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Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal CRTC “deferral acounts” decision

The Supreme Court of Canada today (Sept. 25) granted leave to consumer and anti-poverty groups to appeal the Decision earlier this year of the Federal Court of Appeal to deny their application to quash the order of the CRTC to spend monies collected from telephone rates on internet expansion.

The Consumers Association of Canada and the National Anti-Poverty Organization have claimed that the money belongs to residential telephone customers who were charged rates higher than required under the Commission’s price cap to help competitors.

Michael Janigan, general counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre that has assisted the appellants with the appeal noted: “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of the Commission decision under appeal and look forward to setting out our argument that all this money should go back to customers.”

Bell Canada was also given leave to appeal the same decision on the grounds that all money collected in rates is the property of the company and cannot be rebated to customers.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decision would have provided that approximately $350 million would be spent on internet projects while $300 million would be rebated to customers.

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