Your Roadmap to CRTC Processes in ASL

Important Notice

Please note that this Roadmap is a tool intended for Canadians that use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language. In the event of a conflict or discrepancy, the Rules of Practice and Procedure and other official CRTC publication will have precedence over this Roadmap.

To watch Your Roadmap to CRTC Processes in ASL in its integrality, please use the following link to our Youtube playlist.

The sections below provide English transcripts and accompanying images used in the videos. They also contain links to the individual videos covering the section.

Introduction

What is the CRTC?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was created by the Parliament of Canada to regulate and supervise broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada. If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to view the ASL video It's Your CRTC: Here's How To Have Your Say! where you will learn what the CRTC does and why your participation is important. If you now want to participate but want to learn more, these videos are for you.

Your Roadmap to CRTC Processes

Share your experiences, perspective, and suggestions with the CRTC about telephone, Internet, television, and radio services in Canada. This Roadmap will help guide you through the process. Please note that in the event of a conflict or discrepancy, the Rules of Practice and Procedure and other official CRTC publication will have precedence over this Roadmap. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us by phone, mail, or using our online form.

Getting Involved

When it comes to shaping Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications system, the CRTC relies on you to share what you want and need, and what is and isn't working for you. The CRTC invites you to help it to build a world-class communication system that meets your needs.

Figure 1: Getting Involved shows the three possible ways to get involved with the CRTC.

Long description

This chart, Getting Involved, shows how an individual can follow either of three routes to get involved:

  1. Ask a Question or Make a Complaint
  2. Participate in a Public Proceeding, or
  3. File an Application.

Every person and situation is different, which makes each process unique. To share your experiences with the CRTC on a topic, you may choose to do one or more of the following:

  1. Ask a Question or Make a Complaint
  2. Participate in a Public Proceeding, or
  3. File an Application.

1) Ask a Question or Make a Complaint

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The CRTC's Client Services Team is your first point of contact if you have a question, a complaint, or a personal issue regarding a telecommunications or broadcasting service or service provider. This is a more informal process where you start by completing a triage form online or contacting Client Services.  It will direct you to the appropriate complaint form, either from the CRTC or another organization.  Other organizations include, for example, the Canadian broadcast Standards Council; the Canadian Administrator of VRS, inc.; Industry Canada; and the Privacy Commissioner. Once you have completed and submitted the form, a CRTC staff member or the responsible organization will contact you to address your issue. However, if the outcome impacts a larger audience, the CRTC could invite you to participate in a more formal proceeding by seeking input from the general public through a Notice of Consultation or Part 1 application published on its website.

Figure 2: Ask a Question or Make a Complaint is a flow chart summarizing the process of asking a question or making a complaint with its different outcomes.

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This flow chart, Ask a Question or Make a Complaint, is uni-directional. It summarizes the process of asking a question or making a complaint with its different outcomes. There are two possible paths with a common starting point:

  1. Triage: Complete the online triage form or contact client services
  2. Complete the online complaint form on the CRTC website or on another organisation's website
    1. CRTC Staff will follow-up with you as needed
    2. The other organisation will follow-up with you as needed
  3. Both options point to two mutually exclusive possible outcomes:
    1. Option 1 - Issue is addressed: Dealt with on a case by case basis- CRTC staff will provide necessary information; or
    2. Option 2 - Formal proceeding is started: if warranted, the CRTC will seek input from the general public.

For more information about asking a question or making a complaint, see the following pages on the CRTC website: Phone, Internet, TV & Radio, Unsolicited phone calls and Scammers, Spam Reporting Center. Please note that the last two issues will not be discussed in this video series as they refer to different types of processes.

2) Participate in a Public Proceeding

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At any given time, there are a number of different topics being discussed at the CRTC. These discussions are seen to be of interest to the public by the CRTC as they impact the services Canadians use. Most of the information is made public. Each public proceeding will have a period of time when it is Open for Comment, where any member of the public (individuals and organizations) can formally participate, share their comments and therefore become a "Party" in the process. To do this you must visit the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment page on the CRTC website and read the information posted on the Notice of Consultation or Part 1 sections.

The CRTC seeks public feedback on issues such as:

  • The overall performance of a broadcasting or telephone company
  • A request from a company for a new broadcasting licence
  • Issues related to accessing telecommunications or broadcasting services

Figure 3: Participate in a Public Proceeding is a flow chart explaining the steps involved in participating in a public proceeding by submitting a comment.

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This flow chart, Participate in a Public Proceeding, is uni-directional. It explains the steps in participating in a public proceeding by submitting a comment:

  1. Visit the CRTC website: Go to all Public Proceeding Open for Comment webpage
  2. Choose a proceeding topic: Read through the list of open proceedings and find topics you are interested in
  3. Read the Notice of Consultation or Application: They will provide detailed information on the topic being discussed, the process and timelines
  4. Submit your comments: Click on the submit button to write your comments and send them to the CRTC

Then to participate you send in your comments and any supporting documentation to the CRTC, which is called filing an intervention. You must send your intervention to the CRTC's Secretary General's attention either:

For more information visit the Participate in a Public Proceedings page on the CRTC website.

3) File an Application

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Applications are filed by individuals or organizations to ask the CRTC to make a decision on an issue. Before reaching a decision, the CRTC discusses it with the public at large, including companies. The individual or organization that initiates the application becomes known as the Applicant, and all other individuals or groups who formally participate are known as Interveners in the proceeding.

Issues discussed in applications need to be of interest to a larger population, such as proposing a new policy or modifying an existing policy. You can check to see if the issue is already represented on the CRTC's Public Proceedings page. If not, you could consider starting a formal process on your issue by filing a Part 1 application

First, consider checking with a local or national consumer advocacy group to see if they share your opinion on the issue: you could coordinate and prepare an application by cooperating with an organization or other individuals. Second, you may wish to contact the CRTC's Client Services to confirm whether filing an application is the best avenue for you to discuss your topic. Third, consider whether the issue fits into the telecommunications or broadcasting stream.

You are now ready to start the process! Be sure to outline the issue in detail (referencing any existing applicable policies and policy sections), whenever possible, provide evidence and explain what you want the CRTC to do. You must send a formal cover letter and all required documents to the CRTC's Secretary General's attention online using your GCKey Account to access your My CRTC Account. This account is an electronic identifier that allows you to communicate securely with the Government of Canada. You also need to send a copy of your application to other individuals or organizations if they may significantly impacted by the final decision of the proceeding. For example, if you are asking the CRTC to require a company to provide a service or to take an action.

File an Application is a flow chart explaining the steps involved in filing an application

Long description

This flow chart, File an Application, is uni-directional but has two different outcomes at the end. It explains the steps involved in filing an application:

  1. Find the stream: Broadcasting (radio or television) or Telecommunications (phone, internet, or other services)
  2. Write your application: Prepare a cover letter and all the documents required by the guidelines
  3. Submit your documents: On the CRTC website use your GCKey Account to access my CRTC account
    1. Follow-up by other organisation: The other organisation will follow-up with you as needed
  4. Two mutually exclusive possible outcomes:
    1. Issue is addressed/closed: Based on the information received, the CRTC ma address or close your application; or
    2. Formal proceeding is started: if warranted, your application is posted on the CRTC website, to seek input from the general public.

All applications submitted will be considered by the CRTC, but not all applications will be accepted to move forward to a formal proceeding process. Some applications may be missing information, while other issues may fall outside of the CRTC's jurisdiction. Once the application is accepted by the CRTC, the application is posted on the CRTC website and the Part 1 proceeding begins.

For more information regarding completing a Part 1 application, refer to section 31 in the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Understanding the Process

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There are typical steps taken during the course of any proceeding; however, each case is different. Most of the CRTC's proceedings are Written Proceedings, which means all information is submitted in written form. Some proceedings also have an oral component, where parties come in person and give a presentation in addition to their written comments. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding. Details about the proceeding will be listed in the CRTC's Notice of Consultation and/or on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment. These details can include the topic being discussed, the process timelines and deadlines, any comments submitted, and any changes or updates made to the process.

1) A Written Proceeding

The process of each proceeding is often modified by the CRTC. However, we hope to give you a sense of how a typical proceeding unfolds. It usually follows these steps:

  • The CRTC announces the start of a proceeding. To do so, the CRTC posts a Notice of Consultation or Part 1 application on its website.
  • Anyone wishing to participate must file comments on the topic. They send in an explanation of their viewpoint, supporting evidence (if applicable), and any other relevant documentation. These individuals or organization are now called "parties".
  • Parties may have the opportunity to reply to what others have said.
  • All of this information is collected and analyzed by the CRTC to make its final decision, which will be posted on its website.

Figure 5: Written Proceeding is a flow chart showing the four most typical steps involved in a written proceeding.

Long description

This flow chart, Written Proceeding, is uni-directional. It shows the four most typical steps involved in a written proceeding:

  1. Proceeding starts; Content: Parties read the Notice of Consultation or Application on the CRTC webpage
  2. Comments; Content: Parties send comments to the CRTC
  3. Replies; Content: Applicant replies (sometimes other parties)
  4. CRTC decision; Content: CRTC makes a decision and posts it on its website (end)

2) An Oral Hearing

In addition to a written proceeding, some proceedings also include an oral component. This allows parties to communicate information to a Hearing Panel of CRTC Commissioners during a face-to-face meeting through an oral presentation. The members of the Hearing Panel is selected from the larger group of Commissioners and are responsible to review issues and to make decisions.

The process of an oral hearing starts very similarly to a written proceeding except that the CRTC always issues a Notice of Consultation. An oral hearing provides parties that request to appear with the opportunity to present in person, the comments filed in their original written comments. It also allows the Hearing Panel to ask questions. In some cases, the members of the Hearing Panel may invite parties to file final written comments to clarify points already made by other parties. No new information can be submitted during this final reply unless it is asked for specifically by the Hearing Panel. At oral hearings the CRTC may ask certain parties to attend: this is known as being invited to appear.

The following diagrams are again provided to give you a sense of how a typical proceeding unfolds. Remember that the process of each proceeding is often modified by the CRTC. There are two main typical proceedings for oral hearings: Application and Policy Proceedings. The dashed boxes are a common, though not typical, part of the proceeding.

Application Proceeding

Figure 6: Oral Hearing: Application is a flow chart showing the seven most typical steps involved in an oral hearing for an application.

Long description

This flow chart, Oral Hearing: Application, is a flow chart showing the seven most typical steps involved in an oral hearing for an application. The chart is uni-directional. 

An oral hearing has two components: the written proceeding phase and the oral proceeding phase.

Written proceeding phase:

  1. Proceeding starts: Parties read the Notice of Consultation or Application on the CRTC website
  2. Comments: Parties send comments to the CRTC
  3. Replies: Applicant replies

Oral proceeding phase:

  1. Presentation by applicant: The applicant presents to the Panel
  2. Presentation by parties: Parties present to the Panel
  3. Final reply: Applicant may reply to interventions received
  4. CRTC decision: CRTC makes a decision and posts it on its website (end)

Policy Proceeding

Figure 7: Oral Hearing: Policy is a flow chart showing the six most typical steps involved in an oral hearing for a policy creation or review.

Long description

This flow chart, Oral Hearing: Policy, is a flow chart showing the six most typical steps involved in an oral hearing for a policy creation or review. The chart is uni-directional.

An oral hearing has two components: The written proceeding phase and the oral proceeding phase.

Written proceeding phase

  1. Proceeding starts: Parties read the Notice of Consultation or Application on the CRTC website
  2. Comments: Parties send comments to the CRTC
  3. (Optional) Replies: Applicant replies

Oral proceeding phase

  1. Presentation by parties: Parties presents to the Panel
  2. (Optional) Final comments: Parties may submit final oral or written comments
  3. CRTC decision: CRTC makes a decision and posts it on its website

At the end of a proceeding, once all of the comments are submitted, the Hearing Panel makes a decision, which is posted on the CRTC website. All CRTC decisions can be found on the Decisions, Notice and Orders index webpage. The CRTC aims to publish all of its decisions within the time frames specified in the appendix to the Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-222, which can take many months.

Online consultations can also form part of a proceeding. These are discussion forums where you can engage in conversations with other individuals about telecommunications and broadcasting issues. Current online consultations are posted on the CRTC website's homepage and archived discussions can be found in the Discussion Forum.

Filing submissions

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Whether you are making a complaint, participating in a proceeding, or filing an application, all written documents must be submitted to the CRTC following a specific set of rules and guidelines. These written documents are called submissions. On average, the CRTC receives 1,000 written submissions each week. During complex proceedings, however, they can receive over 10,000 submissions per week.

Any individual or organization that files a submission becomes a "party" to the proceeding. This Roadmap lists the basic rules for the most common types of documents. For more detailed information and the specific requirements for filing various submissions, please refer to this Roadmap's Submission Requirements Summary Table and the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure. For more information on the electronic filing of an application and the use of CRTC forms see Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-453 and 2010-453-1.

Where applicable, all submissions must be:

  • Addressed to the Secretary General
  • Sent to the required parties before the deadline (also known as to serve)
  • Submitted to the CRTC before the deadline
  • Written in either official language, English or French, or provided with a translation if submitted in another language
  • Separated into different parts and include headings and sub-headings
  • Include consecutively numbered paragraphs
  • Include an Executive Summary (if over ten (10) pages)
  • Submitted electronically using the available online form and your GCKey Account (applications and confidential documents), or by mail, fax, or in person (if electronic filing is not possible)

Further, the CRTC now expects all incorporated corporations and associations to file submissions in accessible formats and encourages all Canadians to do so as well. Please refer to Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2015-242 for detailed information.

Many proceedings have a Notice of Consultation or a CRTC letter listing the specific procedures and requirements that you should use to ensure your submission is complete. These documents will be made available to the public on the CRTC website in the proceedings' electronic file, known as the public record. The proceeding's public record is the main place to find all the details and updates regarding a specific proceeding. Check it often. To view the public record visit the CRTC website, the Public Examination room during an oral hearing, or visit a local CRTC office.

Please refer to the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure for more information on how to follow the public record in sections 52-53 and serving documents to other parties in section 83.

Confidential Information

During a proceeding, information submitted to the CRTC is generally posted on its website and placed on the public record. In your comment you can request that certain financial and corporate information be kept confidential between you and the CRTC. To do this you must identify what information you would like the CRTC to consider confidential and explain why. Some examples of confidential information are:

  • Trade secrets
  • Information about ongoing negotiations
  • Operating expenses
  • Employees' salaries

Keep in mind that any information that is available publicly cannot be designated confidential (e.g. a public company's financial statements; your name and contact information). For a complete list of typically accepted confidential information, please refer to the Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961.

Along with the document for which you are requesting confidentiality, you must submit an abridged version of your document to be made public. An abridged version is like the original version of the document that you submitted to the CRTC; however, it replaces the confidential sections with the pound symbol (#). Please note that unless stated otherwise by the CRTC, your information will be treated confidentially. In some cases, you may be requested to modify your abridged document following the CRTC's review.

Example:

Figure 8: Example of an abridged version document is an image showing how to transform a confidential document into an abridged version document.

Long description

This image shows how to transform a confidential document into an abridged version. It shows two pieces of paper: one being the confidential document and the second being the abridged version of the document. The confidential document shows the following sentences: Radio Inc.'s revenues for 2014 were $50,000. The salary of John Smith, the station manager, was $23,000. Radio Inc. is currently in negotiations to sell the station to New Radio Inc. The abridged document replaces the confidential sections by blank spaces, using the same amount of space as the words it replaces. These blank spaces each start with the symbol #, which is followed by a series of spaces that usually corresponds to the number of characters in the confidential section, and is closed by another # symbol. For example, to abridge the revenues of Radio Inc., one would proceed as follows: Radio Inc.'s revenues for 2014 were #+seven spaces+#.

Disclosure of Information

In some cases, the CRTC, or a party in the proceeding, may ask another party to have the information it has identified as confidential be made public, or in other words be disclosed. The party has ten (10) days to either disclose the information or explain why it will not. The CRTC then will decide if the information must become public, remain confidential, or be a part of the proceeding or not.

For more information on filing confidential information and requests for disclosure of information, please refer to Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961 and sections 102-107 of the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Alternative Format

The CRTC is committed to facilitating the full participation of persons with disabilities at proceedings. In the event a submission was not filed in an accessible format, you can ask for the documentation to be made available to you in an alternative format such as large print text or as rich text format (RTF format). To make this request the process is as follows:

  • The CRTC posts the original document on its All Public Proceedings Open for Comment webpage in the proceeding's file.
  • Contact the CRTC's Client Services to request the alternative format and indicate:
    • Which document(s) you wish to have provided to you by noting the title and the author
    • What proceeding it is part of by noting the process number
  • The CRTC will then contact the author to reply (with an explanation) and accept or deny the request.

The person requesting the document has to inform the CRTC if he/she is satisfied with the reply. The CRTC then will make a decision and may require the author to create the alternative format document.

For more information on requesting documents in alternative formats, please refer to section(s) 118-123 in the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Procedural Request

The needs of each proceeding are different and changes may be made during the process to increase the effectiveness of the proceeding. Changes may be made to allow parties more time to submit comments, to request documents to be made in an alternative formats, or to request disclosure of confidential information. When the CRTC makes this change it will post the information on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment webpage either as a change to the Notice of Consultation or in a CRTC letter. When a party makes a request for a change to the CRTC they must:

  • Submit a formal letter to the CRTC, addressed to the Secretary General.
  • List reasons for the request and how the request will or will not affect other parties in the proceeding.

The CRTC will make a decision for or against the request, communicate the changes, if any, in a CRTC letter or in a change to the notice of consultation, and post it on the proceeding's public record.

For more information on making a procedural request please refer to sections 102-123 in the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Cost Applications

If you participate in a proceeding, it may be possible for some of your expenses to be reimbursed; this is called Applying for Costs. There are two streams of proceedings, (i) Telecommunications and (ii) Broadcasting. In general, the criteria, rates, policies, and forms are similar; however, some differences do exist and their cost applications are processed and administered separately.

(i) Telecommunications Proceedings

For Telecommunications Proceedings there are two categories of costs that parties can apply for: Interim and Final.

Interim costs can be awarded in special circumstances when your own funds are not readily available to you to attend the oral hearing during the proceeding. Funds can be provided for travel and accommodation expenses to attend the proceeding. When approving an application for interim costs, the CRTC will consider if the party has, or does not have, immediate and sufficient funds to participate effectively in the proceeding. Applications should be submitted as early as possible in the proceeding, to allow for processing to occur in time for your appearance at the oral hearing.

Final costs are expenses that you apply for after the proceeding has ended. These expenses can include remaining travel or accommodation costs to attend an oral public hearing and fees for professional services used to create your submission such as lawyers, expert witnesses, and professional consultants. If you were approved any interim costs and apply for final costs, you must list the interim costs in your application. Your application for final costs must be submitted to the CRTC within thirty (30) days after the proceeding's last date to file documents (known as "close of record"). Final costs are the most common type of cost awarded as part of a proceeding.

To make a cost application for a Telecommunication proceeding you must write a formal letter, complete the appropriate forms, and include proof of your expenses.

To qualify to apply for costs you must meet the following criteria:

  • Being a formal party in the proceeding
  • Helped the CRTC understand the issue
  • Participated responsibly

Your Cost Application letter must include:

  • How you meet the criteria
  • Which telecommunications company or companies that was party to the proceeding you view as responsible to pay your costs
  • The completed appropriate cost form(s)
  • Receipts or list of estimated expenses

When the CRTC does approve the repayment of costs, the funds do not come from the CRTC itself. The funds come from the companies (phone, Internet, and wireless) that also participated in the proceeding. Therefore, when you send your cost application to the CRTC you must also send a copy to the party or parties you view as responsible to pay your costs.

You must also complete and include the appropriate forms. All the required forms for Telecommunications Proceedings and additional information on cost applications can be found on the Telecommunications Cost Assessment Forms webpage.

Please note, if receipts are not provided with the application, the request for reimbursement will most likely be denied.

For more details and information regarding applying for costs for Telecommunications proceedings refer to sections 152-163 of the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2010-963.

(ii) Broadcasting Proceedings

During Broadcasting proceedings parties can also apply for cost reimbursement; however, the Broadcasting Participation Fund (BPF), not the CRTC, administers the process.

For more information regarding applying for reimbursement of costs for a Broadcasting proceeding please visit the BPF website or contact the BPF's Cost Officer.

Submission Requirements Summary

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Summary of Submission Requirements for Applications

What must my submission contain?

  • Completed Application Form. If no form exists for your type of application write a formal letter addressed to the CRTC Secretary General.
  • Your contact information
  • Explanation of what you want the CRTC to do (i.e. change a specified policy or make a ruling)
  • Facts/Evidence you want the CRTC to consider in its decision
  • List of parties you served (sending your document to the required parties)

When is the deadline to file it?

  • No Deadline

How do I send it?

Who do I need to serve?

  • Any party that will be significantly impacted by the final decision
    Note: They must receive a copy of the document on or before the day you file it with the CRTC

What record do I need to keep?

  • Keep a copy of your application
  • Keep proof the CRTC received your application (i.e. GCKey confirmation number) for 180 days after the day it was filed.

Summary of Submission Requirements for Interventions

What must my submission contain?

  • Cover letter addressed to the Secretary General.
  • For Oral hearing also indicate if you wish to appear and make a presentation in person, and if any accommodations are needed etc.
  • Your contact information
  • Explanation of your arguments, comments, or questions and any supporting documentation
  • List of parties you served

When is the deadline to file it?

How do I send it?

  • Electronically using the webform in the proceeding's public record.
  • Ask CRTC's Client Services if you need another method (i.e. mail, fax, etc.)
  • Confidential documents must be filed using your  GCKey Account

Who do I need to serve?

  • The Applicant (if applicable)

What record do I need to keep?

  • Keep a copy of your intervention
  • Keep proof the CRTC and the applicant received your comment for 180 days after the day it was filed.

Summary of Submission Requirements for Replies

What must my submission contain?

  • Response to points made in other party's comments/responses
  • Your arguments supporting or arguing the facts presented by other parties
    Note: Do not introduce new points unless approved by the CRTC

When is the deadline to file it?

  • Before the deadline listed in the All Public Proceedings Open for Commentwebpage or in the Notice of Consultation
    (Applicants usually have 10 days to reply after the comment/ response is posted on the CRTC website)

How do I send it?

  • For Applicants: Electronically using your GCKey Account
  • For parties: Electronically using the webform in the proceeding's public record.
  • Ask CRTC's Client Services if you need another method (i.e. mail, fax, etc.)

Who do I need to serve?

  • Any intervener of the comments you are replying to.

What record do I need to keep?

  • Keep a copy of your reply
  • Keep proof that the CRTC and Intervener(s) received your comment for 180 days after the day it was filed.

Summary of Submission Requirements for Procedural Requests

What must my submission contain?

  • Complete a formal letter addressed to the CRTC Secretary General
  • Explanation of what procedure you want changed at the proceeding and what you want the CRTC to do (i.e. deadline extension, document disclosure, etc.)

When is the deadline to file it?

  • As soon as possible

How do I send it?

  • Electronically using your GCKey Account
  • Ask CRTC's Client Services if you need another method (i.e. mail, fax, etc.)

Who do I need to serve?

  • Serve all appropriate parties
  • For disclosure requests serve the author of the document that you want disclosed

What record do I need to keep?

  • Keep a copy of your request
  • Keep proof the CRTC received your request (i.e. GCKey confirmation number) for 180 days after the day it was filed.

Frequently Asked Questions on Proceedings

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How are proceedings started?

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Either the CRTC announces a new proceeding in a Notice of Consultation or a member of the public, a service provider, or broadcaster submits a Part 1 application to the CRTC which is published on the CRTC website.

What is a Part 1 application / Part 1 proceeding?

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A Part 1 Proceeding is started by an application filed by individuals or organizations to ask the CRTC to discuss an issue with the public at large, including companies. Issues discussed in applications need to be of interest to a larger population, such as proposing a new policy or modifying a policy.

For example, in broadcasting, this could include applications for a new licence, to modify an existing licence, or to address issues between two parties. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participates in a written proceeding.  In telecom, this could include applications related to disputes between parties concerning provision of service and market competition.

In this type of proceeding:

  • applications are posted on the CRTC's Web site on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment page;
  • the public typically has 30 days to submit comments relating to the applications;
  • applicants then have 10 days to reply to the comments;
  • the CRTC then examines all of the written comments and issues a decision which is then posted on its website.

How can I start a Part 1 proceeding?

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You must send a copy of your application to the CRTC and, at the same time, send a copy of the application to any individuals or organizations who will be significantly impacted by the final decision of the proceeding. Refer to sections 69-72 in the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

How do I know what other parties I need to send a copy of my application or other documents to?

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You may be required to send, otherwise known as to serve, a copy of your document to other parties. The CRTC may also request that you serve a particular party. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding. Generally the parties that you must serve are parties that will be most affected by your document or possible decision from the CRTC. Who you must serve can be listed in the proceeding's Notice of Consultation or in a procedural letter. Refer to section 82 in the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure. 

How will I know a proceeding has started?

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The CRTC posts the Notice of Consultation or the Part 1 application and the details of the proceeding on its website. Current proceedings ready for the public to submit comments are said to be "Open for comments" and are listed on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment page and archived or closed proceedings can be found on the Closed for Comments page. Details about the proceeding will be listed in its Notice of Consultation and/or on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment. These details can include the topic being discussed, the process, any comments submitted, and any changes or updates made to the process.

Who participates in a proceeding?

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Unless otherwise specified, anyone can participate in a proceeding. Most proceedings are about public issues and involve a wider participation from the community. However, in rare instances, some proceedings involve only those identified.

When the CRTC initiates a proceeding to review its policies, anyone who formally participates is known as a party. There are different types of parties:

If a member of the public or a service provider initiates a proceeding by submitting a Part 1 application with the CRTC, then he or she is known as the Applicant. The Interveners review the Applicant's application, comment, provide evidence in support or against the issue, and state what decision they would like the CRTC to make on the issue.

What should I include in my comments?

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Any individual or organization commenting on a Part 1 application or Notice of consultation should formulate their opinion and collect evidence to support their arguments, this evidence can be anecdotal or systemic, but should be precise and accurate.

Who do I send my comments to?

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You need to send your comments by the deadline to the CRTC and to any other applicable party. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding.  These parties include the applicant and others parties mentioned in the Notice of Consultation or Part 1 application. Keep a proof receipt from the CRTC and a proof of sending to other parties for 180 days.

When do I have to comment by?

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During a proceeding there is typically a 30-day time period that allows people to file with the CRTC their comments, questions, evidence, and responses to questions; this is known as the submission period. To find the exact deadline dates look on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment page on the CRTC website or on the Notice of Consultation.

What if I want to participate and get my perspective known, but find it daunting?

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You do not have to participate on your own:

  • You can find another organization or group who wishes to become a party and who shares your perspectives, and coordinate with them so that you write the comments together. A "party" is any individual or organization that participates in the written proceeding. In this case, you would still be considered an intervener.
  • Another avenue is for you to find other organizations and individuals that are in support of your position and tell the CRTC about it: this is called a joint supporting intervention. You can find detailed information about creating and submitting joint supporting interventions in Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-28 and 2010-28-1

After the submission period is over, what happens to the comments received by the CRTC?

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The submission period is the time period that allows people to file with the CRTC their comments, questions, evidence, and responses to questions. To find the exact deadline dates look on the All Public Proceedings Open for Comment page on the CRTC website or on the Notice of Consultation. The CRTC collects and reviews all of the comments and supporting evidence before making a decision on the issue.

Why do some proceedings have oral hearings and others do not?

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The CRTC will add an oral hearing to a proceeding if it determines that it will improve overall effectiveness of the proceeding. The oral phase is always preceded by a written phase so you can participate in both phases, or just the written phase. An oral hearing is the opportunity for parties to come together face-to-face and deliver oral presentations to a panel of CRTC Commissioners. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding. The panel is selected from the larger group of Commissioners and is responsible to review issues and to make decisions.

How will I know if I am invited to present at oral hearing?

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The CRTC will send you a formal invitation letter usually 10 days or more before the beginning of the oral hearing. In order to receive an invitation letter from the CRTC, and present at the oral hearing, you need to make a request to appear.  To make the request, mention you wish to appear when you submit your comment as part of a CRTC proceeding. In your request, you should list any sort of accommodation needed to participate at the oral hearing, such as sign language interpretation.

In the invitation letter, you will be given important information about your presentation, including the contact information of the hearing secretary. The hearing secretary will be able to help you if you have questions.

If I have been invited to appear at an oral hearing, do I need to make a presentation?

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Yes. If asked to attend the hearing you will make a presentation (which is known as an oral comment). Your presentation is made to the Hearing Panel of CRTC Commissioners. The panel is selected from the larger group of Commissioners and is responsible to review issues and to make decisions. Your presentation should summarize your application or comment. It can include replies to questions, new questions, and comments on other's opinions or supporting evidence. The panel may ask questions about your oral or written comments.

What do I do if I have been asked to make a presentation at an oral hearing?

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You must reply to the CRTC and confirm your presence by the deadline date indicated in your invitation letter. If you filed an application or a comment as a group or organization, then you must also include a list of names of people who will be presenting with you.

What do I need to bring to the oral hearing?

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If you have been invited to make a presentation at the oral hearing, the CRTC has sent you a formal invitation letter. This letter will tell you what you need to bring and an agenda of the hearing. Please note that you will usually be asked to bring a number of printed copies of your presentation (including any charts, tables, and references).

I submitted a written comment to the proceeding and I want to present my views at the oral hearing. What if I cannot attend the hearing in person but would still like to participate?

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The CRTC will consider arranging for you to attend the hearing by videoconference or teleconference. However, in a few cases, attending in person may be required.

It is important to note that if you are not able to make a presentation at an oral hearing, your written comments will nonetheless be considered by the CRTC when it is time to make a decision. 

If I did not participate in the proceeding by submitting a written comment can I still go to the oral hearing?

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Yes. Members of the public are generally welcome to attend a proceeding as a member of the audience. You do not, however, have the same rights as the Applicant or the other parties making a presentation. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding. For example, you are not served documents, you are not able to make a presentation to the Panel of CRTC Commissioners, or speak at the hearing.

In very few rare instances, all or some of the hearing may be closed to the public because confidential information is being discussed. This is called an In Camera hearing.

I am not required to appear at the hearing, but I would like to follow the hearing from home. How can I do this?

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You can listen to a live audio stream during the hearing on the CRTC's website and also read the electronic transcript posted on the CRTC website the following day. Both options are available to the public free of charge.

Are there things I should not do during my presentation at the hearing?

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Yes. You should not add new information that was not in the original comments filed by you, the Applicant or other parties. "Parties" are any individual or organization that participated in the written proceeding. However, if you discover important information that you feel should be added, you need to inform the Hearing Secretary before your presentation. The Hearing Secretary will help you request permission from the hearing panel to add this information. The hearing panel is selected from the larger group of Commissioners and is responsible to review issues and to make decisions.

How will I know when to present during the hearing?

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The letter of invitation and the agenda for the hearing will be sent to you, usually ten (10) days or more before the oral hearing. The agenda will list the planned order of presentations. At the hearing the Hearing Secretary will have an agenda and more information for you as well.

How will I know when the CRTC has made its decision?

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It can take months for the CRTC to consider all of the information on the public record and make its decision. Once made, the decision is published on the website. All CRTC decisions can be found on the Decisions, Notice and Orders index webpage.

For proceedings that deal with less complex issues, a decision is usually published within four months after the end of the proceeding process, also known as the close of record. Proceedings that deal with more complex issues can take longer.

The CRTC aims to publish all of its decisions within the time frames specified in the appendix to the Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-222.

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