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OTTAWA – As part of its work in telecommunications and consumer rights, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) advocated for better consumer protection in the realm of telecommunications complaints in front of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Tuesday, November 2, 2015. PIAC, appearing on behalf of the National Pensioner’s Federation (NPF) and the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia (COSCO), delivered a presentation recommending key improvements to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).
PIAC’s primary recommendations included: increasing and measuring public awareness, ensuring independence in board governance, and improving enforcement remedies available to Canadians in dispute with their cell phone, Internet, and potentially television service providers. After oral remarks, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel John Lawford, Legal Counsel Alysia Lau, and Research and Parliamentary Affairs Analyst Jonathan Bishop responded to detailed questioning from the Commission on PIAC’s submission and recommendations, stressing the importance of the CCTS’s role in protecting and promoting consumer interests in an area as essential as telecommunications services.
PIAC delivered its presentation as part of the CRTC public proceeding, “Review of the structure and mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc”. The hearing will proceed over four days, November 3-6, 2015, and aims to clarify and improve the structure, mandate, and practices of the CCTS, the office of Canada’s telecommunications ombudsperson.
Members of the public may contribute their views by commenting at the CRTC’s online discussion forum set up for the CCTS proceeding.