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Telecommunications Act (S.C. 1993, c. 38)

Act current to 2022-08-08 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

PART IIIRates, Facilities and Services

Provision of Services

Marginal note:Meaning of telecommunications service

 For the purposes of this Part and Part IV, telecommunications service has the same meaning as in section 2 and includes any service that is incidental to the business of providing telecommunications services.

Marginal note:Conditions of service

 The offering and provision of any telecommunications service by a Canadian carrier are subject to any conditions imposed by the Commission or included in a tariff approved by the Commission.

Marginal note:Conditions of service — person other than Canadian carrier

 The offering and provision of any telecommunications service by any person other than a Canadian carrier are subject to any conditions imposed by the Commission, including those relating to

  • (a) service terms and conditions in contracts with users of telecommunications services;

  • (b) protection of the privacy of those users;

  • (c) access to emergency services; and

  • (d) access to telecommunications services by persons with disabilities.

  • 2014, c. 39, s. 193

Marginal note:Telecommunications rates to be approved

  •  (1) No Canadian carrier shall provide a telecommunications service except in accordance with a tariff filed with and approved by the Commission that specifies the rate or the maximum or minimum rate, or both, to be charged for the service.

  • Marginal note:Filing of joint tariffs

    (2) A joint tariff agreed on by two or more Canadian carriers may be filed by any of the carriers with an attestation of the agreement of the other carriers.

  • Marginal note:Form of tariffs

    (3) A tariff shall be filed and published or otherwise made available for public inspection by a Canadian carrier in the form and manner specified by the Commission and shall include any information required by the Commission to be included.

  • Marginal note:Special circumstances

    (4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Commission may ratify the charging of a rate by a Canadian carrier otherwise than in accordance with a tariff approved by the Commission if the Commission is satisfied that the rate

    • (a) was charged because of an error or other circumstance that warrants the ratification; or

    • (b) was imposed in conformity with the laws of a province before the operations of the carrier were regulated under any Act of Parliament.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 25
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 199(F)

Marginal note:Effective date of tariff

 Within forty-five business days after a tariff is filed by a Canadian carrier, the Commission shall

  • (a) approve the tariff, with or without amendments, or substitute or require the carrier to substitute another tariff for it;

  • (b) disallow the tariff; or

  • (c) make public written reasons why the Commission has not acted under paragraph (a) or (b) and specify the period of time within which the Commission intends to do so.

Marginal note:Just and reasonable rates

  •  (1) Every rate charged by a Canadian carrier for a telecommunications service shall be just and reasonable.

  • Marginal note:Unjust discrimination

    (2) No Canadian carrier shall, in relation to the provision of a telecommunications service or the charging of a rate for it, unjustly discriminate or give an undue or unreasonable preference toward any person, including itself, or subject any person to an undue or unreasonable disadvantage.

  • Marginal note:Questions of fact

    (3) The Commission may determine in any case, as a question of fact, whether a Canadian carrier has complied with this section or section 25 or 29, or with any decision made under section 24, 25, 29, 34 or 40.

  • Marginal note:Burden of proof

    (4) The burden of establishing before the Commission that any discrimination is not unjust or that any preference or disadvantage is not undue or unreasonable is on the Canadian carrier that discriminates, gives the preference or subjects the person to the disadvantage.

  • Marginal note:Method

    (5) In determining whether a rate is just and reasonable, the Commission may adopt any method or technique that it considers appropriate, whether based on a carrier’s return on its rate base or otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (6) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), a Canadian carrier may provide telecommunications services at no charge or at a reduced rate

    • (a) to the carrier’s directors, officers, employees or former employees; or

    • (b) with the approval of the Commission, to any charitable organization or disadvantaged person or other person.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 27
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 239

Roaming

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 240]

Marginal note:Paper bill

 Any person who provides telecommunications services shall not charge a subscriber for providing the subscriber with a paper bill.

  • 2014, c. 39, s. 194

Marginal note:Transmission of broadcasts

  •  (1) The Commission shall have regard to the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act in determining whether any discrimination is unjust or any preference or disadvantage is undue or unreasonable in relation to any transmission of programs, as defined in subsection 2(1) of that Act, that is primarily direct to the public and made

    • (a) by satellite; or

    • (b) through the terrestrial distribution facilities of a Canadian carrier, whether alone or in conjunction with facilities owned by a broadcasting undertaking.

  • Marginal note:Satellite transmission of broadcasts

    (2) Where a person who carries on a broadcasting undertaking does not agree with a Canadian carrier with respect to the allocation of satellite capacity for the transmission by the carrier of programs, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission may allocate satellite capacity to particular broadcasting undertakings if it is satisfied that the allocation will further the implementation of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in subsection 3(1) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) Before the Commission exercises its power under subsection (2), it shall take into account the carrier’s role as a telecommunications common carrier and any operational constraints identified by the carrier.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 28
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 200(F)

Marginal note:Approval of working agreements

 No Canadian carrier shall, without the prior approval of the Commission, give effect to any agreement or arrangement, whether oral or written, with another telecommunications common carrier respecting

  • (a) the interchange of telecommunications by means of their telecommunications facilities;

  • (b) the management or operation of either or both of their facilities or any other facilities with which either or both are connected; or

  • (c) the apportionment of rates or revenues between the carriers.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 29
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 201(F)

Marginal note:Recovery of charges

 In default of payment, a rate charged by a Canadian carrier in accordance with this Act for a telecommunications service constitutes a debt due to the carrier and may be recovered in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Limitations on liability

 No limitation of a Canadian carrier’s liability in respect of a telecommunications service is effective unless it has been authorized or prescribed by the Commission.

Marginal note:General powers

 The Commission may, for the purposes of this Part,

  • (a) approve the establishment of classes of telecommunications services and permit different rates to be charged for different classes of service;

  • (b) determine standards in respect of the technical aspects of telecommunications applicable to telecommunications facilities operated by or connected to those of a Canadian carrier;

  • (c) amend any tariff filed under section 25 or any agreement or arrangement submitted for approval under section 29;

  • (d) suspend or disallow any portion of a tariff, agreement or arrangement that is in its opinion inconsistent with this Part;

  • (e) substitute or require the Canadian carrier to substitute other provisions for those disallowed;

  • (f) require the Canadian carrier to file another tariff, agreement or arrangement, or another portion of it, in substitution for a suspended or disallowed tariff, agreement, arrangement or portion; and

  • (g) in the absence of any applicable provision in this Part, determine any matter and make any order relating to the rates, tariffs or telecommunications services of Canadian carriers.

Marginal note:Integral activities of affiliates

 Where a Canadian carrier provides a basic telecommunications service and, in the opinion of the Commission,

  • (a) an activity of an affiliate of the carrier is integral to the provision of the service by the carrier, and

  • (b) the Commission’s other powers under this Act are not sufficient for the purpose of ensuring that the rates charged by the carrier for telecommunications services are just and reasonable,

the Commission may, for that purpose, treat some or all of the earnings of the affiliate from the activity as if they were earnings of the carrier.

Forbearance

Marginal note:Forbearance by Commission

  •  (1) The Commission may make a determination to refrain, in whole or in part and conditionally or unconditionally, from the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty under sections 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 in relation to a telecommunications service or class of services provided by a Canadian carrier, where the Commission finds as a question of fact that to refrain would be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Where the Commission finds as a question of fact that a telecommunications service or class of services provided by a Canadian carrier is or will be subject to competition sufficient to protect the interests of users, the Commission shall make a determination to refrain, to the extent that it considers appropriate, conditionally or unconditionally, from the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty under sections 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 in relation to the service or class of services.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) The Commission shall not make a determination to refrain under this section in relation to a telecommunications service or class of services if the Commission finds as a question of fact that to refrain would be likely to impair unduly the establishment or continuance of a competitive market for that service or class of services.

  • Marginal note:Effect of forbearance

    (4) The Commission shall declare that sections 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 do not apply to a Canadian carrier to the extent that those sections are inconsistent with a determination of the Commission under this section.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 34
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 202(F)

Order to Provide Services

Marginal note:Order to provide services

  •  (1) Where the Commission determines as a question of fact that a telecommunications service or class of services provided by an affiliate of a Canadian carrier is not subject to a degree of competition that is sufficient to ensure just and reasonable rates and prevent unjust discrimination and undue or unreasonable preference or disadvantage, the Commission may require the Canadian carrier to provide the service or class of services in any manner, to any extent and subject to any conditions determined by the Commission, if it is satisfied that it would be an effective and practical means of achieving the purposes of section 27 with respect to the service or class.

  • Marginal note:Order to discontinue service

    (2) Where the Commission determines as a question of fact that a telecommunications service or class of services provided by a Canadian carrier is subject to a degree of competition that is sufficient to ensure just and reasonable rates and prevent unjust discrimination and undue or unreasonable preference or disadvantage, the Commission may require the Canadian carrier to discontinue the service or class of services in the manner, to the extent and subject to the conditions determined by the Commission, if it is satisfied that it would be an effective and practical means of achieving the purposes of section 27 with respect to the service or class.

  • Marginal note:Meaning of affiliate

    (3) In subsection (1), affiliate, in relation to a Canadian carrier, means a person who controls the carrier, or who is controlled by the carrier or by any person who controls the carrier.

Content of Messages

Marginal note:Content of messages

 Except where the Commission approves otherwise, a Canadian carrier shall not control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.

Provision of Information

Marginal note:Information requirements

  •  (1) The Commission may require a Canadian carrier

    • (a) to adopt any method of identifying the costs of providing telecommunications services and to adopt any accounting method or system of accounts for the purposes of the administration of this Act; or

    • (b) to submit to the Commission, in periodic reports or in such other form and manner as the Commission specifies, any information that the Commission considers necessary for the administration of this Act or any special Act.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Where the Commission believes that a person other than a Canadian carrier is in possession of information that the Commission considers necessary for the administration of this Act or any special Act, the Commission may require that person to submit the information to the Commission in periodic reports or in such other form and manner as the Commission specifies, unless the information is a confidence of the executive council of a province.

  • Marginal note:Transmittal

    (3) The Commission shall, on request, provide the Minister or the Chief Statistician of Canada with any information submitted to the Commission.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 37
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 203(F)

Marginal note:Access to information

 Subject to section 39, the Commission shall make available for public inspection any information submitted to the Commission in the course of proceedings before it.

Marginal note:Designation of information

  •  (1) For the purposes of this section, a person who submits any of the following information to the Commission may designate it as confidential:

    • (a) information that is a trade secret;

    • (b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential and that is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the person who submitted it; or

    • (c) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected

      • (i) to result in material financial loss or gain to any person,

      • (ii) to prejudice the competitive position of any person, or

      • (iii) to affect contractual or other negotiations of any person.

  • Marginal note:Information not to be disclosed

    (2) Subject to subsections (4), (5), (5.1) and (6), where a person designates information as confidential and the designation is not withdrawn by that person, no person described in subsection (3) shall knowingly disclose the information, or knowingly allow it to be disclosed, to any other person in any manner that is calculated or likely to make it available for the use of any person who may benefit from the information or use the information to the detriment of any person to whose business or affairs the information relates.

  • Marginal note:Persons who shall not disclose information

    (3) Subsection (2) applies to any person referred to in any of the following paragraphs who comes into possession of designated information while holding the office or employment described in that paragraph, whether or not the person has ceased to hold that office or be so employed:

    • (a) a member of, or person employed by, the Commission;

    • (b) in respect of information disclosed under paragraph 4(b) or 5(b), the Commissioner of Competition appointed under the Competition Act or a person whose duties involve the carrying out of that Act and who is referred to in section 25 of that Act;

    • (c) in respect of information provided under subsection 37(3), the Minister, the Chief Statistician of Canada, an agent of or a person employed in the federal public administration.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of information submitted in proceedings

    (4) If designated information is submitted in the course of proceedings before the Commission, the Commission may

    • (a) disclose or require its disclosure if it determines, after considering any representations from interested persons, that the disclosure is in the public interest; and

    • (b) disclose or require its disclosure to the Commissioner of Competition on the Commissioner’s request if it determines that the information is relevant to competition issues being considered in the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of other information

    (5) If designated information is submitted to the Commission otherwise than in the course of proceedings before it, the Commission may

    • (a) disclose or require its disclosure if, after considering any representations from interested persons, it considers that the information is relevant to the determination of a matter before it and determines that the disclosure is in the public interest; and

    • (b) disclose or require its disclosure to the Commissioner of Competition on the Commissioner’s request if it considers that the information is relevant to competition issues being raised in the matter before it.

  • Marginal note:Use of information disclosed to Commissioner of Competition

    (5.01) Neither the Commissioner of Competition nor any person whose duties involve the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act and who is referred to in section 25 of that Act shall use information that is disclosed

    • (a) under paragraph (4)(b) other than to facilitate the Commissioner’s participation in proceedings referred to in subsection (4); or

    • (b) under paragraph (5)(b) other than to facilitate the Commissioner’s participation in a matter referred to in subsection (5).

  • Marginal note:Disclosure

    (5.1) The Commission may disclose designated information obtained by it in the performance or exercise of its duties or powers related to section 41, in respect of conduct carried out by electronic means, in accordance with subsection 58(1) or 60(1) of An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act.

  • Marginal note:Information inadmissible

    (6) Designated information that is not disclosed or required to be disclosed under this section is not admissible in evidence in any judicial proceedings except proceedings for failure to submit information required to be submitted under this Act or any special Act or for forgery, perjury or false declaration in relation to the submission of the information.

  • 1993, c. 38, s. 39
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)
  • 2010, c. 23, s. 88
  • 2014, c. 39, s. 195
 
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