I think if we step back just a moment, you know, and I will maybe address the thought process by which Videotron joined this organization.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1188              The major ILECs came to us at a certain point with a proposition for the creation of the Commissioner for Complaints.  We didn't consider that we had any obligation to join this organization.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1189              We looked at the proposal.  We were interested in particular about whether it would provide in our view concrete value to our customers, and we saw that in the proposal.  It's a very tightly‑focussed organization on the resolution of complaints.  We saw that as being valuable to our customers and we saw that also as being valuable to ourselves because we will be able to say to our customers that they have that backup.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1190              We also looked at issues of financial accountability.  We wanted to make sure that the structure was one which would have appropriate financial controls.  We wanted to focus ‑‑ we looked very closely at the scope of the organization to ensure that it is truly a complaints resolution organization rather than some sort of new regulatory body that would be replacing the CRTC.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1191              So all that put together, our decision to adhere was actually relatively easy and we adhered with enthusiasm.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1192              That being said, if other people in our own market or in other markets of Canada choose not to adhere for their own particular reasons ‑‑ perhaps they have doubts about the ultimate effectiveness of the organization ‑‑ we don't see that refusal on their part to adhere as being necessarily inconsistent with the broader context in which we are operating here.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1193              We are operating in a broader context of competition.  We are dealing with services where the Commission has foreborne from regulation because competition can serve the interests of consumers.  We are dealing with an order in council; with a government who has issued numerous directives in recent years, clearly focussed on a belief in the power of market forces, on regulatory intervention that is limited and proportional to the objectives.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1194              Ultimately, we believe once again that consumers will see value in this organization.  Service providers that adhere to this organization will benefit from that and will gain value themselves.  But in a broader context of a philosophy where market forces protect the interest of consumers, we don't see any inconsistency with saying that service providers have a choice as to whether to join the organization.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1195              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Well, let me take this in two stages.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1196              Sorry, go ahead.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1197              MS CROWE:  MTS Allstream is, you know, of a similar opinion.  We voluntarily agreed to join the CCTS because we see a value to our customers in doing so and having an effective and a cooperative means of dealing with customer complaints as forebearance is rolled out.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1198              But saying that, I think it's important to realize that we have voluntarily agreed to things that we, you know, might have more problems with if they were mandated or if it was mandated by the Commission to join the CCTS.  There are things that we have voluntarily agreed to in a cooperative ‑‑ to be cooperative and to create an effective CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1199              For instance, right now the Commissioner can award monetary awards of up to $1,000 for loss, damage or inconvenience but it's questionable whether the CRTC would have the authority to require membership in an organization that could impose that.  There is also no appeal right for TSPs right now from a final decision of the CCTS and that's something we would certainly, you know, think about again if it were a mandated organization.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1200              I just also add that one of our members who isn't here today, SaskTel ‑‑ I can't speak for SaskTel but they are very much of the opinion that membership should be voluntary.  I believe they just filed a letter to that effect and, you know, feel that there are other avenues for their customers besides the CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1201              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Can I take this in two trenches?  One is the notion that some people who aren't members today and haven't signed up, and I heard what you had to say.  The other is what I call the "opt out provision" for the members themselves.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1202              Do you as a membership group feel that you absolutely need an opt out provision so that it is voluntary and if you are not happy you can leave, or are you comfortable with the fact that you are all there and you have no problem with membership being mandated for you?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1203              MR. BIBIC:  On the issue of opt out, and we have all entered this in good faith to do the right thing by the consumer and to meet the requirements of the OIC, so as I sit as here today we certainly have no plans to exit, but we all need to recognize that the world evolves.  And I don't know how it will evolve but it could be that down the road, some period of time down the road, the body is no longer necessary or a particular member is dissatisfied with the way the agency is being run, and if a group like this is still necessary I wouldn't foreclose the possibility of any member or group of members wishing to start another more effective one.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1204              So there are a number of reasons why parties may want to opt out but, again, that is not in our contemplation as we sit here today before you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1205              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  If you were would you foresee an application to the CRTC suggesting a change in the composition of the CCTS, or would each member just be free to come and go as they will?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1206              MR. BIBIC:  Well, the way I see it is if membership remains voluntary and a number of members opt out down the road and the Commission still feels that the state of the market is such that an agency like this is required, then I think it is certainly open to the Commission to re‑evaluate the issue of voluntary versus mandatory.  So I think that's how I would see it unfold if membership today were voluntary.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1207              If the Commission were to impose mandatory membership today and circumstances were to change in the future, such that parties felt that it should no longer be mandatory, then in that world I would envision a member or group of members choosing to file an application with the CRTC saying:  Look, the world has changed and this is no longer necessary, or membership is no longer ‑‑ it's no longer necessary to have membership mandatory.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1208              So, it depends where we start from, but I think either way we all need to recognize that the world will undoubtedly evolve and we will all adjust accordingly.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1209              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  I guess, you indicated early on what the views of the members are and what you are trying to represent.  One of the things the CRTC's role is to look at for the small business and consumers as well.  And obviously the direction, or the order asked us to oversee the creation of this as well and that was post the policy direction where the government basically indicated they wanted to see competition sped up as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1210              So, I don't see them in disarray at all.  Maybe what I am hearing, and maybe I am confusing it too, but is the membership saying or the members saying that the reason that you believe it has to be voluntary is because of the way the policy direction has been framed and utilizing the least intrusive avenue?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1211              MR. BIBIC:  We don't think mandatory membership would be necessarily in conflict with the policy direction, but we also believe that voluntary membership is more in keeping with the principles in the policy direction.  That's how I would answer that.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1212              But again, I mean, the biggest concern some of the members have is really with how you make mandatory membership operational.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1213              MR. GRIEVE:  There's one other point that was raised by Shaw in its submission, that was, mandatory membership brings with it mandatory funding.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1214              And in Shaw's view there's a problem, a jurisdictional problem with that in the sense that the Commission doesn't have the authority to order someone to make a contribution except to funding a particular body, except for the contribution mechanism provisions of the Act.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1215              So, you know, I think it's sort of ‑‑ you might mandate membership in an already existing body, but then you'd fall short or you may fall short on the funding requirements.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1216              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  I am not sure I got an answer to my question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1217              How would the membership deal with, or how would, I guess, Mr. McKendry in his acting position deal with a complaint that was directed from a service provider who was actually buying facilities from a third party who wasn't a member?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1218              MR. BÉLAND:  Yeah.  I wanted to come back to that point in fact because I didn't want it to stay out there without a response.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1219              The Commissioner of Complaints' tasks are focused resolutely on the retail contractual relationship between a service provider and the retail customer.  Whatever suppliers or inputs the service provider may have behind that are not at all the affair of the Commissioner.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1220              You've given one example of maybe one telecommunications service provider using telecommunications services of another provider in an underlying sort of capacity.  Probably everyone at this table uses those sorts of arrangements in some way or another.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1221              You could even extend it though to equipment.  Videotron, we may one day find that we purchase lousy modems and they're causing complaints.  No one, I don't think, would suggest that our modem supplier should somehow be pulled into this process as a party to resolving those complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1222              So, the view of the members is that when the Commissioner is faced with a particular complaint related to a particular retail service, the Commissioner looks at the engagements effectively that the service provider has taken in the service contract with that customer and evaluates whether the service provider has adhered to those engagements.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1223              If the service provider has made bad choices in terms of buying faulty T‑1s from another telecommunications service provider or buying faulty modems from an equipment supplier or, for that matter, if Bell Canada has failed to port a number, a telephone number to Videotron on time, that's really Videotron's problem.  In the context of a retail/consumer complaint, it's our responsibility to deal with our suppliers in the background.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1224              So, I don't think the concerns about underlying providers need at all drive the notion of a mandatory membership.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1225              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Thank you.  Those are all my questions, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1226              THE CHAIRMAN:  Mr. Bibic, you said your biggest concern was whether the Commission has  the ability to make membership mandatory?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1227              MR. BIBIC:  Well, there's a question about jurisdiction, but the biggest concern is actually how we make it operational.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1228              So, if the Commission were to say, yes, membership is mandatory, how does one do that for providers who are not subject to the direct jurisdiction of the CRTC under the Telecom Act?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1229              The way one can do that is the way it's done in other contexts, which is to say, well, you know, those carriers who are subject to our jurisdiction have to amend their terms of conditions of whichever service it is that they provide to those who we don't regulate, then we get into a situation of enforcement.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1230              So, take one of Telus' ‑‑ one of the ISPs out in Alberta, they're small and tiny who may not be subject to your direction jurisdiction, although they probably would be, but take another reseller, for example.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1231              THE CHAIRMAN:  Yes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1232              MR. BIBIC:  What happens if the reseller doesn't join?  Who does what to whom in the context of forcing mandatory membership?  Is it up to us to enforce, is it up to us to disconnect, is it up to us to file an application with you to say we will disconnect, or is it up to the Commission to police and enforce?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1233              I mean, that's an issue that does definitely concern us.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1234              THE CHAIRMAN:  Yes, and we specifically asked you to comment on that and I am trying to find out ‑‑ you say you don't like the idea, but didn't we ask you specifically to say whether it is doable and how and what would be the most efficacious way of doing it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1235              MR. BIBIC:  Okay.  Well, let's take it into two chunks.  I'll turn it over to Mr. Grieve to talk about whether or not you can do it and perhaps I can go back at whether or not it's a good way of doing it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1236              THE CHAIRMAN:  Okay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1237              MR. GRIEVE:  The Commission asked about three sections of the Act, the connection of facilities section, section 40, whether that would be a jurisdictional basis for imposing mandatory membership in the CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1238              And we've looked at that section a number of times, of course, over the years and it really does deal with, on the plain reading, interconnection and connection of facilities and you would expect that any conditions that were made would have something to do with compensation or something related to the interconnection or connection itself.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1239              I will come back to section 40 in a moment though.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1240              So, I don't think you could find it there.  And 32(g) under general powers it says:


"The Commission may, for the purposes of this part, in the absence of any applicable provision in this part, determine any matter and make any order relating to rates, tariffs or telecommunication services."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1241              MR. GRIEVE:  And it seems to me that's really conditions of service, the definitions of the service, quality of service, those kinds of things in addition to the rates.  So, I don't believe this section would contemplate something like that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1242              The one that comes closest for you I think is section 24, conditions of service, and the Commission has used section 24 in the past.  It says:

"The offering and provision of any telecommunication service by a Canadian carrier are subject to any conditions imposed by the Commission or included in a tariff approved by the Commission."  (As read)


LISTNUM 1 \l 1243              MR. GRIEVE:  I think the key word here is, "...the offering of any telecommunication service...", the actual going into the business because that's really what you're talking about here is imposing something that would be akin to a licence condition, you can't do business unless you're part of this thing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1244              And so, you know, what the Commission has done in the past to enforce that in the day when everyone ‑‑ well, when the ILECs had tariffs and everyone would connect using tariffs was, it would put in conditions of an interconnection tariff based on section 24 or they put as a condition of forbearance based on section 34, using section 24, things like compliance with confidentiality terms, alternate billing formats, competitor access to MDUs, unsolicited communications, cable company ‑‑ in the fact the cable company obligation to provide TPIA service at a discount finds itself in section 24 and the no bypass rule in section 34 ‑‑ that came out of section 34, section 24 was used for that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1245              And then section 24 has been used to assign all of those responsibilities to resellers as a term and condition of those resellers using the tariff services of the carrier.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1246              Now, you know, like a lot of these ‑‑ or all of these really have to do with the actual terms and conditions of services, things that you do as part of the term and condition of service.  Of course, section 24 has never been judicially considered, so I can't turn you to any case law on it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1247              You know, you might be able to go after compulsory membership under section 24.  I don't know where you would put the condition for carriers that are forborne across all of their services.  You would probably have to put it as a condition imposed on interconnection tariffs and, of course, some carriers have asked that interconnection tariffs not be required, so then you'd have to find another way of imposing the condition and I'm not sure how you would do that other than a specific rule‑making under the Act, and I'm not aware that the Commission has actually employed its specific rule‑making function for any purpose.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1248              So, now we're down to ‑‑ let's say you do it and now we're into the enforcement question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1249              THE CHAIRMAN:  Can you speak closer to the mike, please.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1250              MR. GRIEVE:  Sorry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1251              THE CHAIRMAN:  Just pull it up a bit.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1252              MR. GRIEVE:  Yeah.  So, assuming we get past section 24, then you're really into the enforcement question and Mr. Bibic has indicated that one of the difficulties that he says Bell Canada has expressed about using section 24 to impose a lot of service conditions on resellers is that it puts ‑‑ and by the way, TELUS has expressed the same concerns over the years ‑‑ it puts in this case the ILEC or at least the carrier in the position of having to police its tariffs because we are responsible to make sure people are complying with those tariffs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1253              Then it is a question of what is the remedy.  We have talked about this internally many times.  So what if we find out that a reseller isn't complying with these things?  The Commission is never going to let us disconnect a competitor.  Why would they do that?  They would try to find some other way to do it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1254              So, I just think it gets very messy, Mr. Chairman, and I am not sure that you need to get that messy, at least at the outset.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1255              Mr. Bibic said a moment ago that he thought that we could let it go on a voluntary basis for a time, and see how it works out.  If it becomes a problem, if there is a real need and people are opting out or people aren't joining who should be joining and it becomes a problem, then in that particular situation, you might look for a way to make it mandatory.  The cleanest way, obviously, would be a legislative change to do that or to allow that kind of an order to be made.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1256              But I think at this point the membership is sitting back saying we are not sure about the jurisdiction.  Even if you had the jurisdiction to do it, which you might, then how do you actually enforce it, how do you enforce payment of the membership fees which, as I mentioned before, is an issue raised by Shaw.  How do we do all of these things in a way that is even reasonably efficient, and I think it just gets very messy.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1257              Once again, we are saying give it a try.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1258              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Do you have anything to add, Mr. Bibic?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1259              MR. BIBIC:  No.  Mr. Grieve answered the operational ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1260              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I hear what you are saying about jurisdiction has never been exercised this way.  That doesn't mean it can't.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1261              On the assumption that I disagree with you, I don't see why one consumer should have more rights than another just because his TSP decides to join or not.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1262              Assume for argument's sake that if challenged, we are successful in maintaining it, we can do it, what would be a practical way of doing it so as to not impose upon you ‑‑ because enforcement, as you suggested, will be indirect ‑‑ an undue burden or make your operations more difficult than they have to be?  What would be the cleanest way of doing it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1263              MR. GRIEVE:  I am not sure there is anything the Commission could do to make it cleaner for us.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1264              If we find ourselves in a situation where we are the ones required to enforce a rule against a reseller, a rule of mandatory membership, I am not sure there is anything the Commission can do in a mandatory order that would make it easier on us.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1265              If the Commission said all ISPs registered with the Commission, assuming that all ISPs are registered, because in fact we can probably be assured that there are ISPs and Canadian carriers out there that don't even know that they need to register, so assuming we could say all registered ISPs must be members, somebody has to take the next step, somebody has to go out and contact every one of those ISPs.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1266              So, let's say they were all contacted, the Commission made some sort of an effort there, first of all, is it the CCTS that goes and contacts them?  Then the CCTS has to find out if they refuse to join or if they fail to join, has to figure out what is the remedy now for this?  Do we disconnect them?  What if it is an ISP not even connected to the public internet through a Canadian facility?  What if they are connecting through an American facility along the border say in Vancouver or something like that, but they are operating in Canada?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1267              There are so many things that we would have to find out in order to go and even come back to the Commission with a proposed remedy.  As I said, I don't know that there is anything the Commission could do in an order unless Mr. Bibic can think of anything that would make life any easier for the CCTS and its members to enforce that.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1268              THE CHAIRPERSON:  You went into all sorts of other points from an operational point, but I started off from the very simple point that if we say it is mandatory and there is somebody who does not join and, as I say, we tie it to section 24, et cetera, I think we need to think it through.  Mr. Bibic says give it a try and see if in six months it doesn't work, maybe then you have to do it.  Well, the issue will be the same then as now, whether we make it mandatory up front or whether we make it in six months.  I think it behooves us to think through how could this be done, et cetera.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1269              That is why we posed the question to you.  I must say I am somewhat disappointed that I have just got an answer that it should be voluntary, not some concrete suggestions of how it could be done.  Then it is obviously for us to say in light of this, is it worthwhile or not?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1270              But to decide it on the abstract is not having a good grasp of the practical implications.  It makes it more difficult for us.  Maybe you can think about it and as a follow up give us some suggestions on that point.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1271              MS CROWE:  One thing that could be done, and I still think much of the effectiveness of the current structure of the CCTS could be impacted negatively if it were mandated, but one thing that could be done is there would be a communications plan when the CCTS is fully launched, whatever form it is in.  So, presumably customers would be aware when they contacted the CCTS and the CCTS found that the TSP they were complaining about was not a member, presumably that member could be identified at that point, just in terms of identifying TSPs that were non‑compliant, and then the Commission could decide how to handle it at that point.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1272              That is one thought.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1273              MR. BIBIC:  Mr. Chairman, we will give it some more thought.  We hear you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1274              I have to say, though, that using Canadian carriers as indirect conduits to regulation of carriers who aren't subject to your direct jurisdiction isn't an issue that is just applicable to this.  It is an issue we have had difficulties with before.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1275              I know this answer is not going to give you comfort, but certainly legislative change would be nice.  But at the end of the day, I think if you could develop a solution, we will try to get more precise, but that just was reasonable and exercised good judgment.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1276              So, if the problem is Shaw, that is easy to identify.  They are big.  We can deal with that.  But if it is a question of investigating and policing and scouring the country for every little TSP that may or may not have joined and figuring out what to do with them, I think now we are getting into a whole bunch of practical difficulties and costs which, I would submit from my perspective, probably outweighs the benefit.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1277              THE CHAIRPERSON:  That is not the question I posed to you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1278              This whole process is complaints driven.  So, Mr. McKendry gets the complaint from somebody and you find out it is somebody who has not joined, what do we do at that point in time?  Not scouring the country, as you put it, and finding unregistered ISPs.  What would we do in that instance?  How do we, in effect, get that person to sign up so that the dispute can be resolved by Mr. McKendry?  That is the dynamics that I am looking at.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1279              MR. BIBIC:  In that case, that gives me more comfort and perhaps we will come back to you with particular practical solutions as to how we can deal with that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1280              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mr. Bibic, I look at it this way.  The government clearly wants to see forbearance, tells us to use market principles and only regulate in case of market failure.  We have done that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1281              But at the same time, they said make sure the consumer is not left out, and they have suggested this in the Order in Council.  You have read it; you have studied it in detail, et cetera.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1282              Clearly, it says consumers, not consumers of ISPs who have joined the CCTS.  It talks about consumers generally.  How do we reconcile those two things?  That is our problem.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1283              In terms of membership, I think that covers it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1284              Let's go over to governance.  First of all, I see that for the independents, you have one consumer member to be nominated by some consumer groups, and then you have four independents.  What I don't quite understand is with the definition of independents, I see your new letter which suggests that the nomination will be done by the nominating committee of three eminent Canadians, picking the nominees from a list found by a headhunter.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1285              But the qualification for these independents, if I understand it correctly, will, for instance, exclude former Commissioners.  My colleague, Joan Pennyfather, no longer on the committee would not qualify the way I read it.  It seems to me that anybody who has been here for the last three years, or did I get that wrong?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1286              MR. McTAGGART:  Mr. Chairman, that is precisely one of the changes that I read this morning, the second one on that list.  We had to make a correction to the documents regarding the eligibility of people who had previously been government employees.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1287              We eliminated what we call the three‑year cooling off period for those people.  So, that has been changed.  It was not the original intention to exclude them.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1288              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I see.  How did you come to the specific number of four independent and three industry for a total of seven?  Any magic in why it was seven, why it was not nine or why there is just one more independent than there are industry?  I would like you to explain what rationale led you to this decision.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1289              MR. McTAGGART:  Mr. Chairman, the logic there started with the principle that industry directors had to be a minority.  So that was the base line.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1290              Then the concept was that the majority would be comprised of individuals who are independent.  We were inspired in that principle by the board of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, the OBSI, which uses the very same model of a majority of independents and a minority of individuals put forward by industry.  So, the original concept was four independents, three industry.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1291              Following consultation with consumer groups in June, we agreed to designate one of the four independent director positions as a person who was put forward by consumer groups, and the concept there is that any consumer group that wants to participate in the process of nominating an individual can do so.  The board will recognize them, and it is up to that group to put forward that name.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1292              I will stop there.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1293              THE CHAIRPERSON:  But implicit in this is that a consumer is a different independent than the other three independents.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1294              I mean, the three independents to be nominated by the three wise men and then to become self‑perpetuating cannot be consumers.  I am interested to know why you make that distinction.  I would have thought a consumer is also an independent.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1295              MR. BIBIC:  It is consumer groups, not consumers.  Certainly the three independents will likely be consumers, we hope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1296              We think that one board seat designated specifically to consumer group advocates is reflective of the role of consumer groups in the regulatory ecosystem, as it were, for telecommunications.  It is reflective of their role.  They would have a board seat.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1297              As for the other three, I think it is best for everyone concerned to have independents in the true sense of the word, independent from industry members and for those who participate quite actively in the ecosystem.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1298              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Given the reality of this country, we have very active consumer groups in Quebec; we have some other groups who are outside Quebec, et cetera.  If they can't agree on a joint one, would you be amenable to have two consumers and, therefore, enlarge the board so that you still get the numerical differentiation, but you allow in effect to have a French and an English consumer group representative?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1299              MR. BIBIC:  There is some of us here, but the entire membership isn't here, so if you would allow me to consult with all the other members, perhaps we can get back to you, Mr. Chairman, on that one.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1300              THE CHAIRPERSON:  The board sort of works, as I understand it, by either simple majority with special resolution, or by extraordinary resolution.  My summary is basically simple majority is for the appointment of auditors, the appointment of secretary and treasurer and other business.  But then special resolution, which is five out of seven, you need the approval of the annual report, election of independent directors, appointment of the share, removal of a TSP, removal of a director.  Then you have those extraordinary resolutions for such things as approval and amendment of the annual budget and business plan, appointment of the CEO, approval and appeal of the amendment of by‑laws, approval and appeal of amendment of any provision of the procedural code, removal of the CEO, amendment of letter patents and approval of industry codes of standard.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1301              It strikes me that that is relatively restrictive.  Extraordinary, you are saying you need two out of three TSPs, and just with a TSP not being there could basically block any one of these, and five out of seven for the special resolutions.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1302              The subject matter, some of them I understand very clearly, are of concern, like the appointment of the CEO, which is obviously key.  There is no question there.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1303              But let's go to a special resolution.  Approval of the annual report.  Why do you require a special resolution for that?  Surely that is a report of the board.  Why do you need to have a special resolution?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1304              MR. BIBIC:  Let's deal with that one first.  I look at it the other way, which it only takes one industry director to approve for it to pass.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1305              With respect to annual reports specifically, the primary concern there, to put it quite bluntly, is that I think the TSPs would be concerned with how information is disclosed in terms of potential misleading disclosures and disclosure of competitively sensitive information.  So, in our view, it is quite an appropriate and limited check on that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1306              I note there was a party or two, and I can't remember who they were, in their submissions who suggested, quite apart from this, but just suggested that there should also be an exclusion of liability for the Commissioner in terms of statements made by him or her in good faith.  I think this would be one way of addressing that concern.  It is just a very limited check where the TSP board members would say, is anything in here misleading or does it disclose something that is competitively sensitive information.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1307              So it acts in a way as a protection for the TSP and also for the Commissioner in that regard.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1308              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Isn't it essentially Mr. McKendry's report?  I mean, the annual report is the Commissioner's activities, what he has done, et cetera.  You approve it and it then goes out, but it seems to me he will be writing it, he will be stating it, et cetera.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1309              Surely he will be sensitive to the various issues that you mentioned.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1310              MR. BIBIC:  Well, we hope.  We have no intention of writing this report or of censoring the report.  The main concern was really with those two items, Mr. Chairman:  Misleading disclosures and disclosure of competitively sensitive information.  That is what motivated special resolution power for the annual reports, not to dictate what is in that report or what will be said.  It will be the Commissioner's report, with that I agree.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1311              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Or the appointment of a Chair for board meetings, why do you need a special resolution for that?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1312              MR. BIBIC:  For which one?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1313              THE CHAIRPERSON:  When you have a board meeting, I understand somebody has to chair that meeting.  Right?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1314              MR. BIBIC:  Yes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1315              THE CHAIRPERSON:  The vote has to be a special resolution, i.e. five out of seven have to agree who is going to chair a meeting?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1316              MR. BIBIC:  I think it is the Chair of the Commission itself, Chair of the board of the CCTS itself that requires a special resolution.  That goes back to the same kind of philosophy ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1317              THE CHAIRPERSON:  So, Chairman of the agency basically.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1318              MR. BIBIC:  Yes.  The philosophy there, Mr. Chairman, is not unlike what you have with the hiring of the Commissioner.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1319              The way I conceive of this is for this to really be effective and to work you need really two things.  At a high level, you need to meet the requirements of the OIC, including independents, and the members also have to have fundamental confidence in the system for this to really be effective.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1320              So, with respect to the Chair, I would have thought that the Chair would want to know that he has the confidence of the board membership at large.  It is as simple as that.  The same thing with the appointment of the Commissioner.  At the end of the day, I would expect that the Commissioner would want to know that all groups that he will have to work with on a day‑to‑day basis have his confidence.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1321              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Aren't you worried that you are building that in the possibility of a deadlock too easily by putting such requirements in?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1322              MR. BIBIC:  For an appointment of a Chair, I wouldn't think so at all, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1323              MR. McTAGGART:  Perhaps I could clarify.  The Chair must be drawn from the independent directors group.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1324              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I appreciate that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1325              On the extraordinary resolutions, as I say, I can see that you want an extraordinary resolution for amendments of letters patent or the appointment of the CEO, but some of the other ones strike me as ‑‑ approval or amendment of the annual budget or business plan.  Why do you need an extraordinary resolution for that?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1326              MR. BIBIC:  Mr. Chairman, on costs I have to say that cost structures are critical to us.  They absolutely are critical to us.  Financial accountability is critical in every single business, especially for those who are going to fund it, and all we are looking for is a measure of accountability with respect to the cost structure of the organization.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1327              If the costs run rampant, again there is a fundamental risk that there will be a loss of confidence in the system.  In fact, I would have been quite comfortable coming before you and making a case that cost structure requires unanimous approval of the industry.  But in this case, two‑thirds is sufficient.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1328              It would take all TSP directors to veto a budget.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1329              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mr. Bibic, why in extraordinary was this a special one?  If you made that subject to a special, you would still require the TSPs ‑‑ there is no way that the independents could impose on you costs that you don't want.  But you are going one step further.  You are notching it up one level and bringing it from special resolution to an extraordinary resolution.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1330              MR. BIBIC:  There is three categories of industry directors.  There is an ILEC category, I believe, the cableco category, and the other TSP category.  It is not necessarily the case, and I suspect we will not all be ad idem on all issues.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1331              Funding and cost structures are a big issue for us, Mr. Chairman.  They are a big issue for us internally.  It drives practically every single one of our internal business decisions, and we don't think it is unreasonable at all for reasonable checks and balances on cost structure to be implemented in the regime.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1332              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Can you just answer my specific question?  I buy that; you carry the freight so clearly you won't have a say on that and you don't want to have costs imposed upon you that you feel are unreasonable.  But you have your special resolution.  Already you have that protection.  You notched it up one level here by saying, no, actually two out of the three TSPs have to approve it.  That is why I am trying to figure out why you feel that is so vital.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1333              MR. BIBIC:  It is not two out of three TSPs.  It the two out of three classes of TSPs.  So, the category of other TSPs may not end up paying as much of the cost as the other two categories, in which case they may not be as vigilant with respect to the cost structure on the one hand, or I could conceive of a situation where the other category, the other TSPs, the smaller TSPs are causing most of the complaints and, therefore, have to fund their disproportionate share of the costs, and they may be tremendously concerned with the cost structure, whereas an ILEC who is bigger, larger, may be willing to pay less attention to the issue, could simply pass the cost structure through.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1334              So, we thought that two out of three was reasonable in this context.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1335              MR. BÉLAND:  If I might add, Mr. Chair, to be frank, this was an issue of concern to Vidéotron and the other cable carriers that have joined the organization.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1336              The potential of having a situation where one class of TSPs alone could in effect secure passage of all budgetary matters was something of a concern to our particular class of TSPs, to be frank.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1337              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, thank you.  This shows the value of hearings like this.  That there might be different interests between different classes of TSPs, I must confess, hadn't occurred to me.  Now, I see the rationale when you talk about costs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1338              What about some of the others like approval of repeal or amendment of any provisions of the Procedural Code?  Again, you think that should be subject to an extraordinary resolution.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1339              MR. BIBIC:  In terms of the Procedural Code, Craig will take that one.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1340              MR. McTAGGART:  Mr. Chairman, the rationale there is that the Letters Patent, the by‑laws, the Membership Agreement and the Procedural Code really constitute the fundamental documentation of the organization, the fundamental legal structure.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1341              The Procedural Code defines the scope or the mandate of the agency, what services are in and out, what matters are in and out.  As you have heard some of our Members say already today, that they made a decision to adhere to the CCTS based on a very specific design for the agency, a very specific indication of what is inside and outside of its scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1342              So in our view, the Procedural Code is a fundamental corporate document of the organization and therefore, as in any corporation, that kind of document would require a high level of concurrence to amend.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1343              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1344              Any questions on this?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1345              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  No.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1346              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Michel?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1347              CONSEILLER MORIN : Je ne voudrais pas revenir dans les détails, mais d'une manière générale, il y a des organismes de protection ou de réception des plaintes du consommateur, comme en Australie, par exemple, où on a, d'un côté, trois représentants des consommateurs, trois représentants de l'industrie, et puis un autre qui est nommé par les deux parties.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1348              Est‑ce que, pour vous, les propositions que vous faites, qui vous donnent peut‑être pas... vous me direz, peut‑être pas un avantage, mais vous êtes déjà trois, vous avez trois indépendants, et puis un autre représentant des consommateurs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1349              Si on avait une structure, disons, trois consommateurs, trois représentants de l'industrie, est‑ce que, pour vous, c'est une question de principe ou d'efficacité qui vous amènerait à me refuser ce modèle là, par exemple?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1350              Je vous pose la question d'une manière très générale.  Est‑ce que c'est une question d'efficacité ou de principe?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1351              M. BÉLAND : C'est plutôt une question d'efficacité, Monsieur Morin.  Je vais vous dire qu'on a examiné la structure en Australie, et on a tiré des conclusions, et je vais laisser la parole à monsieur McTaggart, qui connaît plus les détails de l'Australie que moi.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1352              MR. McTAGGART:  Mr. Commissioner, I hope you will indulge me with an answer in English.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1353              The working group that put together the CCTS did look very closely at several other models for corporate structures, the Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or TIO being one.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1354              We also looked very carefully at very similar organizations closer to home that operate under the same legal system the CCTS does and I will return to those shortly but I will speak to the Australian TIO first.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1355              First, it is important to note that the TIO is a very different kind of body.  The TIO is a statutory body whose powers and mandate and membership are mandated by legislation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1356              Here, we are creating an industry body in corporate form and also a body that must exist within the Canadian corporate law framework.  So it wasn't as easy as simply importing a different model.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1357              But one thing I want to point out about the TIO model is that in the working group's deliberations, informed of course very much by legal counsel, we came to the view that the TIO model would not satisfy the independence requirement of the order in council.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1358              The TIO's structure involves a traditional corporate board at the highest level that is dominated by the TSP members and then a separate body called a council, which I believe, as you have described, is half industry, half consumer, with an independent chair.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1359              Our analysis was that given the power that was reserved to the corporate board at the top level, that type of structure would not satisfy the independence requirements of the order in council.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1360              So what we tried to do instead was ‑‑ as I say, we looked at successful functioning models closer to home, the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, the OBSI, being the primary one but there are others, the General Life and Health Insurance Ombudsman and the General Insurance Ombudsman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1361              These are industry bodies in federally regulated industries in Canada that perform a very similar function to what the CCTS does and for that reason we were attracted to the Canada Corporations Act Part II, Corporate Structure, and in particular we designed a single governing body because whenever we tried to work with the Australian TIO body model and tried to create a structure that would be sufficiently independent, we ended up foreseeing two bodies that have very similar membership profiles trying to achieve the same level of representation on each body and it soon became obvious that there was no justification for having two bodies with very similar profiles.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1362              Mr. Bibic mentioned the efficiency reason and that shouldn't be dismissed.  With an organization of our size, it would simply be inefficient to have two separate governing bodies and all of the associated costs and also the difficulty of populating those boards and it shouldn't be underestimated, particularly in today's economy in Canada.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1363              It is not a simple matter to populate a board with qualified independent directors and for that reason we didn't want to create a large board nor two separate bodies that would each require being staffed.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1364              I will end there and let you continue your questions.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1365              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais vous n'êtes quand même pas en train de me dire que vous ne pourriez pas strictement avoir une structure comme celle de l'Australie?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1366              Est‑ce que c'est ça que vous me dites, que vous ne pourriez pas vraiment avoir une structure qui, sans être exactement le modèle australien, ferait la part entre les consommateurs, d'une part, et l'industrie, d'autre part, sur un pied d'égalité, techniquement là?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1367              M. BIBIC : Techniquement, Monsieur Morin, on serait d'accord qu'il y a un nombre varié... il y a plusieurs façons qu'on aurait pu établir la structure qui rencontrerait l'obligation que la structure soit indépendante.  Il y a un nombre potentiellement illimité de structures.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1368              La question fondamentale en bout de ligne, c'est celle‑ci : Est‑ce que la structure qui a été établie par les membres, est‑ce qu'elle est indépendante, est‑ce que c'est un organisme indépendant?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1369              Nous, on prétend que oui, et si vous êtes d'accord, voilà, vous devriez approuver, selon nous.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1370              CONSEILLER MORIN : Petite question, peut‑être pour le modèle australien encore.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1371              Est‑ce que... en Australie, vous avez évoqué tout à l'heure que ça pourrait conduire à une explosion des coûts, en tout cas, à un certain dérapage.  J'ai compris ça dans vos mots.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1372              En Australie, parce que les consommateurs sont très présents, représentent la moitié, sont en parité, finalement, avec l'industrie, est‑ce qu'il y a eu beaucoup de... est‑ce qu'il y a eu des dérapages, des explosions de coûts en Australie parce que les consommateurs étaient présents au conseil dans un nombre beaucoup plus important que celui que vous proposez?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1373              MR. McTAGGART:  No, Mr. Commissioner, that wasn't what I was intending to suggest earlier.  It is not my understanding that the explicit participation of consumer group representatives has resulted in any cost control problems in the Australian body.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1374              M. BÉLAND : Si je peux faire un commentaire, et j'avoue ne pas être très familier avec le modèle australien, comme j'ai mentionné tantôt.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1375              Vidéotron a été embarqué dans ce processus là après l'élaboration de base du modèle.  Donc, je ne faisais pas partie de l'analyse du modèle australien.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1376              La seule chose que je dirais sans hésitation, c'est qu'il faut regarder tout ce qui est proposé comme un package, dans son ensemble.  Aller voir la composition du conseil indépendamment des règles de votation sur telle et telle et telle question serait, évidemment, dangereux.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1377              Nous, quand le modèle nous a été présenté chez Quebecor Media, chez Vidéotron, on a évalué le package dans son ensemble.  On avait un couple d'exigences de base, et on a trouvé que le modèle satisfaisait à nos exigences.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1378              Une exigence de base, c'était la responsabilité financière.  D'une façon ou d'une autre, ceux qui paient doivent avoir un mot à dire sur le budget de l'organisme.  C'est clair, absolument clair pour nous.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1379              Une autre exigence fondamentale de la part de Vidéotron, c'était le contrôle sur l'évolution du mandat de l'organisme, que ça soit via le Code procédural, via d'autres expansions possibles.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1380              Ce qui est devant nous aujourd'hui, c'est un organisme, encore une fois, focussé de façon résolue sur le règlement de plaintes, dans un contexte contractuel, au détail entre un fournisseur et un client.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1381              Toute possibilité de dépassement de ce mandat là, si ça va dans le sens d'une agence de réglementation plutôt qu'une agence de règlement de plaintes, serait très inquiétante pour nous, et c'est de là que viennent les règles de votation extraordinaires sur certains sujets.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1382              Donc, je pourrais peut‑être commenter la mathématique de la composition du conseil d'administration, mais on ne peut pas l'isoler des règles de votation, puis des sujets qui sont assujettis à des règles de votation spéciales ou extraordinaires.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1383              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais avec ces règles de votation, avec la nomination des membres au conseil, est‑ce qu'on peut dire que cet organisme est vraiment un organisme indépendant de l'industrie pour traiter des plaintes des consommateurs, parce que c'est l'argument qui va être soulevé par les consommateurs?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1384              Est‑ce que l'industrie n'a pas, finalement, une sorte de droit de veto sur les résolutions, sur le budget, sur le rapport annuel?  C'est un peu ça.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1385              M. BIBIC : Monsieur Morin, en ce qui concerne le traitement des plaintes, il faut souligner que le président ou le commissaire, the Commissioner, opère complètement... d'une façon complètement indépendante des directeurs, of the directors.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1386              Le président ou le commissaire ne doit pas discuter des cas spécifiques avec le conseil d'administration ou aucun de ses membres.  Donc, de cette façon là, on a protégé l'indépendance de l'organisme en ce qui concerne le traitement des plaintes spécifiques.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1387              CONSEILLER MORIN : Je vous donne un exemple sur les plaintes, puis on y reviendra tout à l'heure.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1388              Mais vous savez très bien, comme vous l'avez dit il y a quelques minutes, qu'il peut y avoir une évolution dans le mandat, et caetera, et si je comprends bien, c'est par la voie de résolution extraordinaire que vous pourriez éventuellement confier un mandat plus élargi au commissaire des plaintes, et sur ce mandat extraordinaire, avec le système des deux tiers, bien, vous avez quasiment une sorte de droit de veto.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1389              M. BIBIC : Si je peux répondre sur la question de l'expansion du mandat en anglais pour un moment, ça sera un peu plus facile pour moi.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1390              When it comes to the expansion of the mandate and examination of issues beyond the handling of specific complaints, our view is that the TSPs need a say at the board level because if, for example, some kind of substantive code or expansion of mandate is to be developed by this agency in a kind of self‑regulatory kind of way, clearly it is not going to work, fundamentally not going to work unless there is buy‑in from the industry.  Otherwise, self‑regulation ‑‑ I mean self‑regulation, it is doomed to fail.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1391              And that is why, again, I would have been quite comfortable actually coming here and proposing that that kind of expansion of mandate should have been subject to unanimity.  It is not.  It is subject to two out of three of the industry directors.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1392              We are not foreclosing in any manner, shape or form the potential need down the road of development of, for example, a substantive code and we suspect that to the extent that there is a threat of direct CRTC regulation on a given issue, that that will be high motivation indeed for the members to agree to this.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1393              But there is not going to be any confidence in the system is there isn't buy‑in.  How else can you develop a code or expand the mandate, whatever the issue might be?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1394              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, we will deal with the mandate after the break.  Let's take a 10‑minute break.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1395              But before we do that I just would ask you to take a careful look at the subject matters which are for special and extraordinary resolution because as you will hear from the submissions later on, there are quite a few people who take issue with it and it seems to me one must say that you erred on the side of abundance of caution.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1396              There are a few things that can be moved without ‑‑ what I gather is your principal concern is that you have three different groups of TSPs and you want to make sure that all their interests are represented on the key decisions and that is, I think, perfectly legitimate.  I just wonder whether you have to go as far as you did.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1397              Anyway, let's take a 10‑minute break and then we will continue.  Thank you.

‑‑‑ Recessed at 1116 / Suspension à 1116

‑‑‑ Resumed at 1132 / Reprise à 1132

LISTNUM 1 \l 1398              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Let's just go back one second.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1399              There is another provision in there which ‑‑ when we are talking about the adoption or even the consideration of a new code by the CCTS, the provision is that only a TSP can put that forward.  There is no provision that either we or the Commission could put it forward or another member of the board.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1400              I can understand you not wanting to be overburdened with a lot of extra work and therefore anything that is put forward obviously is subject to a vote and you have it right now as an extraordinary resolution.  But why a member of the board ‑‑ you have four members there, one representing consumer groups; three ‑‑ they are independent people selected by your procedure.  They can't even put something forward.  Isn't that somewhat harsh?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1401              I mean, you can vote it down but it seems to me if somebody says they really do need a code on whatever or we should expand the present code to cover that, isn't that a legitimate exercise of his or her duties as a member of the board?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1402              MR. McTAGGART:  Let me first just make sure we are clear that your understanding ‑‑ and this is drawn from section 86 of the bylaw that only ‑‑ that the development of industry codes of conduct and standards must be initiated by request by the TSP members.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1403              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Right.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1404              MR. McTAGGART:  And subsequently approved by way of extraordinary resolution.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1405              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you for putting it so precisely.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1406              MR. BIBIC:  Well, I hesitated because I wasn't sure if we were talking about the codes or the identification of trends, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1407              I think this is one where we probably also will have to come back to you with a collective members' view.  I could certainly answer on my own company's behalf but I can't ‑‑ I have to say that I don't know what the membership's views would be on your specific proposition.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1408              THE CHAIRPERSON:  There is some issue out there which needs to be addressed and if you four representatives feel very strongly about it, they should be able to share it with their colleagues and get a discussion going.  You can also vote it down because if you keep this present provision all they are going to do is they are going to petition us and we are going to ask you to look into it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1409              So why are we doing this?  This is supposed to be an industry self‑regulatory issue.  It's something of considerable concern that these folks feel needs to be raised at the board level, I think they have a ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1410              MR. BIBIC:  Certainly, on behalf of Bell Canada, and I suspect the others would likely agree, that at that stage I can't see anything wrong with another director bringing forward an issue and if the ‑‑ without affecting the voting rights of the industry directors on whether or not the agency proceeds with the development of such a code.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1411              I think there is a distinction between the two and the point you make we have heard loud and clear.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1412              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1413              Then just as a procedural point, we send you a letter to which we attached this chart, which sort of graphically represents the nomination process as we understand it subject to the modification which was in your recent letter that the provisional board of three people, I have no choice but to accept the selection of the three wise men from the head hunter to appointment.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1414              But I gather this represents the way the nomination process works.  If so, I would like to introduce it as CRTC Exhibit 1 so that I can use it in future cross‑examination or examination of other witnesses.

EXHIBIT CRTC‑1:  Chart representing the nomination process

LISTNUM 1 \l 1415              MR. BIBIC:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  You know, there might be some technical niceties in terms of the corporate language involved, but the members are comfortable that the diagram accurately describes the process.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1416              THE CHAIRPERSON:  All right.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1417              Okay, then let's go on to mandate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1418              Michel, I think you have some questions.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1419              CONSEILLER MORIN : Monsieur Bibic, vous avez dit dans votre présentation que vous avez consulté plusieurs intervenants pour avoir une vue d'ensemble, et ces intervenants là, je pense bien que ça devait être principalement les consommateurs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1420              J'aimerais simplement, pour établir la discussion...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1421              Quel genre de consultation vous avez fait?  Est‑ce que c'était une consultation formelle sur des points précis de fonctionnement de mandat avec les consommateurs ou si c'était, comme vous le dites, quelque chose d'ensemble?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1422              M. BIBIC :  C'était... on a consulté... au tout début, il y avait les plus grosses entreprises titulaires qui se sont rassemblées pour commencer le développement de cet organisme.  Il y avait Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, SaskTel, TELUS, évidemment, et on a développé une structure qu'on a ensuite présentée à plusieurs groupes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1423              On a rencontré les câblos.  Ils ont ensuite... comme vous le savez, il y en a plusieurs d'entre eux qui se sont joints à nous.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1424              On a rencontré d'autres fournisseurs tels que MTS Allstream et Primus et Vonage.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1425              Et on a eu une troisième rencontre avec plusieurs groupes qui représentent les consommateurs.  Il y en avait plusieurs.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1426              Et dans ces rencontres là, on leur a dévoilé la structure que, plus ou moins, vous voyez devant vous aujourd'hui.  On a ajusté quelques aspects de la proposition en fonction des commentaires qu'on a reçus.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1427              Mais c'était, d'après moi, en tout cas ‑‑ j'étais là ‑‑ des consultations assez détaillées sur des éléments de la structure assez précis.  Et voilà!

LISTNUM 1 \l 1428              CONSEILLER MORIN : Est‑ce qu'il y avait, par exemple, un questionnaire précis où des gens devaient cocher pour être bien sûr de l'opinion de chacun ou si c'était une discussion générale?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1429              M. BIBIC : Non, non.  C'était une discussion ouverte et générale sur plusieurs aspects de la proposition.  Il y avait un agenda, et caetera.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1430              CONSEILLER MORIN : Les consommateurs dans leurs mémoires, certains là, sans les citer, il y en a qui prétendent que les entreprises de télécommunication pourraient, par contrat, limiter éventuellement la portée des sujets abordés par le commissaire des plaintes.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1431              Ce que j'aimerais savoir, est‑ce que...  On peut concevoir que les contrats sont différents d'entreprise à entreprise, mais est‑ce que, à partir du moment où les gens font partie du CPRST, est‑ce que, à ce moment là, leur contrat peut être élargi de manière à soustraire des plaintes au Commissaire des plaintes?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1432              Autrement dit, est‑ce que les contrats, à partir d'aujourd'hui, sont gelés dans le sens restrictif du terme?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1433              M. BIBIC : D'après nous, ce serait inapproprié qu'un fournisseur qui s'engage à l'organisme devrait laisser tomber ses droits contractuels.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1434              Malgré ça, les Membres qui se sont joints à l'organisme sont d'accord que durant l'examination du dossier par l'organisme, par le commissaire, qu'il serait acceptable pour que le commissaire suggère une résolution au problème qui dépasse les sections formelles ou les droits formels du contrat en ce qui concerne, par exemple, la limitation monétaire.  Mais ça, ça serait aux fins d'essayer de résoudre le problème.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1435              Si la résolution proposée par le commissaire n'est pas acceptable au consommateur ou au fournisseur et le commissaire se doit d'émettre une décision formelle, à ce point là, on est d'avis que le commissaire devrait et doit respecter les termes contractuels auxquels le fournisseur et le consommateur de sont engagés au début.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1436              Les cours le font.  Les cours respectent les droits contractuels des deux parties.  Le CRTC le fait aussi.  Et d'après nous, il serait approprié que le commissaire le fasse aussi.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1437              CONSEILLER MORIN : D'une manière générale, une des craintes... vous avez dit tout à l'heure que vous avez déjà reçu un certain nombre de plaintes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1438              Est‑ce que vous avez un plan qui consisterait à faire connaître le CCTS auprès de l'ensemble des consommateurs?  Est‑ce qu'il y a un plan... et avant que vous me parliez de votre plan, j'aimerais vous poser la question suivante.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1439              Est‑ce que la meilleure façon d'informer le consommateur que votre organisme existe ne serait pas de faire en sorte que ce soit sur la facture du client, que sur la facture du client, on puisse retrouver la possibilité de faire une plainte par courriel, par fax, par le site internet ou d'une façon orale ‑‑ on en reparlera tout à l'heure ‑‑ ?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1440              Mais est‑ce que la façon, finalement, de faire cette publicité ou en tout cas d'annoncer la création d'un commissaire des plaintes, ce ne serait pas que, mois après mois, d'une manière récurrente, que le consommateur, quand il lit sa facture de téléphone, il sait qu'il peut s'adresser à un organisme?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1441              M. BIBIC : Je vais répondre à la question en partie, et ensuite, je vais donner la parole à mademoiselle Crowe de MTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1442              Mais en ce qui concerne la facturation, les entreprises titulaires qui ont été déréglementées récemment ont dû indiquer sur la facture, au moment de la déréglementation, que l'organisme était, je crois... que l'organisme existe, et c'était un des éléments requis par le conseil en ce qui concerne le plan de communication autour de la question de déréglementation.  Donc, ça été fait à un certain niveau déjà.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1443              Il faut aussi apprécier que c'est très... de notre point de vue, c'est très, très dispendieux d'inclure des messages de cette sorte sur les factures, beaucoup plus dispendieux, je crois, que les gens imaginent, et aussi, on utilise ces espaces là pour d'autres messages promotionnels.  Donc, si c'était une question de le faire mois après mois, ça serait une question très difficile pour nous d'implémenter.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1444              Mais en ce qui concerne le plan en général...  Oui.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1445              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais, dans le fond, est‑ce que ce ne serait pas moins dispendieux de l'incorporer carrément à la facture et que ce soit de façon récurrente, donc, ce ne soit pas à modifier de mois en mois?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1446              Plutôt que d'ajouter un feuillet de temps à autre, si c'était incorporé à la facture, est‑ce qu'on n'aurait pas là une façon directe, parce qu'un mois, un consommateur peut se plaindre, mais après, pendant 12 mois, il n'a aucune plainte contre sa compagnie, mais vient le 13e mois, et là, oops, c'était où?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1447              Alors, voyez‑vous, c'est cette difficulté que...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1448              M. BIBIC : Oui.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1449              CONSEILLER MORIN : ...je mets en...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1450              M. BIBIC : Monsieur Morin, il y a beaucoup de... d'après moi, il y aurait plusieurs autres façons de le faire qui seraient aussi efficaces, sinon plus efficaces.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1451              Les consommateurs recherchent la simplicité en ce qui concerne la facturation.  Il y a beaucoup de consommateurs, et de plus en plus à chaque mois, qui optent pour la facturation électronique.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1452              Inclure ces messages là sur les factures qui sont émises en papier, c'est très, très, très dispendieux, et, d'après moi, il y aurait d'autres façons de s'assurer que les consommateurs sont au courant de leurs options en ce qui concerne la résolution de leur plainte, et je préférerais qu'on examine ces autres options là que d'exiger que sur chaque facture, à chaque mois, on prenne plus de place encore.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1453              Les factures sont déjà détaillées et je crois, pour la simplicité, il faudrait trouver d'autres façons qui seraient plus efficaces.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1454              CONSEILLER MORIN : Est‑ce qu'on pourrait peut‑être éventuellement avoir des suggestions plus précises, éventuellement peut‑être, parce que sur le site internet, il pourrait y avoir ce même message aussi?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1455              Évidemment, dans la mesure où les gens paient par voie électronique, on comprend qu'ils ne regardent pas nécessairement la facture, mais sur le site internet, ils pourraient le faire.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1456              M. BIBIC : Ah! Absolument, ils pourraient le faire.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1457              MS CROWE:  I think I will jump in here.  Pardon me for speaking in English but the other issue with putting the CCTS contact information or any procedural information on a customer's invoice is we don't want the CCTS getting every customer question about the bill itself and that is a risk if the CCTS information is on every customer invoice.  There is the risk that that is the first person the customer will call with every question they have.  That wouldn't be an appropriate use of the CCTS' resources and as a service provider we want the first crack at making it right for the customer.  It is very much in our interest to get things right.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1458              That being said, a lot has already ‑‑ well, there's a lot of people who have already noticed the existence of the CCTS.  As you already heard, there have been over 1,000 customers who have contacted the CCTS when there hasn't been a very big communications effort made.  So I think that is a good sign.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1459              In the future, once we know exactly what the CCTS is going to look like, further communications ‑‑ Mirko has talked about some of them ‑‑ are indeed websites.  Most people do turn to the internet now to figure out how to deal with any issue they have.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1460              The CRTC itself already has a linkup to the CCTS and that is useful.  Members certainly should do the same.  There could be a line in our directories.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1461              The permanent CCTS Commissioner, I am sure, will also be talking to the media as the bigger launch is done and have a plan of his or her own as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1462              CONSEILLER MORIN : Évidemment, on peut dire ça, mais en Australie, par exemple, le commissaire des plaintes, l'Ombudsman là‑bas, se plaint qu'on ne fait pas assez sa promotion, enfin, qu'il n'arrive pas nécessairement à rejoindre tous les consommateurs qui veulent se plaindre.  Alors, c'est pour ça que je faisais allusion à une formule toute simple.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1463              Maintenant, en ce qui concerne votre site internet, justement, je suis allé sur votre site internet, Commissaire aux plaintes relatives aux services de télécommunications, et je vois, parmi les services en dehors de la portée de l'Ombudsman, que les personnes handicapées, ce ne serait pas votre affaire. Évidemment, vous avez fait des remarques ce matin.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1464              J'aimerais m'assurer auprès de vous, en ce qui concerne les aveugles, les sourds, quelle est votre position exactement?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1465              Actuellement, je comprends qu'on peut adresser une plainte via un fax, via votre site internet ‑‑ c'est très bien fait, d'ailleurs.  Au niveau de votre site internet, on peut remplir, et c'est tout simple ‑‑ et par écrit.  Bon!

LISTNUM 1 \l 1466              Mais aujourd'hui, pour un groupe qui représente l'industrie des télécommunications, le courriel, c'est très efficace.  J'ai Sympatico à la ville et à la campagne, et ça fonctionne très bien.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1467              Est‑ce que le courriel ne pourrait pas faire partie des façons de communiquer?  Est‑ce que le téléphone ne pourrait pas faire partie des façons de communiquer?  Est‑ce que le TTY aussi, les aveugles, et finalement, le contact oral, simplement de parler?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1468              Alors, au lieu de trois, comme vous le suggérez, est‑ce qu'on ne pourrait pas en avoir sept?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1469              M. BIBIC : Je cède la parole à monsieur Abbott.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1470              MR. ABBOTT:  Good morning, Mr. Commissioner.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1471              The choice of ‑‑ I'm responding in English, obviously.  The choice of having complaints submitted primarily in writing is a matter of efficiency, it allows the complainant to turn their mind to the complaint and to present all the facts and arguments that they believe are relevant and a web form has been provided online to assist the complainant to be able to provide their complaint.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1472              Now, your question as I understand it was, what about those who may not have access to the Internet or may not be able to submit a complaint in writing, and that is an excellent question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1473              As the Commissioner, the Interim Commissioner has indicated the accessibility of the complaints handling process is extremely important both to the Commissioner and to the members.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1474              And I think it was quite a legitimate observation made by Arch and other parties that writing may exclude individuals, either because they're illiterate or they may have some disability that impedes that and, in that respect, the members have requested that the Interim ‑‑ well, the members plan to amend the procedures to give the Interim Commissioner, the Commissioner the discretion to accept complaints in non‑written form in the appropriate situation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1475              But I think by and large the basic mode of taking complaints should be in writing and that will allow the process to be as efficient as possible.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1476              I would note that the website is W3C‑compliant.  So if, for example, a blind user has say a JAWS Browser that allows the blind to interact with Internet content, they can indeed hear what the content is and may also have the facility to fill out the form.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1477              Similarly, we do have TTY capability at the ‑‑ or the CCTS has TTY capability and in the appropriate circumstances can take, as I mentioned, complaints in other than written form.  That's certainly a change we plan to make very soon.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1478              CONSEILLER MORIN : Est‑ce que vous pourriez préciser exactement qu'est‑ce qu'il en est pour les personnes handicapées, les gens atteints de surdité, et les aveugles?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1479              Qu'est‑ce qui arrive?  Et pour les gens aussi... par exemple, je pense aux immigrants.  Bien, les immigrants, ils ne peuvent pas nécessairement écrire toujours correctement ou exprimer leur plainte à l'égard de leur fournisseur de services en télécommunications.  Donc, la présentation orale, à ce moment là, peut être intéressante.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1480              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Can I just add to this.  It is somewhat strange, we are talking about telephone and I can't make a complaint by telephone.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1481              If I have a problem with Bell, I pick up the phone, sooner or later I get ‑‑ after waiting half an hour I finally get some live voice and I can complain with them and can deal with it orally.  That is what Commissioner Morin is saying.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1482              You are saying no, unless you are handicapped we need it in writing.  Frankly, I don't quite follow the logic here.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1483              MR. BIBIC:  When you said 30 minutes you meant TELUS, I believe.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

LISTNUM 1 \l 1484              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Whoever.  I wasn't trying to blame anything on Bell.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1485              MR. ABBOTT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1486              With respect to the original question about what arrangements are currently in place for people with disabilities and what may be planned, I think that's most appropriately responded to by the Interim Commissioner as the CCTS is his organization to run as he sees appropriate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1487              Well, with respect to complaints primarily being in writing, I think that it's certainly not an unusual way amongst other complaints handling bodies to take complaints.  It's quite reasonable to have individuals focus their minds and put forward the facts and the arguments that they feel are relevant.  I don't see it as a ‑‑ personally don't see it as a significant bar to submitting a complaint.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1488              And let's remember that the average ‑‑ any consumer can deal with the CCTS in a number of fashions if they have an inquiry or they need assistance in submitting their complaint.  It's only the complaint itself that needs to be in writing.  They can consult, make inquiries, do whatever they want orally.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1489              But at this point with respect to arrangements for access by the particular individuals referenced by Commissioner Morin, I'll turn it over to Commissioner McKendry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1490              THE CHAIRPERSON:  You haven't answered my question.  You realize that, of course.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1491              I mean, if I have a problem with the telephone company, whichever one it be, I won't single out a single one, I can deal with it on the telephone.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1492              If I deal with the Commissioner of Complaints on telephones, I have to do it in writing.

Yes, you have got to explain to me why.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1493              MR. GRIEVE:  Well, Mr. Chairman ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1494              THE CHAIRPERSON:  You are talking about costs, is that the issue?  I mean, if so, say so.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1495              MR. GRIEVE:  No, no, I don't think it's an issue of costs, it's just a practicality that when we have a series of processes, if there's no written record of the complaint, then how do you go to the next stage and the next stage?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1496              It's not like dealing with a service rep on the phone who's going to try to fix the problem for you right there.  There has to be a record of the complaint so that it can go through all the processes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1497              If there's a way to ‑‑ you know, what we'd have to do is, if you want to take the ‑‑ give the option to everyone to give the complaints orally, then you have to write it down, you have to make sure it's right, maybe send it to them, make sure they agree or read it back to them or something like that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1498              I think it's a practical matter of having a record of the dispute for the purposes of going through the process.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1499              MR. BIBIC:  So, in cases where an able bodied complainant with access to all these mechanisms, in those cases ‑‑ it does relate to costs as well though in terms of if a person is able bodied has access, the most efficient way of making sure there's a record and of transmitting the complaint to the TSP is to do it this way.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1500              Now, recognizing, of course, that there is some constituency that may be illiterate or disabled, in which case it's an absolutely fair point that there needs to be accommodation there at some level.  And at that level perhaps we can turn it over to Mr. McKendry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1501              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mr. McKendry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1502              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Thank you.  Well, we will do whatever it takes to help people make complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1503              As Mr. Grieve pointed out, it's important where possible there be a written record because when a complaint comes up to me for investigation because it couldn't be resolved between the consumer and the company and the staff have not been able to facilitate that process, it's important to me to have a clear written statement from the person that's complaining about what the nature of their complaint is and what the issues are from their perspective.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1504              That being said, I do call the complainant in that situation and discuss their complaint with them to make sure that I have ‑‑ that they feel that they've captured all of their complaint and what's gone in writing.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1505              But if somebody for some reason has difficulty to put their complaint in writing, they have a literacy issue or some other issue, some other disability, we will do whatever it takes to help them get it into writing, we'll do it for them if we have to; or, if there needs to be a translator, for example, because French or English aren't their first language and they feel more comfortable in another language, we'll get a translator for them too.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1506              So, the bottom line here is whatever needs to be done we'll make sure it's done but, where possible, we want a written record because it really facilitates my job when I have to investigate and adjudicate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1507              CONSEILLER MORIN : Alors, si j'ai bien compris, Monsieur Grieve, the cost is no issue as far as the complaints are concerned?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1508              MR. GRIEVE:  I'm not sure...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1509              CONSEILLER MORIN:  You have said that it is not an issue as far as the costs are concerned for the deaf and blind people.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1510              MR. GRIEVE:  I mean, there will always be cost issues but we're not going to deny access because of a cost issue, we'll do these ‑‑ make sure there's access and do it in the most efficient way we can.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1511              My reference before was when the Chair was asking about whether the requirement for a written record was a cost issue, I said no, it's more an issue of record keeping than a cost issue.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1512              THE CHAIRPERSON:  But can I sum this up.  If I understand what I have heard it is slightly different than what the documentation says.  What Mr. McKendry says, he prefers to have the complaint written by mail or by fax, by ear, by Internet but, if necessary, that's a preference, it's not a requirement, he will take complaints orally and deal with them especially where the person is either handicapped or has a language difficulty.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1513              Is that a correct summary, Mr. McKendry?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1514              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  That's a correct summary and we will help them put it into writing and ensure it's correct.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1515              And I want to emphasize that in all cases I call the complainant when I make an investigation to ensure that the written record reflects their true concerns.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1516              THE CHAIRPERSON:  And you have sufficient operators who take telephone calls?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1517              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  We do at this stage.  We have expanded since we started.  We started with one.  Now, we have two and we are in the process of trying to decide when we should move up to three.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1518              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1519              CONSEILLER MORIN : On parle de réduction de coûts, puis je pense que vous êtes dans votre droit de surveiller de très près les coûts.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1520              Est‑ce que les plaintes collectives... parce qu'on parle, par exemple, d'un condominium où il y aurait un problème de service au niveau d'une entreprise de télécommunications.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1521              Est‑ce que vous êtes prêt à accepter des plaintes collectives, ce qui pourrait réduire les coûts, au lieu de 200 appels, 200 plaintes, vous n'en auriez qu'une?  Est‑ce que ça fait partie, parce que je n'ai rien vu nulle part, mais peut‑être ça fait partie de vos propositions, dans le fond?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1522              MR. ABBOTT:  Commissioner Morin, if I can respond to that question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1523              I believe what you are describing is akin to a class action and the rules of procedure specifically address that, the concept of a class action or one complaint being brought on the part of multiple individuals.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1524              The challenge with that is that class actions have a high level of ‑‑ there are a number of procedures to ensure that in fact the claims are all the same, that the parties have similar interests, that they arise from similar facts.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1525              The procedural safeguards required to properly conduct a class action or representative type of action are significant and don't really fit within the more informal consumer‑friendly Procedural Code that has been developed for the CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1526              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais je n'en suis pas au recours collectif.  Le mot " recours collectif ", c'est vous qui l'utilisez.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1527              Je parle d'une plainte dans un édifice de 200 appartements qui ont exactement le même problème, et au lieu d'envoyer 200 plaintes, d'encombrer le commissaire, on en envoie qu'une qui traite du problème qu'a rencontré l'ensemble des propriétaires du condominium relativement à la compagnie.  Je ne parle pas de recours, je parle d'une plainte.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1528              M. BIBIC:  Si c'était une plainte qui aurait... une plainte qui pourrait devenir ou serait en nature d'un recours collectif, la réponse, vous l'avez.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1529              Si c'est une question des mêmes... des faits assez spécifiques qui s'appliquent à plusieurs abonnés, j'imagine que ça serait possible, dans certains cas, pour le commissaire d'examiner la plainte.  Mais une fois qu'il y aurait question que cette plainte là pourrait devenir une question à un recours collectif, ça serait complètement inapproprié.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1530              CONSEILLER MORIN : Le CRTC dispose d'une procédure accélérée pour traiter les plaintes lorsqu'il y a des questions urgentes comme le débranchement, par exemple.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1531              Est‑ce que vous avez prévu une procédure accélérée dans votre projet pour répondre aux plaintes des consommateurs?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1532              M. BIBIC : Dans ces cas‑là, il ne faut pas oublier non plus que le premier point de contact pour le consommateur ou l'abonné serait, sans doute, le fournisseur directement, et on espère que, dans la grande majorité des cas, le problème serait corrigé de cette façon.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1533              Mais une fois que la plainte se doit d'être élevée au niveau de l'organisme, on est d'avis qu'on a établi des procédures qui seront efficaces et quand même assez rapides.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1534              Dans certains cas...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1535              Peut‑être je pourrais céder la parole à monsieur McKendry pour expliquer ce qu'il ferait dans ces cas là.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1536              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Well certainly, if there was a degree of emergency about the situation we would try and deal with it more quickly than we would otherwise.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1537              We do not have an explicit procedure in place but remember, when you contact us, you reach a real person and if that real person is seized of the fact that this is an emergency or an extremely critical situation, they would bring it to Mr. Paul's attention and to my attention and certainly we are perfectly capable of dealing with it on an urgent basis.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1538              It doesn't have to go into a queue and wait till we have done the other things that are ahead of it if there is some reason we should deal with it right away.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1539              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Mr. McKendry, on that issue, the likelihood is that people who are about to be disconnected would likely use the last recourse they have, which would be the CCTS, to call up and say the phone company or the provider is about to cut me off of whatever service.  Let's assume they are literate and have got all the skills and capabilities to explain themselves.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1540              Would the response back be please put it in writing and we will take a look at it when it comes in the mail or would you have an expedited process to look at it, take it over the phone and deal with it on a timely basis?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1541              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  If we were seized of the fact that it is an emergency and an urgent situation, we would ask that it be put in writing but we would immediately contact the company to see what the situation was and what could be done about it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1542              MR. BIBIC:  Commissioners, we certainly understand the nature of the questions and they are good questions and they are positing situations that are worst‑case scenarios but we are certainly all entering this thing with the best of intentions to resolve problems.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1543              Obviously, we think it is critical for an organization like this to have firm procedures so that everybody knows what the rules of engagement are going to be, recognizing that this thing has to be flexible enough to address concerns as they arise because we can't predict every single eventuality as we sit here today.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1544              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais ce que je veux dire actuellement, c'est que vous n'avez pas, comme telle, prévu une procédure accélérée, pour le moment?  Ça fait du sens peut‑être d'en avoir une, mais pour le moment, il n'y a rien d'arrêter à ce niveau là, c'est ce que vous nous dites?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1545              M. BIBIC : On n'a pas de procédure formelle de cette façon, vous avez raison, et la plupart des plaintes peuvent être examinées ou analysées selon les procédures qui ont été établies jusqu'à date.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1546              CONSEILLER MORIN : En ce qui concerne le commissaire des plaintes, est‑ce que le commissaire aura le droit d'enquêter, de faire des recommandations à l'égard d'enjeux systémiques, disons, de contrats douteux, de pratiques de prix?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1547              Jusqu'à quel point il aura la liberté de faire ça?  Pour autant que le modèle que vous proposez serait accepté là, avec le deux tiers, est‑ce que le commissaire pourra faire exécuter, parce que c'est un peu le mandat aussi du commissaire des plaintes que de voir un peu en avant qu'est‑ce qui se dessine selon l'information qu'il a ou qu'il n'a pas?

‑‑‑ Pause

LISTNUM 1 \l 1548              MR. BIBIC:  Mr. Morin, I think this would be a similar issue to the discussion we had a little bit earlier before the break about the expansion of the mandate.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1549              In terms of trends, the way we have designed the CCTS now, the TSP would ask the CCTS to initiate an examination or identify a trend, and again, it is for the same fundamental reason that it will be a fruitless identification or a fruitless examination if the industry doesn't buy into the issue.  So that would be kind of an answer at one level.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1550              The second part of my answer would be that when it comes to the identification of trends, the primary concern we would have is that the trends relate to industry trends and not trends within one particular provider and the trends would have to be with respect to questions that are within the mandate of the CCTS, within its scope and not things that are outside its scope, for example, broadcasting trends.  For example, broadcasting is not within the CCTS' scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1551              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mais je voudrais vous soumettre, simplement, deux faits.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1552              Je pense que vous avez commandé un sondage, et ce sondage, auprès de l'ensemble du public canadien, révèle que 90 pour cent des Canadiens voudraient que le commissaire des plaintes, l'ombudsman des consommateurs, puisse se livrer à de telles initiatives.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1553              Le deuxième point, c'est que c'est la volonté du gouvernement de mettre en place une agence, ce commissaire indépendant de l'industrie, qui n'aurait pas à demander trop de permissions, si vous me permettez, entre parenthèses, à l'industrie pour initier ou, enfin, développer son mandat.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1554              C'est deux faits que je soumets à votre attention.  Je ne sais pas si vous avez des commentaires là‑dessus.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1555              M. BIBIC : En ce qui concerne le sondage, je crois que vous faites référence à un sondage qui a été fait en 2005 pour TELUS, Bell Canada et PIAC.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1556              CONSEILLER MORIN : Mm‑hmm.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1557              M. BIBIC : Il faudrait que j'examine le sondage.  Je ne l'ai pas devant moi, et je ne me souviens pas de toutes les particularités ou les détails du sondage.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1558              En ce qui concerne le mandat, en général, de l'organisme, on ne croit pas, on n'est pas d'accord que le gouvernement avait l'intention de créer un autre organisme réglementaire pour remplacer... ou pas remplacer, en plus du CRTC.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1559              On croit que le gouvernement exige qu'il y ait une façon efficace de répondre aux plaintes des consommateurs, et on croit fermement que cet objectif là a été accompli avec la création du CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1560              CONSEILLER MORIN : J'aimerais avoir quelques précisions sur votre rapport annuel, ce qu'il contiendra.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1561              Peut‑être votre réflexion n'est pas à ce niveau‑là jusqu'ici, mais je suis allé sur le site australien, et on donne pas mal d'information, suivant les compagnies, suivant le niveau de résolution du problème.  Soit qu'on est à l'étape un, où il y a une plainte qui est adressée au commissaire, qui la retourne à la compagnie.  Ça, c'est le niveau un.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1562              On constate aussi que la plupart, la grande majorité des plaintes sont résolues au niveau un, mais il y en a quand même quatre, et on peut voir que certaines compagnies prennent plus de temps que d'autres relativement à résoudre le problème.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1563              J'aimerais savoir si, à votre avis, on devrait avoir, dans le rapport annuel ou sur le site internet, ce genre d'information où on aurait tout le détail des différentes entreprises de télécommunications au Canada, avec le nombre de plaintes qui sont faites chaque année pour chacune des compagnies, et l'étape de résolution, autrement dit, est‑ce qu'elles sont résolues très rapidement ou si ça prend du temps?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1564              Est‑ce que ce genre d'information là, vous verriez ça d'un bon oeil dans le rapport annuel du commissaire des plaintes?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1565              M. BIBIC : Je vais demander à monsieur McKendry de répondre parce qu'aucun des membres a l'intention d'avoir une influence indue ou de rédiger ou de contrôler ce qui va être dans le rapport annuel.  Donc, je vais demander à monsieur McKendry de répondre.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1566              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1567              If I understand the question correctly, certainly, statistical analysis of complaints is something that I would anticipate the permanent commissioner would want to include in the annual report and the statistical analysis would be around the types of complaints, the numbers of complaints, subject matters of the complaints and so on.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1568              In terms of performance standards in dealing with complaints, we have set out time limits for companies to respond and deal with complaints and so on.  I expect that we would report on that as well.  We track that information.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1569              I am not sure whether that completely answers your question or not.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1570              CONSEILLER MORIN : Ce que je veux dire, c'est que les tableaux...  Vous avez, sans doute, consulté le site du TIO australien.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1571              Est‑ce que ce genre de tableau, avec les quatre étapes et chacune des compagnies, suivant le nombre de plaintes qui ont été faites pour chacune des entreprises, est‑ce que vous seriez confortable...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1572              Dans l'intérêt du consommateur... moi, je suis l'abonné d'une compagnie Clear Networks, par exemple, en Australie.  Bien, il y a eu 70 plaintes.  Il y en a eu 50 qui ont été résolues au premier niveau, 13 au deuxième niveau, puis finalement, à la fin, toutes les plaintes ont été résolues au niveau quatre.  Cette compagnie là, semble‑t‑il, s'organise pour que les plaintes soient traitées effectivement, puis qu'on s'entende.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1573              Si les Canadiens avaient ce genre de tableau qui apparaît sur le site du TIO australien, bien, on aurait tout de suite une image de Bell, de TELUS, jusqu'à quel point ça vaut la peine de s'adresser au commissaire des plaintes et jusqu'à quel point l'entreprise s'efforce de résoudre le problème qu'elle a avec un certain nombre de plaintes.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1574              Je pense que c'est assez indicatif, finalement, pour le consommateur quand il a à choisir une compagnie ou une autre.  Il sait que s'il a une plainte, bien, s'il fait partie de la moyenne, ça va se résoudre assez facilement son problème.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1575              Est‑ce que, donc, ce genre d'information là, ce serait quelque chose qui vous rendrait confortable?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1576              MR. McTAGGART:  Commissioner Morin, if I could, I am happy to be able to tell you that what you are referring to is very much in line with what the Members view the annual report looking like and in fact on this particular point the Governor in council has given very specific direction and we have implemented that direction in the documentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1577              The order in council requires the organization to publish an annual report on the nature, number and resolution of complaints received for each telecommunication service provider, the implication being TSPs that are Members of the organization, and I think what you have described, a list of Members, the nature of the complaints, the level at which they have been resolved, we do contemplate a somewhat similar four‑level process.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1578              So I think the Members are comfortable with an annual report that would look very much like you have described, without having the document in front of me.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1579              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  And, Commissioner, we are tracking the information since we have started that would enable us to do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1580              CONSEILLER MORIN : Donc, est‑ce que... aussi, je regardais sur le site australien.  Je vous donne ça parce qu'on le voit.  Ils ont, par exemple, des descriptions de cas avec des entreprises.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1581              Est‑ce que ce genre de choses là aussi pourrait faire partie du rapport annuel?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1582              MR. McTAGGART:  On that point I can answer that, as I described earlier, the intention is that final decisions of the commissioner are made public.  For instance, they would be posted on the website and therefore become public information, identifying the TSP but never the complainant for privacy reasons.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1583              I think it would be open to the commissioner to look upon the body of decisions made in the previous year and highlight them in the annual report.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1584              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I presume nothing prevents him from generalizing, saying we have received this type of complaint, from where it is coming and this is how we resolved it, respecting people's privacy and their identity.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1585              But I presume, Mr. McKendry, you will give sort of a generic description of what you have done and how you have resolved it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1586              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Yes, and I think it could be useful to have some examples of complaints we have dealt with, assuming they are not at the binding decision stage, without mentioning the company or the individual involved because I think they can be helpful to readers of the annual report to understand how we operate and some of the issues that we are facing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1587              CONSEILLER MORIN : Je peux comprendre, donc, en fait, que vous êtes pour la transparence et qu'on pourra s'attendre éventuellement à un rapport annuel où toutes ces choses là seront évoquées dans beaucoup de détail.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1588              Un point que j'aimerais souligner, mais je ne sais pas si vous avez un point de vue là‑dessus, si une entreprise systématiquement ‑‑ je présume que ce serait la minorité chez vous ‑‑ ne collabore pas avec le commissaire aux plaintes, comment vous entendez traiter de la question, rendre compte de la question dans le rapport annuel?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1589              Déjà, si vous publiez ces chiffres, on aura déjà une certaine idée de la réticence de certaines entreprises à traiter des plaintes, mais si... parce que c'est un modèle volontaire pour l'instant.  Si une entreprise ne collabore pas avec le commissaire aux plaintes, qu'est‑ce qui se passe?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1590              Comment verriez‑vous le commissaire des plaintes rendre compte de cette situation, parce que, au final, c'est le consommateur qui pourrait en payer la facture?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1591              MR. McTAGGART:  Commissioner Morin, that is something that the Members have made specific provision for in the documents.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1592              First, as a general matter, by agreeing to join the CCTS, the TSP Members commit to abide by the decisions of the commissioner, in fact, without a right of appeal.  It is a very solemn promise.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1593              If a Member is consistently uncooperative with the CCTS investigators, for example, at the investigation stage, that information would make its way to the board and there is provision for specific disciplining of TSP Members.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1594              If a Member refuses to abide by a decision rendered by the commissioner, that, as a corporate matter, constitutes an event of default and puts that TSP Member at risk of expulsion from the corporation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1595              But looking at the issue from the consumer's perspective, I can tell you that, again, we made specific provision in the documentation that if the commissioner makes an award against a TSP Member but the TSP Member refuses to abide by it, the other TSP Members or the corporation itself can in fact give the consumer the requested remedy if that is possible and then pursue the matter against the Member itself.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1596              So we have tried to provide a remedy for the consumer as much as we can in that unlikely event.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1597              M. BIBIC : Aussi, Monsieur Morin...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1598              CONSEILLER MORIN : Dans les services qui sont sous la portée du... excusez.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1599              M. BIBIC : Je veux juste ajouter un petit point, Monsieur Morin.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1600              C'est que le fournisseur doit absorber les coûts des enquêtes du CCTS, et les coûts deviennent... les coûts sont élevés.  Ça devient plus dispendieux à chaque niveau de l'enquête.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1601              Donc, si un fournisseur ne collabore pas, et, à chaque fois, la plainte doit se rendre au dernier niveau, qui est une décision formelle du commissaire, les coûts du fournisseur vont être plus élevés en comparaison avec les coûts de ses collègues au sein de l'organisation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1602              CONSEILLER MORIN : Toujours sur le site internet, on voit qu'il y a des services qui sont en dehors de la portée du commissaire pour ce qui concerne les plaintes.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1603              Là, je vois, par exemple ‑‑ j'ai du mal à comprendre ‑‑ le prix, ce ne serait pas l'objet d'une plainte.  Alors, on a le prix.  On a les plaintes... les services d'urgence, ça ne ferait pas partie des sujets possibles de plaintes.  Il y a aussi le télémarketing ou messages non sollicités.  On en a parlé un peu plus tôt ce matin.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1604              Mais est‑ce que ces choses là sont révisibles?  Est‑ce que le prix pourra être l'objet d'une plainte?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1605              M. BIBIC : Bien, en ce qui concerne le prix, les prix doivent être établis...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1606              CONSEILLER MORIN : Par contrat.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1607              M. BIBIC : ...par le marché.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1608              CONSEILLER MORIN : O.K.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1609              M. BIBIC : C'est le marché qui détermine les prix.  Ça ne serait pas approprié pour un consommateur de se présenter auprès du CCTS et dire que : Je veux payer $15 pour mon service internet et non $20.  Pourriez‑vous nous donner votre avis, Monsieur le Commissaire?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1610              Par contre, si le consommateur se présente auprès du commissaire et indique que : On m'a promis de me facturer $15, et, en effet, on m'a facturé $20, et ce n'est pas l'engagement dès le début, bien là, le commissaire pourrait, bien évidemment, résoudre le problème en indiquant que la preuve est que vous lui avez promis $15 et non $20, il faut faire un remboursement.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1611              Donc, le prix tel quel n'est pas dans le mandat du CCTS, mais la facturation l'est.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1612              En ce qui concerne les services d'urgence et le télémarketing, je demanderais à monsieur Abbott de répondre à votre question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1613              MR. ABBOTT:  Before I answer that question, perhaps if I could give a bit of an overview that might help you ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1614              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Could we try to be a bit more precise in our answers?  We are really running out of time.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1615              MR. ABBOTT:  Certainly.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1616              THE CHAIRPERSON:  So just answer the question, please.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1617              MR. ABBOTT:  All right, I will answer the specific question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1618              Emergency services like 9‑1‑1 are directly regulated by the CRTC and we have focussed on forborne telecommunication services.  Complaints relating to them will be handled by the CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1619              CONSEILLER MORIN : Il y en a un autre que je n'ai pas évoqué, mais pratiques générales d'opération non couvertes dans les contrats ou les engagements avec le client.  C'est une porte ouverte.  Je ne le sais pas, ça m'apparaît...

LISTNUM 1 \l 1620              Est‑ce que ça, ça ne pourrait pas être l'objet de plaintes, les pratiques générales d'opération?  Puis là, vous indiquez non couvertes.  Si les pratiques générales sont couvertes, pourquoi... en tout cas.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1621              M. BIBIC : Si on décide comme fournisseur qu'on va envoyer un technicien chez l'abonné dans une période... un délai de 24 heures ou de sept heures ou de 12 heures, c'est à nous de déterminer et non au commissaire, au CCTS de déterminer ce que seraient nos pratiques d'opération, et voilà pourquoi on exige que ces pratiques là ne soient pas dans le mandat du CCTS.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1622              Je vous donne un exemple très concret pour répondre à la question rapidement.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1623              CONSEILLER MORIN : Dernière question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1624              Vous vous donnez un mandat aujourd'hui, mais on sait ‑‑ et ce n'est pas moi qui vais vous l'apprendre, hein! ‑‑ que le monde des télécommunications évolue rapidement, et caetera.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1625              Est‑ce que, actuellement, vous avez prévu formellement une révision du mandat du commissaire aux plaintes, parce que ce serait peut‑être bien qu'il y ait quelque chose de prévu, que le mandat puisse être révisé éventuellement, et dans quel délai, est‑ce que c'est dans 10 ans ou on n'ouvre pas la porte du tout à une révision du mandat?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1626              MR. McTAGGART:  Commissioner Morin, I will give the basic answer, which is that we have not made explicit provision for a review of the mandate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1627              That being said, I referred earlier to the means by which the fundamental documents of the organization, including the procedural code where its mandate is to find ‑‑ there is a procedure for amending those documents but it is one of the matters that requires a very high level of concurrence among the voting members.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1628              But if at some point down the road the members feel that they would derive benefit from providing their consumers access to the CCTS with respect to new services or matters, then I don't think there would be any hesitation to take advantage of the CCTS at that point.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1629              M. BÉLAND : Monsieur le Président, j'aimerais juste noter qu'on n'a pas répondu à la question de monsieur Morin sur le télémarketing.  Je sais que c'est une des questions précises que le Conseil a posées.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1630              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I am coming there.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1631              M. BÉLAND : Je suis prêt à répondre.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1632              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I am coming there. So a couple of things.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1633              Your position is that the Commissioner should only deal with forborne services, right, and not with regulated services.  And I just want to understand that.  I just want to understand the practicality.  For if the consumer doesn't know what he is complaining about, is it a forborne service or not?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1634              So Mr. McKendry, have I understood it correctly?  Somebody complains to you, you do first a triage to see whether it is forborne or not?  If it's not forborne presumably you send it to us and say this is part of the regulated service.  But you are not sending ‑‑ I hope you are not sending it back to the consumer but you are telling the consumer, "This is actually a matter that is within the CRTC's purview.  We have sent your complaint forward.  You will hear from them" rather than saying, "No, this is not mine.  Go to the CRTC".

LISTNUM 1 \l 1635              Is that how you handle it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1636              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  When a consumer calls in that situation we refer them to the CRTC.  We don't forward their complaint to the CRTC and, similarly, we would refer them to other bodies.  If, for example, it was a privacy complaint we would refer them to the privacy commissioner and we would tell them how to get in touch with the CRTC or the privacy commissioner.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1637              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes, that's assuming that it is a live voice, but since you want to have most of your complaints in written format ‑‑ so assume you get a fax or something like that, what is your ‑‑ what are you doing then?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1638              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  We reply in writing with the same information to the consumer that we would had they called in.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1639              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Why are you being so unhelpful?  Why would you not send the complaint directly to us and tell the consumer, "This is actually a matter for the CRTC.  We have forwarded it to the CRTC".

LISTNUM 1 \l 1640              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Well, the problem is we are not sure that that is what the consumer would want us to do and we wouldn't want to act on the consumer's behalf without an instruction from them.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1641              And secondly, there is a privacy issue in terms of distributing personal information we have received to another body.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1642              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1643              Mr. McTaggart, did you want to add something too?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1644              So it's the privacy that is preventing you from it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1645              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  I would say it is certainly privacy and not distributing personal information that we haven't been authorized to distribute by the individual.  But it's also the individual hasn't asked us to do it either.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1646              THE CHAIRPERSON:  But he wants his complaint resolved.  He is turning to you for help and rather than sending the complaint to the person who can hopefully resolve it you are turning it back to them.  I don't quite understand where the privacy is here.  The consumer has already shared his complaint with you.  So clearly he wants this issue resolved.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1647              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  He shared personal information with us for the specific purpose of having CCTS deal with that.  That's what he or she gave their consent to.  They didn't, when they approached us, consent to us giving that personal information to another party.  And in order to protect their privacy and, I would think, to be consistent with the privacy legislation as well, unless they give specific consent for us to distribute the information to ‑‑ their personal information to another party, we shouldn't do that and we don't do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1648              But we do try and be helpful.  We do try and ‑‑ we do point out to them who we think they should be in touch with if they want to.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1649              THE CHAIRPERSON:  But if you adopted a procedure along the way that I suggested, and we sanctioned that procedure, surely in that case you have all the protection that you need because the consumer by going there is buying into your mandate and your mandate specifically specifies that you will refer those complaints that are not within your limit over to us.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1650              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Well, there would have to be a mechanism in place for the individual to give their express consent for us to distribute the personal information to another body.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1651              I suppose we could set up a procedure for that.  It would have to be a written procedure.  It seems to me ‑‑ my first reaction to it is that that would be cumbersome and, in fact, it might be easier for the consumer to just know where to go and go there rather than have us doing it for them and obtaining their express consent.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1652              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Well, he obviously doesn't know where to go.  Otherwise, he wouldn't have come to you in the first place.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1653              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Well ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1654              THE CHAIRPERSON:  That's not part of your mandate.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1655              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Well, I guess what I am saying is that; one, we are happy to tell them where they should be going.  That's the service we can provide.  And two, without their consent to distribute that information to somebody else, we can't do it.  I suppose a procedure could be put in place to obtain their written consent or their informed consent, but we don't have that procedure in place now.  I would have to think about how we would actually do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1656              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Mr. McKendry, do we not today, the CRTC, routinely refer calls that come to us direct to you for complaints that are in the nature of CCTS complaints?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1657              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Subject to Mr. Paul expanding on what I'm about to say, my impression is that people that call you are told they can get in touch with us and given the number.  They are not ‑‑ the complaint itself isn't transferred to us.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1658              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Which takes me to the second issue, which is do not call.  That's obviously one of the great concerns of consumers right now and, as you know, there is specific legislation for starting up a do not call list and then for investigation.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1659              One of the questions we ask whether ‑‑ given your expertise, given your knowledge of the consumer, given hopefully the visibility that you will have as you get going, wouldn't it make sense to be one‑stop shopping for those complaints to be investigated by you as well?  Obviously, that should not be paid for by the TSPs.  They are going to have to find a separate funding mechanism but, in effect, a separate activity but very akin to it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1660              I gather the absolute unanimous response is "No".  Can somebody explain to me why?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1661              MR. BÉLAND:  Sure, I will explain briefly.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1662              Our concern, basically, is that the nature of the complaint is very different in the case of telemarketing than in the case of other complaints that would be before the Commissioner and the types of skills that are needed to investigate ‑‑ pursue ‑‑ to resolve that complaint are very different as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1663              So once again, the body that we have established here is focussed resolutely on a retail relationship between a provider and a consumer and they have a disagreement about how that contract is functioning and should be interpreted in a particular case.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1664              In a telemarketing complaint context you have a consumer who ‑‑ that some third party is trying to contact or bother him and so you are no longer resolving an issue between two parties.  You are trying to figure out who, to begin with this third party is, that's trying to bother one of these parties passing through whom ‑‑ may be passing through multiple telecommunications providers to get to the consumer, possibly even concealing ‑‑ actively concealing their identity.  Let's be frank.  That happens in telemarketing, things like calling ID, spoofing and so on.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1665              So the nature of the complaint is different.  It doesn't touch the contractual relationship between the provider and the consumer.  The investigation of the complaint requires much different skills.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1666              To give you an example, the two companies that I have worked in personally; telemarketing complaints often tend to land on our security department which is a department that is staffed to a large extent by retired police officers.  I don't think Mr. McKendry is hiring a lot of retired police officers.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1667              So the skills are different, the investigation is different and then, of course, as you mentioned, I don't think the ‑‑ it's clear that telecommunication service providers wouldn't want to pay for that activity and it's clear to me as well that the telemarketers wouldn't want us having the responsibility of determining necessarily how that activity is undertaken either, to see their point of view.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1668              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  On telemarketing, a somewhat tangential issue but just you were both aware, you and Mr. Grieve, when we had the essential services hearing a week ago, and to my great surprise I found out that there may be sort of a technological solution to this.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1669              In effect, one of your competitors had said that they offer this service.  You get a list of all the telemarketers locally.  You check off the ones you don't want to be called from.  They block those numbers and then you have the facilities.  You get another call from somebody whom you don't like, you just push "*22" or whatever it is, and that number also gets blocked.  They offer that service.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1670              Is either one of your companies offering something like that?  In effect, the consumer, rather than having an agency, every time the consumer gets a call he deals with this issue.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1671              MR. BIBIC:  I am going to, if you will permit me, get back to you on that one.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1672              All I can say is when one party professed to have created this magnificent innovation, I received an e‑mail from one of my colleagues saying, we have had this for 15 years.  But that is a very general answer.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1673              I didn't pursue any further, so I am going to get an answer to that very specific question, if possible.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1674              THE CHAIRPERSON:  It has nothing to do with this hearing.  It is just for our general information in terms of what is there technologically to solve some of the issues we deal with.  I would appreciate it if you both could get right back to me on that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1675              MR. McTAGGART:  We will do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1676              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1677              The only other point I think we need to cover is remedies.  When I look at what you are proposing, it is remedies of up to $1,000, while most other intervenors suggest, first of all, it should be $10,000.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1678              The other thing is you have a provision of saying a pre‑existing limitation of liabilities identified will be honoured.  I don't quite understand what that means because, as I understand it, the compensation on pre‑existing contracts is usually limited to a very small amount.  So, would that not make any compensation that the Commissioner can award really be a bit illusory, that most of the times the contract limitation would apply.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1679              MR. BIBIC:  Those are two separate issues that do merge together.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1680              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Have I mixed them up?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1681              MR. BIBIC:  You haven't.  They are two separate issues that do merge together at some point.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1682              On the limitation of liability, I think as I mentioned before in response to a question, the appropriate level of those limitations of liability should be determined by the market.  Courts enforce them.  The CRTC, in the regulated terms of service, there are limitations of liability, and we don't think it is for the CCTS to displace those.  So, that is on the limitation of liability.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1683              Putting that aside, going to the $1,000 limit, the members have contractually engaged themselves to allow the Commissioner to investigate complaints and to make recommendations for compensation up to $1,000; in essence, recommend that a resolution be put forward that goes over and above what may be contained within the four corners of the contract between the provider and the customer.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1684              THE CHAIRPERSON:  So those have become ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1685              MR. BIBIC:  They could be.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1686              Then it is up to the provider to decide, in this particular case, let's not enforce the strict terms of the contract; let's make this particular customer happy, let's accept the recommendation, in which case, when that is done, the matter is over.  This is also one of the reasons why the procedures have been set up such that those decisions, so a recommendation that goes beyond the four corners of the contract that gets accepted by both sides, we suggest shouldn't be made public because publication will act as a disincentive to accept these recommendations.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1687              In cases where the complainant or the TSP doesn't accept the recommendation, and it goes to a formal decision stage, because then it is binding, it is at that point that we feel the Commissioner or the CCTS should be making rules based on the contract.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1688              Back to the recommendation stage, if we get to levels that are above $1,000 and get to $5,000 or $10,000, we are getting into a financial territory where it is more akin to small claims court and there are procedural safeguards and procedural trappings there that protect both sides, which we think should be appropriate, if that is the kind of thing that is envisioned.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1689              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I am confused here.  We are going to the decision stage.  He made a recommendation that is not accepted.  He then makes a decision.  The decision is you should pay ‑‑ let's say he stays within the $1,000 ‑‑ he says pay them $900, but the limitation of liability is actually much lower, what happens?  Does the TSP have to pay the $900, or can it say, no, under that contract the maximum amount that I am liable for is $50, so I will pay $50.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1690              MR. BIBIC:  It would be the latter, keeping in mind, however ‑‑ this is an important point.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1691              THE CHAIRPERSON:  That is exactly my point.  So his award is illusory.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1692              MR. BIBIC:  It is not illusory, Mr. Chairman.  If the customer went to court, unless the contract were invalid, the Court would enforce the contract.  I don't think that the Order in Council was suggesting that the CCTS should make awards which displace contractual rights of either party in those circumstances.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1693              THE CHAIRPERSON:  No, but he is primarily a problem resolver.  You have chosen him, together with the other members.  He tries to work something out, and that will be 90 per cent of the time, we know that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1694              The few times where he actually has to make a decision, he does it based on his best understanding of the situation, having looked at all of the factors.  There you say, TSP, we are not obligated to abide by it, but, however, the decision is over the limit, so we will only pay the liability limit.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1695              That is lousy public relations, but having set up this, having gone through it, since you put the limit relatively low, at $1,000, shouldn't you at least live up to that limit?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1696              MR. BIBIC:  As a membership, we actually think that we have done the right thing by the consumer here because what we are saying is we trust the Commissioner, we trust him to make recommendations.  In most of the cases we are going to want to make the customer happy.  So, in that context, forget the limitation of liability, go up to $1,000 and in most cases, as you point out, I suspect that will end up resolving the matter.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1697              But if we get to a stage where an individual, with no statutory authority, no procedural safeguards of any manner, shape or form in terms of things like discovery and cross‑examination, et cetera, would start making binding rulings that go well beyond what is in the contract, we feel that that would be inappropriate.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1698              Also, I would like to point out, in case it is not clear, the $1,000 limit wouldn't apply to things like obvious billing error.  So, if over three months we have misbilled a customer to the tune of $1200, that doesn't form part of the limitation of liability and doesn't form part of the restriction on the Commissioner at the final decision stage.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1699              If there has been an improper billing error, if the complaint is properly borne out, then obviously the customer should be refunded for those costs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1700              MR. McTAGGART:  If I could just add, you mentioned that that kind of a result, the publication of a decision in which the TSP, it looks like they are trying to hide behind a contractual term when the Commissioner otherwise feels that a different remedy would be appropriate, you mentioned that that would be lousy public relations.  I don't think we should underestimate the severity of that kind of a result in the marketplace.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1701              On that point, I would just point out that the Broadcast Standards Council, its primary tool is that very kind of public bad publicity.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1702              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I understand that.  My whole point was that lots of people feel the limit is too low.  I thought the defence of the limit was that you will abide by it.  You have said if that is what the Commissioner says, we will pay the $1,000 even if we think he is wrong because that is part of the ‑‑ now I am going to say no, we will not pay the $1,000, even if he has said you should pay it because if the limitation is lower, we can choose, in effect, the lower of the two.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1703              It may be a rare example because Mr. McTaggart said it doesn't do much for your image, but I don't know why you would even build that in.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1704              MR. BIBIC:  The membership isn't prepared to waive its contractual rights to a body that again hasn't any of these procedural safeguards.  We are prepared to strongly consider recommendations.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1705              We also do not believe that the Governor in Council intended for us to waive any contractual rights.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1706              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Did you have another point on this?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1707              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  I have two follow‑up questions on this morning's discussion.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1708              Do you today or do you plan on recording calls that come in to your offices?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1709              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  We don't record calls, and we don't have any plans to record calls.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1710              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Do you have capability of hot transferring calls?  I am sure you folks in telecom know how to transfer better than anybody else does in order to hot transfer calls, for example, between the CRTC and the CCTS.  The customer is kept on the line live while the transfer takes place.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1711              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  No, we don't do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1712              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Would you do it if it made sense to do it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1713              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  We would do anything that made sense to do, let me be clear about that.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1714              I am just trying to decide whether or not that would make any sense for us, particularly in terms of the privacy issue I raised up earlier.  It doesn't seem to me if we have the consumer on the line and we are in a position to give them the CRTC's phone number that it is a difficult task for them to disconnect from us and call the CRTC.  That is probably where I would come down.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1715              In any event, we don't have that technology in place today.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1716              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Again, as part of being user friendly, if a consumer is on the line and you say this is a CRTC matter, do you wish me to transfer to the CRTC and he says yes, why wouldn't you do it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1717              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  We will take that under consideration, Mr. Chairman.  We certainly could do it technically and obviously we would obtain the permission of the caller to do it, which would be a simple thing to do, while they were on the line.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1718              So, we will take that under consideration.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1719              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mr. Bibic, I am sorry to backtrack, but this morning one point came up which was on the qualifications of membership, and you mentioned that you had modeled yourself on the OBSI.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1720              My staff points out that actually the OBSI is slightly different and it specifically requires that the independent members have a background in consumer and banking matters in that case, while here you seem to specifically exclude anybody who has a consumer background from qualifying as one of the three independent members.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1721              We look at the chart here.  We see collectively appoint three independent directors based on, as I understand the criteria, you cannot have been a member of a consumer group, if I recall from memory, I don't know whether it is for a certain period of time.  Why is there an exclusion of consumers from the independents?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1722              MR. BIBIC:  Persons who were with consumer lobbying groups or who have consumer advocate backgrounds are not excluded per se.  They are subject to the three‑year cooling off period that all other categories of potential candidates are, except for the government employees, as Mr. McTaggart identified earlier.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1723              So, there is one seat reserved for persons who are actually currently in that kind of role.  Others, for example, if Mr. McKendry were not the interim Commissioner, he has a consumer advocate background, he could have been eligible for a seat on the board.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1724              THE CHAIRPERSON:  The OBSI, just looking at the writing, says individuals with significant background in public and consumer affairs.  So, somebody, for argument's sake, who was director of the Consumers' Association of Canada, would be eligible, as long as he wasn't that for the last three years.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1725              MR. BIBIC:  That is correct.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1726              THE CHAIRPERSON:  And that three‑year cooling off period is what you think is adequate so that he becomes a truly impartial member?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1727              MR. BIBIC:  Correct.  The same thing would apply to a direct officer or employee of any TSP member.  So, myself, for example.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1728              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Just one or two more questions, if you don't mind.  Bear with me here.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1729              I read the time lines that exist between when a complaint comes in to the CCTS and the time for the TSP to respond back again.  What I didn't see, and maybe I missed it, is how long the CCTS would take to come up with a resolution one way or the other.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1730              Are there time lines for the deliberations within CCTS?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1731              MR. ABBOTT:  Thank you, Commissioner Katz.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1732              No, there are not specific time lines set out, but I think it is important to remember that the Commissioner is there as an impartial body.  He is also, in effect, an adjudicator and involved in investigations and he really needs to have the discretion to take the time that he feels is required to do his job.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1733              I think it would be probably inappropriate for the procedural code to say you only have ten days to do this, and if you run up against the end of the time, then you just don't get to consider any more.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1734              That being said, certainly there is a general obligation set out in the constating documents that the organization be run in an efficient, effective and quick and consumer‑friendly manner, which I believe would mean that the Commissioner and his staff would address things as soon as possible, and there would be no undue delay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1735              INTERIM CCTS COMMISSIONER McKENDRY:  Commissioner Katz, if I could just add something to that.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1736              It would be my view, and I don't know whether this will happen during the period of the interim Commissioner, but certainly the permanent Commissioner would want to consider putting in place performance standards for the office's work, and reporting on those performance standards is probably in the annual report.  I think that would be a valuable tool, not only for the management of CCTS, but also in terms of showing the public that we are efficient and that we do work as quickly as we can.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1737              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  We have been acclimatized to service standards at the CRTC as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1738              The only other question I have is the annual report, it is an annual report by definition so it comes out once a year.  Is there a period of time within which the end of whatever fiscal year you operate it will be out, number one, and number two, along with that, are there interim reports that will be made available to, say, the CRTC just to see the trends and stuff or is this once a year annual report that you will see X number of days after the end of the fiscal year?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1739              MR. McTAGGART:  I will be corrected by counsel if I misstate this, but, no, I don't believe there is a specific time frame within which the annual report must be issued, nor is there a provision made for interim reports other than to the members themselves during the course of the year.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1740              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Would the members consider making it available to the CRTC at the time that they see it?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1741              MR. McTAGGART:  I have just been reminded with respect to the timing of the annual report, and I apologize, I will have to ask you to ask your question again, but with respect to the annual report, it is a matter that comes before the annual meeting of members.  So, there is a certain amount of timing because it would be approved in its final form at the annual meeting of members.  So that tells you the timing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1742              I apologize, I didn't hear your follow‑up question.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1743              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Just whether there would be some availability of your interim reports that you present to your committees or your board as well.  The reason I ask that question is we do get in the CRTC our statistics of calls coming in to the CRTC client services, as we call them, as well.  So it would be a measure of comparison to just see how one is growing while one may not, as the case may be.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1744              MR. McTAGGART:  That is not something on which I can commit the members to anything at the moment except to say that we will take it away and think about what kind of information sharing would be possible during the course of the year.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1745              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1746              THE CHAIRPERSON:  One last question.  My colleague, Commissioner Morin raised the issue of periodic reviews or a review of the whole thing in three years.  You have said you hadn't planned it.  But I presume you wouldn't be adverse if we were to mandate you to do that or we would reserve the right to ask you to review it to make sure that it does fulfil the function for which it was set up?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1747              MR. BIBIC:  We have no objection.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1748              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much.  We have been very critical of you and asked many questions because you set this thing up and you are paying the fare, so I apologize that we were overly harsh.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1749              I repeat what I said at the beginning.  We are very impressed with the fact that you set it up, that it is working and it is there.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1750              We will break for lunch now.  Then after lunch we will hear from others.  Thank you very much.  Let's take an hour break.

‑‑‑ Recessed at 1254 / Suspension à 1254

‑‑‑ Resumed at 1402 / Reprise à 1402


LISTNUM 1 \l 1751              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Madam Secretary, who do we have today, or this afternoon?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1752              THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1753              We'll proceed with the next party which is the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and I would ask Ms Philippa Lawson to introduce her colleague, after which you'll have 20 minutes for your presentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1754              Please go ahead.

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

LISTNUM 1 \l 1755              MS LAWSON:  Thank you very much.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1756              Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1757              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Good afternoon.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1758              MS LAWSON:  Commissioners.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1759              Thank you for the opportunity to comment today on the design of a new Canadian Telecommunications consumer agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1760              My name is Philippa Lawson, I'm the Director of CIPPIC, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1761              With me today is a student intern at CIPPIC, Michael de Santis, and I'd like to thank him as well as our articling student Jocelyne Cleary for their assistance in preparing CIPPIC's submissions today.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1762              Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, you have an opportunity through this proceeding to create an effective body for resolving consumer complaints and marketplace issues in an increasingly deregulated telecommunications market.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1763              The effectiveness of the body you create will depend on a number of factors, most importantly its mandate, its powers and its independence from industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1764              We have clear marching orders from Cabinet calling for an independent agency in which all telecommunication service providers participate with a mandate to look into systemic issues as well as individual complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1765              We also have a model in operation, the industry created CCTS.  The industry model goes some way towards establishing the independent and effective agency envisaged in Cabinet's Order‑in‑Council, however, in our view, a number of changes are critical if it is to meet Cabinet's direction and to be truly effective.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1766              These changes include the following seven:


LISTNUM 1 \l 1767              First, it should cover all telecommunication service providers, not just those who wish to join.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1768              Second, it should be truly independent of industry, especially with respect to such matters as reporting to the public and to the CRTC.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1769              Third, it should have an explicit mandate to deal with systemic issues as well as individual complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1770              Fourth, it must be able to deal with the full range of issues that telecom consumers typically have with their providers, including such issues as customer service, unfair contract terms, sales tactics, misleading advertising and hidden fees.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1771              Fifth, it should publish statistics on all complaints by company, not just those that escalate to the final decision stage.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1772              Sixth, it should be empowered to order appropriate levels of compensation regardless of liability limitations that companies purport to impose on their customers by contract.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1773              And, finally, it should be named and actively promoted in such a way that consumers across Canada are aware of it, can easily find it when looking and are referred to it in all appropriate cases.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1774              I will now address the issues in the order requested.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1775              Membership.  The Order‑in‑Council states, and I quote:

"All telecommunication service providers should participate in and contribute to the financing of an effective consumer agency."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1776              MS LAWSON:  The Telecom Policy Review Panel (TPRP) as well recommended a mandatory model backed up with new CRTC enforcement powers.     Well, we think that should be the end of the debate on this issue.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1777              My friends from the Companies have, at least until today, been putting up strong opposition.  They would like a voluntary model under which companies are free to set up alternative complaints resolution bodies or not to offer consumers any recourse beyond their own complaints handling.  Indeed, a number of players have chosen not to join.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1778              The Companies claim that market forces are sufficient to ensure that the CCTS continues to operate.  This argument may seem attractive at first blush, but recall that the CCTS was not a voluntary initiative; industry was effectively ordered to set it up.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1779              Market forces are not driving this initiative and are unlikely to drive it in the future.  This is because consumers don't generally think about dispute resolution when they sign up for service.  Unlike price and fancy service features, it's not something that companies advertise.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1780              So, if it's voluntary it's likely never to be comprehensive and, indeed, may well leave consumers in certain geographic areas without any recourse beyond their TSP.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1781              If voluntary, there would be no guarantee that the agency would continue operations into the future.  Like the Cable Television Standards Council and the Ombudsman for Long Distance Telecommunication Services, both of which were voluntary industry initiatives, it could well die a quiet death.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1782              Making it mandatory will have the added benefit of creating a barrier to entry by bad actors.  If they're less likely to get away with poor service in Canada, they may decide to stay away.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1783              It will also ensure that consumers have a single point of contact for resolving telecom disputes.  This, in our view, is more efficient than allowing two or more schemes to operate at the same time.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1784              I know you've asked the Broadcast Standards Council to appear today and we think they do a fine job as a voluntary body, but that is an entirely distinguishable enterprise from what we're talking about today on a number of counts; most notably, that complainants always have recourse to the CRTC, it's a regulated industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1785              Moreover, billing or other service disputes are of an entirely different nature than offensive content complaints.  They are persistent, while offensive content is ephemeral.  They involve money, not opinions.  Complaints are about the service provider itself, not third party content.  Remedies involve compensation, not just apologies and changing service providers is much more onerous for consumers than simply changing the channel.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1786              So, with great respect for Mr. Cohen and the CBSC, we feel its relevance to this proceeding is quite limited.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1787              Governance structure.  Cabinet's order is clear that:


"The governance structure of an effective consumer agency should be designed to ensure its independence from the telecommunications industry."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1788              MS LAWSON:  That was a quote.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1789              The CCTS model gives industry too much power over the agency and, therefore, does not, in our view, meet Cabinet's requirement of independence.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1790              First, although this is an agency designed to serve consumers, only one of the seven board spots is reserved for a consumer representative.  In contrast, industry reserves three seats for itself.      There should be at least as many seats on the board for informed consumer representatives as there is for industry, at least in order to balance the competing interests.  If necessary, one tie‑breaking seat can be given to an independent director with no association with industry or consumer groups.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1791              Second, even if board membership is balanced, the industry has created a structure that ties the hands of the Commissioner in at least three critical ways.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1792              First, the Commissioner cannot report on systemic issues or initiate the development of industry codes of practice without being requested to do so by the industry members, and I refer to section 86 of the bylaws, yet these are critical functions that Cabinet explicitly set out for the new agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1793              Second, the Commissioner must get board approval in order to conduct research into complaint trends, and I refer to paragraph 13 of the Companies' July submission, or to work on industry codes of conduct or standards.  Again, it's unclear what this achieves other than to keep the agency from doing the work it should be doing.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1794              And, third, board approval of the annual report requires a two‑thirds majority which equates to five out of seven board votes and, thus, allows the industry an effective veto over reporting that may put them in a bad light.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1795              Mr. Chairman, it's hardly a safeguard to give the very industry that is being disciplined by a supposedly independent Commissioner the power to prevent that Commissioner from reporting and working on issues he or she deems worthy of attention.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1796              In no case should industry have the right to interfere with, let alone have a veto over Commissioner publications, activities or determinations regarding marketplace issues or complaints.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1797              I'd also note that the TSPs, as you've pointed out this morning, set up the bylaws so that the procedural code and the bylaws cannot be changed without an extraordinary resolution, that including two‑thirds of industry members themselves.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1798              Given the novel nature of this initiative, the fact that the very industry subject to the agency orders has been tasked with designing it, there is a strong likelihood, in our view, that changes will be needed in the future to better serve the public.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1799              Such changes could involve expanding the mandate or changing procedural rules, but such changes may well meet industry objection because of their own self interest and, therefore, industry may block them under this model.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1800              And I'd point out that the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments recently had a review done which recently recommended enlarging its mandate to include systemic issues.  In that case I expect it to go through because their board includes seven independent members as opposed to three from industry.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1801              Moving on to issues of mandate.  I'd like to talk first about systemic issues and then about eligible complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1802              On systemic issues, quoting again from the Order‑in‑ Council:

"The mandate of an effective consumer agency should include, in addition to resolving complaints, the development or approval of related industry codes of conduct and standards, publishing an annual report on the nature, number and resolution of complaints received for each telecommunication service provider, and, as appropriate, identifying issues or trends that may warrant further attention by the Commission and the government."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1803              In spite of this clear direction from cabinet, the industry model focuses almost exclusively on individual complaints, providing the Commissioner with potentially no leeway to pursue these other equally important activities.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1804              As already mentioned, the industry has given itself the right to block publication of reports that it doesn't like, indeed to prevent the Commissioner from looking into systemic issues in the first place.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1805              The letters patent of the industry corporation limit its objects to individual complaints resolution and the publishing of annual reports.  The procedural code deals only with complaints resolution, and the by‑laws give the Commissioner no powers to report on systemic issues or to develop industry codes of conduct except upon request by TSP members.  I refer you to section 86 of the by‑law.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1806              Yet the agency's most valuable function, in our view, may be its ability to deal with and resolve recurring or broad based marketplace problems.  In CIPPIC's view, the agency is going to be of very limited effectiveness if all it does is resolve individual consumer complaints on a largely confidential basis.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1807              Many of the issues coming before the agency will be of a systemic nature, requiring action or a company‑wide or even industry‑wide basis.  For reasons of efficiency and effectiveness, the agency should be given explicit powers, indeed duties, to investigate and report on such issues.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1808              We agree with the TPRP that the agency should be empowered "to conduct research and analysis into significant or recurring consumer problems," and to refer such matters to the CRTC with a requirement for the CRTC to respond within six months or some other reasonable time.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1809              On to eligible complaints.  First, matters of scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1810              An effective consumer agency should be empowered to deal with all consumer complaints involving telecommunication services other than those that involve non‑telecommunication services or services beyond the TSP's control that are being or will be resolved by another body, or that have to do with content, the setting of prices or general telecommunications policy more properly handled by the CRTC

LISTNUM 1 \l 1811              In particular, the agency should be empowered to deal with complaints about contract terms, customer service, misleading advertising, sales tactics and other operating practices, all of these being matters that the CCTS currently treats as outside its scope.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1812              Interestingly, complaints about customer service and unfair contract terms account for close to half of all complaints to the Australian telecommunications industry ombudsman.  Common customer service complaints include failing to act on a customer's request, giving incorrect or inadequate advice or not being able to be contacted.  Common complaints about contract terms include high termination fees, changing terms in mid contract and providing inadequate or misleading advice at point of sale.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1813              I have heard no good reason why the Canadian body shouldn't be likewise empowered to deal with these kinds of issues.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1814              Overlapping jurisdiction.  Issues such as misleading advertising and privacy should not be treated as outside the agency's scope simply because another agency has jurisdiction over them.  Consumers in this case must be assured of recourse from that other agency before they are abandoned.  We all know that individual complaints about misleading advertising are rarely, if ever, acted upon by the Competition Bureau.  The bureau is not a consumer protection agency and doesn't pretend to offer consumers recourse.  For us to pretend that consumers have effective avenues of resource against companies for this kind of activity is to deny reality.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1815              Regulated services.  We agree with the TPRP that regulated, as well as unregulated, services should be covered by the agency.  There are a number of reasons why this makes sense.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1816              From the consumer perspective there is no difference.  Telecom service is telecom service, and the same recourse should be available for poor service, whether it is regulated or not.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1817              Second, the category of regulated service is a moving target.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1818              Third, it is more efficient for one agency to deal with consumer complaints about all telecommunication services.  In fact, having two agencies dealing with similar kinds of complaints risks, in our view, far more wasteful duplication of resources than that which the companies claim would result if complainants have recourse to the CRTC, should they not be happy with the agency's decision.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1819              Finally, mixed issues.  Services and matters that are outside the agency's mandate need to be much more clearly defined than they currently are in the CCTS model.  Even so, some issues will undoubtedly involve matters that can be seen as either in or out of the scope of the agency's mandate.  The constating documents should state that wherever an issue can be reasonably interpreted as within the agency's scope, it should be treated as such.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1820              On to the issue of remedies.  The TPRP recommended a maximum compensation limit of $10,000, and so do we.  Similar limits are applied in both Australia and the UK.  While the vast bulk of complaints are likely to involve losses of less than $1,000, there will realistically be at least some for which a higher level of compensation is justified.  It is not clear to us why the agency should be restricted from ordering awards of higher than $1,000 in deserving cases.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1821              More importantly, however, telecom service providers should not be able to undermine the regime by inserting into their terms of service clauses that limit their liability for precisely the kind of behaviour that the new agency is meant to address.  If contractual restrictions are allowed to take precedence over the agency's power to award compensation, it won't matter what the limit on awards is.  Companies will simply, as they do now, ensure that their terms of service relieve them of any meaningful liability.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1822              We did a quick review of some of the CCTS's member terms of service, and found that they all contain liability limitation clauses that would, under the CCTS approach, neutralize the agency's ability to award compensation in a wide range of cases.  Most deny liability whatsoever, zero; others limit it to $20 or possibly $100 in one case.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1823              It is important to note that these terms are not legally enforceable simply by virtue of being in the contract.  Indeed, we would argue that they are invalid under both provincial consumer protection legislation and the common law doctrine of unconscionability.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1824              We are unaware of any case law in Canada upholding, for example, Bell's $20 liability limitation for breach of contract.  We doubt that any court would uphold such limitations on consumer remedies in the deregulated context.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1825              The law does not prohibit companies from putting outrageously unfair terms into contracts.  This is the problem.  So of course they do, knowing full well that such terms will not be enforced but hoping that they might at least deter some consumers.  So, unless confirmed by the courts as fair and enforceable, these clauses should be given no weight in the determination of appropriate remedies by the new agency.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1826              With respect to other contractual clauses such as time periods for bringing complaints, we recommend that the agency rules take precedence over conflicting contractual provisions.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1827              Operations.  For the most part the CCTS procedures for complaint handling are fine.  However, we do believe that a few changes are necessary.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1828              First, e‑mail complaints should be accepted.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1829              Secondly, web forms should not be used unless they automatically send a copy of the complaint back to the complainant so that the complainant has a record of what she sent in.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1830              Third, complaints should be accepted over the phone, as they are in Australia.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1831              Fourth, complaints should not be rejected simply because complainants failed to specify the result they would like to see, or their content to be bound by the agency's rules, which is currently a requirement in the procedural code.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1832              Fifth, complaints should not be rejected simply because they are filed by several complainants, and that is required under procedural code 6.14.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1833              Finally, 20 business days is too long for the initial company response, in our view, to a complaint from the agency.  The time lines should be shortened.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1834              Now quickly on to other matters.  First, confidentiality.  As already noted, the Order in Council calls for the agency to publish an annual report on the nature, number and resolution of complaints received for each telecom service provider.  It clearly, therefore, contemplates publication of reports identifying complaints by provider.  Yet, the CCTS by‑laws, and again I refer to section 86, require that any reports on industry issues shall maintain the confidentiality of the TSP members, completely contradicting cabinet's direction.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1835              Publicity is a powerful compliance tool and can be used to encourage early stage complaint resolution.  However, it is also important for general transparency and accountability purposes, key components of an effective marketplace.  If the anonymity of TSPs is protected, except with respect to the few complaints that reach a binding decision stage, the Order in Council will not, in our view, have been fulfilled.  The agency will be severely frustrated in its ability to inform the public and the CRTC, and the potential for this process to affect marketplace behaviour will be limited.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1836              The agency should therefore be empowered to name TSPs in all general statistics reporting by issue and by complaint level as is done in Australia, as Commissioner Morin has already pointed out.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1837              I have with me copies of the most recent Australian complaints reports for your review, which I can pass around, which just show how it is being done without any ill effect on the industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1838              Finally, Mr. Chairman, on the matter of promotion, in order for the agency to be effective, it must be well known among consumers and individual consumers must be referred to it in all appropriate cases.  The CRTC should therefore ensure that all TSP members clearly and prominently advertise the agency on their websites, in their promotional literature and on all bill statements.  Efforts should be made to ensure that search engine optimization occurs.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1839              Consideration should also be given, in our view, to a new name for the agency.  While it is obvious that a lot of lawyers worked on this initiative, it doesn't seem to us that the companies put their considerable marketing resources to work on the name.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1840              In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, in short, consumers, cabinet and an expert panel established by the government are all calling for an independent effective agency with sufficient powers to influence market behaviour in the telecommunications industry, as well as to resolve individual complaints.  The CCTS is not yet that agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1841              Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1842              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much, Ms Lawson.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1843              I didn't expect to see you so soon again before me, but it is always a pleasure to hear from you.  That was certainly a very logical presentation.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1844              You really have approached this a little bit like legislation.  If we legislated a consumer agency, what should be the power there? We are very much restrained here by the Order in Council.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1845              Your point four says it must be able to deal with a full range of issues that telecom consumers typically have from all providers, including customer service, sales tactics, misleading advertising and hidden fees.  I can't see any basis for that in the Order in Council.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1846              Where is the authority in the Order of Council basically suggesting that the CCTS not only deal with complaints in the forborne area, but in effect become sort of the basket to assemble all consumer complaints.  I don't deny that it would be wonderful to have that power, but what we are supposed to approve is something that is responsive to the Order in Council and, frankly, I just don't see what portion of the Order in Council you think allows us to exact this kind of provision from the industry, which after all is putting the CCTS into place.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1847              MS LAWSON:  Mr. Chairman, the Order in Council calls for an effective consumer telecommunications agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1848              We are not suggesting that the mandate go any further than telecommunication services.  I didn't mention, but small business obviously as well as consumer.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1849              What we are suggesting should be within the mandate of the organization are issues that are within the mandate of other organizations, such as the Australian telecommunications industry ombudsman.  They go to the issue of effectiveness.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1850              These are all matters that occur in the forborne telecommunications marketplace.  That is a separate issue from the regulated versus unregulated issue.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1851              THE CHAIRPERSON:  You are losing me here.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1852              We are having forborne areas, and cabinet clearly said this is forborne, unregulated, make sure the consumer doesn't get left out.  Now here you come and say, well, no, we want a comprehensive consumer agency, it should deal with regulated as well as forborne areas because the consumer doesn't know the difference, and there is a whole bunch of other things that the consumer has grievances about, such as sales tactics, misleading advertising, give it to them too.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1853              Frankly, I just don't see where the word effective means that we can mandate all of this kind of authority on to the CCTS.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1854              MS LAWSON:  Again, we are not suggesting that you go beyond the Order in Council in any way at all.  We are saying these are the kinds of complaints that consumers have about telecommunication services.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1855              As I pointed out, they make up close to half of the complaints dealt with in Australia.  Let's put aside the issue of regulated versus unregulated.  Let's just accept that we are going with forborne only.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1856              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1857              MS LAWSON:  So, we are just talking about forborne telecommunication services.  Then we are talking about what is in scope and what is out of scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1858              We have been looking at the industry's proposal.  They have a nice chart here with the services and the matters that are within the scope, and the services and matters that are outside the scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1859              THE CHAIRPERSON:  What document are you referring to?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1860              MS LAWSON:  It is from their website.  I think I printed this off from the website, the scope of the mandate.  There is a chart and it appears at page 9 of the July 23rd submission.  So, the proposal, the original proposal from the companies when they talk about eligible complaints.  So, page 9, paragraph 35.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1861              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1862              MS LAWSON:  There is a nice chart there showing the proposal, the CCTS model.  The services that are within scope and the services that are out of scope and then similarly with matters.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1863              We looked at this and we are looking at, okay, consumers are going to want to have as many of their complaints about telecommunication services as possible dealt with by this agency.  So, we recognize that there are a number of things that should not be within the scope, but we find that many of the items listed here, such as contract terms, false or misleading advertising, policy matters stated just baldly, policy matters, general operating practices not covered in customer contract terms or commitments, there are many complaints that could be characterized as falling under those categories that we think should be dealt with by a Commissioner and that I would suggest cabinet expected this new agency to deal with as well, otherwise in our view it would not meet cabinet's requirement of an effective consumer agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1864              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Let me turn it the other way around.  Claims of false or misleading advertising is here clearly marked as outside the scope of the CCTS.  You say this is one of the main complaints consumers have.  Fine, that is accepted.  That is what the Australian evidence says.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1865              Now I am turning to the Order in Council and I am saying where on earth is this covered, and I don't find it.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1866              MS LAWSON:  No, the Order in Council doesn't get into that level of detail, nor does the Order in Council say that they should be outside the scope.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1867              I think the Order in Council doesn't help us at this level of detail.  It doesn't push it in either direction.  It just says it needs to be effective, and you have to decide what is the best result here to achieve an effective agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1868              THE CHAIRPERSON:  You made a very eloquent point about systemic issues, trends, et cetera, which are specifically mentioned in the Order in Council and you fault the constating documents for basically depriving the Commissioner of any authority over that unless he has got the consent of the TSP.  I think that is a very valid point.  Cabinet asked for it, we can't deliver it without ‑‑ is that a proper restriction or not?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1869              I must say I am somewhat hard pressed to find sales tactics, misleading advertising or hidden fees all in the concept of an effective agency.  Effective presumably to deal with a problem that is coming up, and the problem that is coming up, we are going to have forborne areas, which we didn't have before.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1870              MS LAWSON:  And these are examples of the kinds of issues that consumers have in forborne telecommunications markets.  They are coming to us right now.  We have had a number of complaints about misleading advertising by internet service providers of highspeed internet service.  The only recourse for consumers right now is to go to the courts on that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1871              We think this is something that it would be very useful for the agency to be able to address.  Absolutely cabinet did not get into this level of detail, but what we have here is a proposal from the industry that is frankly biased in their favour.  They are cutting out as much as they possibly can here, and we think that it is too much.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1872              We went and looked at other models ‑‑ Australia, in particular ‑‑ to see what were the kinds of complaints that that body was receiving, and we found that many of the common complaints there would be outside the scope of this agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1873              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I guess you and I differ here.  You are saying it would be nice, they should have this.  I don't necessarily dispute it, I am just saying I am trying to base myself, put myself in the Order in Council, and I have a difficulty there.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1874              What about regulated services, how do you see that the Order in Council allows us to also suggest that the CCTS deal with regulated services?  You say you agree with the TPRP, which suggested that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1875              MS LAWSON:  The TPRP was quite clear.  They addressed it.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1876              I don't think cabinet addressed it.  There are a number of issues that cabinet has not addressed, but the Order in Council doesn't help you either way.  It just says you need to create an effective agency.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1877              So, I don't think the Order in Council pushes it in one direction or the other.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1878              THE CHAIRPERSON:  We heard Mr. McKendry this morning on this whole issue on which I asked him obviously a consumer doesn't know whether an area is forborne or not, et cetera.  So, he will be the first point of contact.  He will advertise himself, the ASTPs will advertise, we will advertise he exists.  If I have a complaint, I call him up.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1879              Now, when he says he doesn't have authority, he essentially suggests that he will tell the people call the CRTC, here is a name, here is the number, here is their website.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1880              Consumers aren't going to be very happy about that.  They will want somebody to address their problem, rather than being forwarded.  Do you see any way that we can get around this, any practical way?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1881              MS LAWSON:  That we can get, excuse me, around this?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1882              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes.  He has no authority for regulated services; we have, yet, he will be the recipient of all the complaints.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1883              MS LAWSON:  You mean how do we operationalize the recommendation?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1884              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes, right.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1885              MS LAWSON:  My thinking is that the CRTC could delegate its powers the way it does to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council right now.  Those are all regulated matters that consumers can make their complaints about offensive content to the CRTC directly, but the CRTC allows those complaints to be dealt with first by the CBSC.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1886              THE CHAIRPERSON:  It had unfortunately impact on the cost of those operations, which is one thing we would have to work out.  But that is an interesting suggestion.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1887              On the remedies, and you were here this morning, you suggest, if I understand it correctly, (a), go to $1,000, and (b), that the contract limit, liability limitations are probably not enforceable in any event, but shouldn't be ignored here by the Commissioner.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1888              Again, how do we operationalize this?

MS LAWSON:  In the rules of the constating documents, the telecom service provider members of the organization or the companies that are subject to it would agree to give the agency the power to award compensation and to apply rules that may be in conflict with terms that they choose to put in their contracts.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1889              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Effectively, if we take your limit of $10,000, they would waive their contractual liability for any amount under $10,000?  The TSP would basically say any award that you make under $10,000 we will accept and we will not exclude it on the basis of contract?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1890              MS LAWSON:  Exactly.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1891              THE CHAIRPERSON:  ‑‑ exclude it on the basis of ‑‑

LISTNUM 1 \l 1892              MS LAWSON:  On contract, exactly, yes.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1893              Yes, I mean, as I said already, these are not necessarily enforceable terms and the point is the law doesn't prohibit companies from putting the terms in their ‑‑ they can put whatever they want in the contracts and then wait and see if it is legally enforceable.  And in our view these are generally not legally enforceable.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1894              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Now, on what you call other matters, confidentiality, you obviously believe very much in the power of shaming and naming people and pointing it out, et cetera, and feel the Commissioner should do that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1895              Again, do you see that in the order in council, that there is a requirement to identify individual companies that are offside and to extend it there or is this again something that you feel is implicit in the order?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1896              MS LAWSON:  I think it's pretty explicit in the order, but I would first just clarify our position on naming and shaming.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1897              We are ‑‑ and contrary to the written version and the comments that I submitted ‑‑ originally what is in there suggests that they should be publicizing recommendations by company.  But we are willing to concede on that one and say, okay, with respect to individual complaints leave it to the final decisions.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1898              But when it comes to just general industry statistics that Commissioner Morin was referring to earlier this morning and for which I passed around some examples, that is just general information.  That's hardly ‑‑ I mean, it's hardly even naming and shaming.  It has got everyone named there and it just shows all of the complaints by the stage of complaint process or by the issue, and that to us is just very general marketplace issues that you should be aware of and that the public has the right to know about.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1899              THE CHAIRPERSON:  But you are not going so far as to say with regard to TELUS there were 10,000 complaints, 5,000 were resolved at stage one and 4,000 at stage two, et cetera, or did you feel that's what the Commissioner should be doing?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1900              MS LAWSON:  Yes, oh, yes.  And sorry ‑‑ and to answer your question, the order in council is explicit about this where it says, "Whereas" ‑‑ in the seventh paragraph, "Whereas the Governor in Council considers that" and then the fourth line down:


"The mandate of an effective consumer agency should include; in addition to resolving complaints, publishing an annual report on the nature, number and resolution of complaints received for each telecommunication service provider."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1901              MS LAWSON:  I think that's very clear.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1902              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And you say that:

"CCTS performance report for the five last months is proof of this."  (As read)

LISTNUM 1 \l 1903              THE CHAIRPERSON:  I must confess I haven't read it, but in what way is the report deficient?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1904              MS LAWSON:  Well, the report or just the report that you got today from Mr. McKendry.  It's not deficient.  It's just showing that they are doing an excellent job resolving complaints at the early stages, which is great from an individual complaint resolution perspective, but because of the rules that they are applying with respect to confidentiality and publicity we don't see anything.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1905              We have no information about telecommunication service provider complaint statistics.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1906              THE CHAIRPERSON:  And lastly, a new name for the agency. I agree, the CCTS is not a very ‑‑


‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

LISTNUM 1 \l 1907              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Have you got any suggestions?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1908              MS LAWSON:  Sorry.  I wish we did. I think shorter would be good.  It seems that telecommunications ombudsman seems to work in Australia and telecom consumer agency is the term that the TPRP has used.  I think it needs to be a bit shorter and snappier.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1909              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes, I also don't like the word "complaint" in there.  It gives a negative as if every consumer is a complainant, you know, which may not be the case at all.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1910              MS LAWSON:  Well, if I can say, I agree with you.  I think a more positive name would be good.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1911              And also, it's not just about individual complaints.  Again, if you read the order in council this is about systemic marketplace issues as well.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1912              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1913              Len.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1914              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1915              Can I take you to page two of your comments where you talk about membership, and I will parallel that with your actual ‑‑ your evidence that you filed on October the 1st, 2007, paragraph 37 and 38 on membership as well?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1916              MS LAWSON:  Sure.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1917              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  You mention on page two that the order in council states ‑‑ and you have got a quote there ‑‑ that all service providers shall participate and contribute.  And then you say the TPRP as well recommended a mandatory model backed up with new CRTC enforcement powers.  And then in paragraph 38 of your submission of October 1st you talk about the CRTC using its powers in a section 24 or subsection 67(1)(d) to make membership in the consumer agency mandatory.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1918              This morning we heard from the members about the various scenarios that exist.  Have you got any thoughts at all to respond to what they put forward?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1919              MS LAWSON:  Yes.  My thought first and foremost is we need a legislative amendment here.  We really do.  I mean, I think that is what it comes down to and I think that the Commission should be working with the Minister to accomplish that.  It's been done for unsolicited communications.  It's been done for the contribution scheme.  It is not an impossible task.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1920              I think that would just clarify everything, give the Commission the jurisdiction and the powers that it needs to do this properly.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1921              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Notwithstanding that and until such time?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1922              MS LAWSON:  Until such time I agree in large point with Mr. Grieve, other than on section 32(g).  I think that you do have the power under section 32(g).  I think we are talking about telecommunication services here and that you certainly would have general powers to make orders of the nature we are talking about under that provision.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1923              But I recognize all of the difficulties, legal and practical, that were discussed this morning.  I don't think that makes it impossible.  I think you can go ahead the way you have without having direct jurisdiction over re‑sellers to require the carriers to include in their contracts with re‑sellers the same kind of obligations that you are putting on them.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1924              It's interesting that in Australia, again, it's a mandatory model.  Somehow they manage there.  It would be interesting ‑‑ and I don't have the answer, but it would be interesting to talk with them and find out how they do it.  I think it's largely legislatively but from a practical enforcement perspective, again, how do they ‑‑ how do they actually enforce the requirements?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1925              I think ultimately the CRTC needs new powers of enforcement, but I also think that in the interim short of disconnection which we all recognize is unlikely to happen in other than very extreme cases, there probably are a number of other measures that could be taken and maybe we just need to brainstorm a bit about that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1926              Publicity; maybe the CRTC could even be involved here in warning consumers about, say, bad actors who are not joining or not complying.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1927              You know, until you have got the powers you need ‑‑ we should think about other ways that we can use, you know, market forces and self‑help mechanisms out there to achieve the results we are looking to achieve.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1928              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  One of the things that I am not sure if it was Mr. Bibic or Mr. Grieve mentioned this morning, is the hundreds or maybe thousands of small little players that are out there, ISPs and search providers.  If the Commission did decide to make membership mandatory, do you think it is an all or nothing proposition or should there or could there be exemptions under certain categories?

LISTNUM 1 \l 1929              MS LAWSON:  I think there could be exemptions.  I haven't thought that through but I wouldn't say it has to be all or nothing.  I think we want this to be as comprehensive as possible.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1930              The optimum situation is that every one, every single small provider involved ‑‑ I think if it's structured so that they only pay on a complaint basis then that should solve the funding problem.  But there may be good reason in some cases.  There may be good reason for exempting certain carriers or certain situations and I think you should be willing to consider that.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1931              But I think the goal should be as comprehensive as possible.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1932              COMMISSIONER KATZ:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1933              COMMISSIONER MORIN:  Yes.  In your ‑‑ at the end of your oral presentation you are saying that all TSP members must promote the existence of the CCTS on all bill statements.  In my mind it's a very important proposition.  We had the industry's answer this morning but do you have some examples of this way of doing things through other words?


LISTNUM 1 \l 1934              MS LAWSON:  Good question, and I don't have ‑‑ excuse me.

‑‑‑ Pause

LISTNUM 1 \l 1935              MS LAWSON:  Yes, we think that this is done in Australia but we are not sure.  My colleague, Mr. Lawford, can probably answer about the Australian approach.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1936              And I'm sorry.  We would have to look, and I could certainly undertake to do some research and get back to you on that.  No examples are coming to mind at the moment.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1937              But I would, you know, reject the suggestion that you heard this morning that it is simply too expensive to do.  I think particularly if it's a standard notification on the bill then that should not be an overly onerous expense for the industry.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1938              COMMISSIONER MORIN:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1939              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  Well, thank you very much for your contribution.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1940              MS LAWSON:  Thank you.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1941              THE CHAIRPERSON:  Madam Secretary.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1942              THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1943              I would just like to indicate for the record there will be a slight change in the order of appearance to accommodate the availability of the next participant.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1944              I would now ask Mr. Ronald Cohen of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to come forward to the presentation table.

‑‑‑ Pause

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

LISTNUM 1 \l 1945              MR. COHEN:  Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice‑Chairman, Monsieur Conseiller, the CBSC is pleased to have the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss with you the CBSC's complaints resolution process.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1946              With me are our Executive Director, John McNab, and our Director of Policy, Teisha Gaylard.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1947              The present hearing deals with the establishment of an important institution for the public, namely the Commissioner of Complaints for Telecommunication Services, a self regulatory body which, like the CBSC, will be responsive to the express concerns of the public.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1948              The CBSC is pleased to have the opportunity to appear before you for the purpose of outlining its processes in the hope that they may be usefully illustrative to the Commission.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1949              While I expect that there will be many similarities between the CBSC and the CCTS, there may also be divergences which may reflect nothing more than the fact that the CCTS has been created to reflect the needs of the telecommunication services which can be reasonably expected to differ in some respects from those of private broadcasters.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1950              Among the more obvious underlying differences, I believe it is worth observing that the CBSC deals with complaints relating to content rather than to service.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1951              Consequently, one, the CBSC's decisions may take a dissimilar form from those that will ultimately be rendered by the Commissioner.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1952              Two, the Council's findings or conclusions may be of a different nature as there are no pecuniary or compensatory components to CBSC decisions.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1953              And, three, the written reasons for the CBSC's non‑quantifiable determinations may require more time to render.


LISTNUM 1 \l 1954              In any event, it is not our intention to make comments on the CCTS' proposed set‑up or to suggest that the extent to which it may not match that of the CBSC implies any deficiency of planning on their part.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1955              We will talk about the CBSC's experience in the hope it will be relevant and we will be glad to respond to any questions you may have in order to ensure that that is the case.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1956              This is a rather nuts and bolts presentation by the CBSC, bereft, therefore, of colourful or anecdotal components.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1957              So then, with that cautionary note, here is how the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council works.

LISTNUM 1 \l 1958              The CBSC has a Secretariat, adjudicating panels and a national executive which is our Board of Directors.  The Secretariat which is based in Ottawa includes the National Chair and the Executive Director.  There are also a Director of Policy, a Manager of the CBSC's ethnocultural outreach project and, as presently constituted, a complaints officer.

LISTNUM