R-8.01 - Act respecting the Régie des télécommunications

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chapter R-8.01
Act respecting the Régie des télécommunications
RÉGIE DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONSDecember 18 1997March 18 1998
Repealed, 1997, c. 83, s. 25.
1997, c. 83, s. 25.
CHAPTER I
APPLICATION
1. This Act applies, within the scope of the jurisdiction of Québec, to the distribution of telecommunications services by an operating company.
1988, c. 8, s. 1.
2. In this Act, unless otherwise indicated by the context,
telecommunications undertaking means an undertaking the object of which is the public conveyance of communications by emission, transmission or reception of sounds, images, signs, signals, data or messages by wire, cable, waves or any other electric, electronic, magnetic, electromagnetic or optical means;
telecommunications service means any service and any property supplied to the user by an operating company;
operating company means a person or company authorized to carry on a telecommunications undertaking or exercising such right as lessee, trustee, liquidator, sequestrator or assignee.
1988, c. 8, s. 2; 1990, c. 51, s. 1.
3. This Act is binding on the Government, Government departments and agencies which are mandataries of the Government.
1988, c. 8, s. 3.
4. This Act is designed to further the following purposes:
(1)  the availability of reliable, high-quality telecommunications services corresponding to the needs of users, throughout the territory and in every region;
(2)  the application of fair and reasonable tariffs for any telecommunications service;
(3)  the standardization of prices throughout the territory of Québec for comparable telecommunications services;
(4)  a proper balance between the interests of users and the requirements for viability on the part of the operating companies;
(5)  the continuity and extension of efficient and innovative telecommunications services to promote local and regional economic development.
1988, c. 8, s. 4.
CHAPTER II
RÉGIE DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS
DIVISION I
ESTABLISHMENT
5. The “Régie des télécommunications” is hereby established.
1988, c. 8, s. 5.
6. The Régie shall consist of three controllers, including the president and vice-president, appointed for a fixed term of not over five years by the Government, which shall fix their salaries and other conditions of employment. The term of office of a controller may be renewed only once.
The controllers shall hold office on a full-time basis.
1988, c. 8, s. 6.
7. At the request of the president, the Government may, for the proper dispatch of the business of the Régie, appoint two additional controllers for such period as it may determine and fix their salary and other conditions of employment.
1988, c. 8, s. 7.
7.1. The president shall coordinate and distribute the work of the controllers.
1990, c. 51, s. 2.
8. Notwithstanding the expiry of his term, a controller may continue to examine any application or request referred to him and decide it.
1988, c. 8, s. 8.
9. No controller may, under pain of forfeiture of office, have any direct or indirect interest in an undertaking putting his personal interest in conflict with that of the Régie. However, such forfeiture is not incurred if the interest devolves to him by succession or gift, provided he renounces or disposes of it with dispatch.
1988, c. 8, s. 9.
10. The vice-president shall exercise the powers of the president in case of his absence or inability to act.
1988, c. 8, s. 10.
11. Two controllers, including the president or vice-president, constitute a quorum. A controller shall decide only questions that are referred to him.
1988, c. 8, s. 11.
12. The decisions of the Régie must be made with diligence and give reasons; they form part of the records of the Régie, which shall immediately send a certified copy of every decision to the parties and the Minister of Culture and Communications. At the request of the Minister, it shall also send him a copy of any other relevant document.
The Régie may award costs, including representation expenses and experts’ fees, to persons whose participation in its proceedings it considers expedient. It may also order the parties to pay, on the terms and conditions it fixes, such proportion of the costs as it determines.
1988, c. 8, s. 12; 1990, c. 51, s. 3; 1994, c. 14, s. 19.
13. The secretary and the other employees of the Régie shall be appointed and remunerated in accordance with the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1).
1988, c. 8, s. 13; 1990, c. 51, s. 4.
14. The Régie shall have its head office within the territory of the Communauté urbaine de Québec, and may have offices at such other places in Québec as the Minister may designate, upon recommendation of the president.
The Régie may sit at any place in Québec.
1988, c. 8, s. 14.
15. The Régie may make rules of internal management respecting the conduct of business.
1988, c. 8, s. 15.
16. Any document emanating from the Régie signed by the president or a person designated by him for that purpose is authentic. The same applies to any copy of a document emanating from the Régie certified by the president or a person designated by him for that purpose.
1988, c. 8, s. 16.
17. The controllers and employees of the Régie cannot be prosecuted on account of official acts done in good faith in the performance of their duties.
1988, c. 8, s. 17.
18. Except on a question of jurisdiction, article 33 of the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25) does not apply to the Régie and no extraordinary recourse provided for in articles 834 to 850 of that Code may be exercised nor any injunction granted against the Régie acting in its official capacity.
1988, c. 8, s. 18.
19. The fiscal year of the Régie ends on 31 March each year.
1988, c. 8, s. 19.
20. Not later than 30 June each year, the Régie shall send a report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the Minister.
The report shall include a summary of the applications and requests filed with the Régie and of the decisions it has made and the number, nature and results of the investigations conducted during the year.
The report shall also contain any other information required by the Minister on the activities of the Régie.
The Minister shall table the report in the National Assembly within 30 days after receiving it if the Assembly is then sitting or, if it is not sitting, within 30 days after the commencement of the next sitting.
1988, c. 8, s. 20.
DIVISION II
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS
21. The function of the Régie is to provide economic and technical regulation of telecommunications services. The Régie shall have exclusive power to
(1)  issue, amend or cancel authorization to carry on a telecommunications undertaking;
(2)  fix the tariffs for and the conditions applicable to the provision of telecommunications services;
(3)  decide any dispute relating to the application of a tariff or the provision of any telecommunications service.
The Régie shall also ensure the continuity and development of telecommunications services.
In the exercise of its powers, the Régie shall favour conciliation.
The powers conferred on the Régie under the first paragraph shall be exercised in accordance with the regulations under sections 62 and 63 where applicable.
1988, c. 8, s. 21; 1990, c. 51, s. 5.
22. (Repealed).
1988, c. 8, s. 22; 1996, c. 20, s. 35.
23. Only the holder of an authorization granted by the Régie may carry on a telecommunications undertaking.
1988, c. 8, s. 23.
24. Any person or company wishing to carry on a telecommunications undertaking shall apply to the Régie for authorization to that effect.
The same rule applies to any operating company wishing to
(1)  cease or alter its operations;
(2)  assign or amalgamate its undertaking;
(3)  acquire or establish any other undertaking.
An application shall also be filed with the Régie for an authorization to assign, transfer, exchange or allot securities of an operating company or to carry out any other transaction in respect of such securities if the transaction directly or indirectly results in conferring on a single person or on a group of related persons within the meaning of the Taxation Act (chapter I-3) securities or rights to acquire securities
(1)  which permit the election of a majority of directors of that operating company, in the case of securities exempt from the application of the Securities Act (chapter V-1.1);
(2)  which represent over 20 % of the voting securities of that operating company, in the case of securities not exempt from the application of the said Act;
(3)  which represent over 50 % of the shares of the company or, in the case of a limited partnership, of the shares allowing the holder to act as general partner.
Any interested person may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for the annulment of an act performed in contravention of this section.
1988, c. 8, s. 24; 1990, c. 51, s. 6.
25. The Régie shall publish a notice in a daily newspaper circulated within the territory contemplated in the application or serve the notice on the interested persons by such means as it considers most appropriate.
The notice shall indicate
(1)  the name and address of the applicant;
(2)  the territory contemplated;
(3)  the time fixed by the Régie within which any interested person may make representations.
The Régie may order the applicant to pay the cost of the publication or service, on the terms and conditions it determines.
1988, c. 8, s. 25; 1990, c. 51, s. 7.
26. The Régie may grant an authorization to operate to any person or company having the technical and financial capacity required to provide continuous, high-quality telecommunications services. The Régie may attach such conditions as it may fix to such an authorization.
1988, c. 8, s. 26.
26.1. Every operating company shall every year, at the time fixed by the Régie, file a report with the Régie containing the following information:
(1)  its name, its capital stock, the various security issues made since its establishment or since the last report, the names of its directors and, where applicable, its corporate name;
(2)  its assets, liabilities, expenditures and income for the year;
(3)  any other information the Régie may require.
1990, c. 51, s. 8.
27. The Régie may cancel or amend the authorization granted to any operating company
(1)  which repeatedly contravenes this Act or the regulations thereunder in such a manner as to severely affect the quality or continuity of the telecommunications services which it provides;
(2)  to which an authorization was granted or which is affected by an authorization granted pursuant to an application under the second paragraph of section 24.
1988, c. 8, s. 27.
28. The Régie shall ensure that the regular telecommunications services are maintained during cancellation proceedings and after an authorization is ordered cancelled pursuant to paragraph 1 of section 27.
1988, c. 8, s. 28.
29. On cancelling an authorization to carry on a telecommunications undertaking and subject to fair and prior compensation, the Régie may order the transfer of the whole or part of the assets and liabilities of the holder of the authorization to another operating company.
If the companies concerned do not agree on the prices, on the terms and conditions of payment of the compensation or on arbitration for that purpose within 60 days after the decision to cancel is rendered, the Régie shall fix the amount of the compensation and order payment thereof to the holder whose authorization is cancelled.
Any interested person may appeal to the Expropriation Division of the Court of Québec in respect of the compensation fixed by the Régie. Such appeal does not, however, stay the cancellation or transfer referred to in the first paragraph.
1988, c. 8, s. 29; 1988, c. 21, s. 66.
30. The employees of the operating company whose authorization is cancelled become, from the date fixed in the decision, the employees of the operating company in whose favour the transfer is made.
1988, c. 8, s. 30.
31. The Régie may, of its own initiative or at the request of any interested person, set forth general guidelines in respect of tariffs.
1988, c. 8, s. 31.
32. The price or rate of any telecommunications service shall be fixed by the Régie, which may require any relevant information or document from the operating company.
1988, c. 8, s. 32.
33. Before fixing tariffs, the Régie shall ascertain that the prices or rates charged by an operating company are fair and reasonable.
For that purpose, the Régie shall take into account, in particular, the level of revenues and expenditures and the return on capital required for the viability of the operating company. The Régie may also take into consideration the level of research and development expenses. It shall also see to it that prices or rates, taking regional special characteristics into account, are similar to those generally authorized for equivalent telecommunications services throughout the territory of Québec.
1988, c. 8, s. 33.
34. The Régie may exempt any telecommunications service from the application of section 32 or a regulation made under section 63, subject to such conditions as it may fix, if it considers that the service has sufficient competition to guarantee fair and reasonable prices or rates. The decision of the Régie comes into force on the date of its approval by the Government.
1988, c. 8, s. 34.
35. In no case may an operating company charge a price or rate different from that fixed by the Régie.
Any agreement providing for a different price or rate is null and the refund of any excess amount may be claimed.
1988, c. 8, s. 35.
36. The Régie shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide the location of the installations and the conditions of operation of any telecommunications undertaking. It may, in particular,
(1)  in the case of an operating company authorized to extend its undertaking over the territory of a local municipality, decide any dispute between the company and the municipality in respect of the use of properties owned by the municipality and, for that purpose, allow their use subject to conditions fixed by the Régie;
(2)  decide any dispute between an operating company and a local municipality in respect of conditions fixed under subparagraph 1;
(3)  order, on the application of an interested person, the extension of any telecommunications service provided by an operating company over the local municipal territory where the company carries on its undertaking, fix conditions therefor and, where applicable, apportion costs between the operating company and the municipality.
The Régie, in all cases where its decision might derogate from a zoning by-law, shall convene the local municipality or any other person concerned by public notice.
1988, c. 8, s. 36; 1996, c. 2, s. 849.
37. The Régie, before rendering a decision that may modify the use of an immovable situated in a reserved area or in an agricultural zone established in accordance with the Act to preserve agricultural land (chapter P-41.1), must obtain the advice of the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec.
1988, c. 8, s. 37.
38. Every operating company which, by way of network interconnection, places its installations at the disposal of a third person, or any person who wishes to use the installations, must obtain the authorization of the Régie.
The Régie may attach such conditions to the authorization as it may prescribe.
1988, c. 8, s. 38.
39. In performing its supervisory duties, the Régie may make any decision it considers necessary in respect of the quality and the continuity of any telecommunications service, the mode of distribution of the service and the conditions relating to the use of the installations of an operating company.
1988, c. 8, s. 39.
40. Every person or company concerned by a decision of the Régie shall comply therewith.
1988, c. 8, s. 40.
41. The Régie may decide an application in part only. It may also make any provisional decision it deems necessary to protect the rights of the parties.
1988, c. 8, s. 41.
42. The Régie may revise or revoke any decision it has made
(1)  where a new fact is discovered which could have justified a different decision had it been known in due time;
(2)  where, for reasons deemed sufficient, a party interested in the dispute could not be heard;
(3)  where a substantive or procedural defect may invalidate the decision.
1988, c. 8, s. 42.
43. Any decision containing clerical errors, mistakes in calculation or any other error of form may be rectified by the Régie.
1988, c. 8, s. 43.
44. The Régie shall allow every interested person to make representations where
(1)  it cancels or amends an authorization;
(2)  it fixes a tariff;
(3)  it allows an operating company to place its network at the disposal of another operating company or of a third party by way of network interconnection.
1988, c. 8, s. 44.
45. Every three years, the Régie shall give its advice to the Minister in respect of the state of the regulations and their correspondence to socioeconomic, technical and scientific changes.
The advice shall also include an analysis of the development potential of the telecommunications undertakings as to their capacity to meet the demand for modern and high-quality telecommunications services.
The Régie may give such advice to the Minister at any time if circumstances so require.
1988, c. 8, s. 45.
46. The Régie shall advise the Minister on any matter he may refer to it or on any other matter it deems appropriate.
1988, c. 8, s. 46.
DIVISION III
HEARINGS
47. The Régie shall call a public hearing
(1)  where it intends to set forth general guidelines on the devising of tariffs;
(2)  where it is examining the advisability of exempting any telecommunications service from the application of section 32 or a regulation made under section 63;
(3)  where it intends to make a decision which may derogate from a zoning by-law.
The Régie may also, of its own initiative or on the application of an interested person, call a public hearing to examine any matter submitted to it.
1988, c. 8, s. 47.
48. (Repealed).
1988, c. 8, s. 48; 1990, c. 51, s. 9.
49. At every public hearing, the Régie shall be assisted by an attorney.
1988, c. 8, s. 49.
50. The Régie may cause members of its staff or any other expert it may designate to give testimony.
1988, c. 8, s. 50.
51. (Repealed).
1988, c. 8, s. 51; 1990, c. 51, s. 10.
DIVISION IV
INSPECTION AND INVESTIGATIONS
52. A controller or any other person designated in writing by the president may, for the purposes of an inspection to verify the carrying out of this Act,
(1)  enter the establishment or property of an operating company at any reasonable time;
(2)  examine and make copies of books, records, accounts, files and other documents relating to the distribution of telecommunications services;
(3)  require any information in respect of the carrying out of this Act and the production of any related document.
Every person having control, custody or possession of the books, records, accounts, files and other documents shall, on request, communicate them to the controller or the designated person and facilitate his examination of them.
The controller or designated person shall, on request, identify himself and produce a certificate of his quality issued by the Régie.
1988, c. 8, s. 52.
53. No person may hinder the work of a controller or designated person in the performance of his inspection duties.
1988, c. 8, s. 53.
54. The Régie may conduct any investigation necessary for the performance of its functions and, for that purpose, the controllers and any person specially authorized by the Régie shall have the powers and immunity of commissioners appointed under the Act respecting public inquiry commissions (chapter C-37), except the power to order imprisonment.
1988, c. 8, s. 54.
CHAPTER III
APPEAL
55. A decision of the Régie may be appealed from to the Court of Appeal, with leave of a judge of that court, on any ground that involves a question of law which, in the opinion of that judge, should be submitted to the Court of Appeal.
1988, c. 8, s. 55.
56. The appeal is brought in accordance with the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25), except as provided under sections 75 to 78.
1988, c. 8, s. 56.
57. For the purposes of this chapter, any expression in the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25) designating the prothonotary of the Superior Court designates the president of the Régie and any expression designating the court whose judgment is appealed from designates the Régie.
1988, c. 8, s. 57.
58. The application for leave to bring an appeal must be submitted within 30 days after the date on which the decision of the Régie has taken effect, by a motion accompanied with a copy of the decision and the documents related to the contestation, if they are not reproduced in the decision.
1988, c. 8, s. 58.
59. Any party or the Attorney General may appeal from a decision of the Régie. The Attorney General may, ex officio and without notice, take part in the hearing as if he were a party thereto.
1988, c. 8, s. 59.
60. If leave to appeal is granted, it is brought by way of an inscription filed in the office of the Court of Appeal within 10 days after the judgment authorizing the appeal.
1988, c. 8, s. 60.
61. The appeal does not suspend the execution of the decision of the Régie, unless the judge decides otherwise.
1988, c. 8, s. 61.
CHAPTER IV
REGULATIONS, DIRECTIVES AND INSTRUCTIONS
1990, c. 51, s. 11.
DIVISION I
REGULATIONS
62. The Government may, by regulation, establish
(1)  norms respecting the territory covered by an authorization;
(2)  terms and conditions in respect of the acquisition, assignment or amalgamation of an operating company;
(3)  the annual dues payable to the Régie by an operating company;
(4)  the duties payable to the Régie by a person or company other than an operating company;
(5)  the provisions of the regulations made under this Act the violation of which constitutes an offence.
1988, c. 8, s. 62.
63. The Régie may determine, by regulation,
(1)  the rights and obligations of the operating companies and of users in respect of telecommunications services;
(2)  norms relating to the operations of an operating company, its financial and administrative practices and the technical requirements it must fulfil;
(3)  norms respecting the quality and maintenance of telecommunications services;
(4)  conditions respecting the use of telecommunications installations by any person other than an operating company;
(5)  norms relating to methods and practices as regards tariffs.
The regulations shall be approved by the Government.
1988, c. 8, s. 63.
64. The Régie may prescribe rules of procedure and practice applicable to the conduct and examination of any business referred to it.
The rules shall be approved by the Government.
1988, c. 8, s. 64.
DIVISION II
DIRECTIVES
65. The Minister may issue directives concerning the aims and objectives of the Régie in the exercise of its functions under this Act.
The directives must be approved by the Government, and come into force on the day of their approval. Upon being approved, they bind the Régie, which shall comply therewith.
Every directive issued under this section shall be tabled in the National Assembly within 15 days after its approval by the Government if the Assembly is sitting or, if it is not sitting, within 15 days after the commencement of the next sitting.
1988, c. 8, s. 65.
DIVISION III
INSTRUCTIONS
1990, c. 51, s. 12.
65.1. Subject to any contrary provisions of the regulations, the Régie may give instructions to the interested persons respecting the procedure it intends to follow in conducting a case.
Before any public hearing, however, the Régie must give instructions indicating, in particular, the time available to the interested persons to make representations to it, and the place and date of the hearing.
The Régie shall publish its instructions or serve notice of them on the interested persons by such means as it considers most appropriate. It may also order the parties to pay, on the terms and conditions it fixes, such proportion of the costs of the publication or service as it determines.
1990, c. 51, s. 12.
CHAPTER V
PENAL PROVISIONS
66. Every operating company that contravenes the second paragraph of section 24 or section 38 is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than $1 000 nor more than $5 000 and, in the case of a subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $5 000 nor more than $25 000.
1988, c. 8, s. 66; 1990, c. 4, s. 756.
67. Every person who contravenes section 23 or 40 or a regulatory provision made under this Act the violation of which constitutes an offence under paragraph 5 of section 62 is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2 500. Where the offence continues for more than one day, a separate offence shall be counted for each day during which it continues.
1988, c. 8, s. 67; 1990, c. 4, s. 757.
68. Every person who contravenes section 53, fails to file the report prescribed in section 26.1 or produces false information in the report is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1 000.
1988, c. 8, s. 68; 1990, c. 4, s. 757; 1990, c. 51, s. 13.
69. (Repealed).
1988, c. 8, s. 69; 1990, c. 4, s. 758.
70. (Repealed).
1988, c. 8, s. 70; 1990, c. 4, s. 758.
CHAPTER VI
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
71. (Omitted).
1988, c. 8, s. 71.
72. Regulations made under the Act respecting the Régie des services publics (chapter R-8) remain in force to the extent that they are consistent with this Act.
1988, c. 8, s. 72.
73. The regulation fixing the tariff of fees and dues payable to the Régie des services publics by certain public services, made by Order 469-82 (1982, G.O. 2, 1066) and amended by Order 68-87 (1987, G.O. 2, 977), remains in force.
1988, c. 8, s. 73.
74. Orders and decisions of the Régie des services publics retain their full effect.
1988, c. 8, s. 74.
75. Matters before the Régie des services publics are continued before the Régie des télécommunications.
1988, c. 8, s. 75.
76. Notwithstanding section 6, the controllers appointed under the Act respecting the Régie des services publics (chapter R-8) remain in office until the expiry of their terms.
1988, c. 8, s. 76.
77. The staff of the Régie des services publics in office on 9 November 1988 become the staff of the Régie des télécommunications.
1988, c. 8, s. 77.
78. Appropriations granted to the Régie des services publics are transferred to the Régie des télécommunications to the extent determined by the Government.
1988, c. 8, s. 78.
79. (Amendment integrated into c. C-14, s. 141).
1988, c. 8, s. 79.
80. (Amendment integrated into c. C-14, s. 244).
1988, c. 8, s. 80.
81. (Amendment integrated into c. C-19, s. 415).
1988, c. 8, s. 81.
82. (Amendment integrated into c. C-27.1, a. 557).
1988, c. 8, s. 82.
83. (Amendment integrated into c. C-45, s. 9).
1988, c. 8, s. 83.
84. (Amendment integrated into c. D-8, s. 42).
1988, c. 8, s. 84.
85. (Amendment integrated into c. E-20.1, s. 68).
1988, c. 8, s. 85.
86. (Amendment integrated into c. H-5, s. 30).
1988, c. 8, s. 86.
87. (Amendment integrated into c. H-5, s. 39.8).
1988, c. 8, s. 87.
88. (Amendment integrated into c. H-5, s. 48.1).
1988, c. 8, s. 88.
89. (Amendment integrated into c. I-13, s. 2).
1988, c. 8, s. 89.
90. (Inoperative, 1988, c. 63, s. 1).
1988, c. 8, s. 90.
91. (Amendment integrated into c. P-30.1, s. 1).
1988, c. 8, s. 91.
92. (Amendment integrated into c. P-40.1, s. 5).
1988, c. 8, s. 92.
93. (Amendment integrated into c. Q-2, s. 64).
1988, c. 8, s. 93; 1988, c. 21, s. 66.
94. (Amendment integrated into c. R-12, Schedule III).
1988, c. 8, s. 94.
95. (Amendment integrated into c. S-11.1, s. 20.1).
1988, c. 8, s. 95.
96. (Omitted).
1988, c. 8, s. 96.
97. Any reference in statutes and statutory instruments to a provision of the Act respecting the Régie des services publics (chapter R-8) is a reference to the corresponding provision of this Act.
1988, c. 8, s. 97.
98. The Minister of Culture and Communications is responsible for the administration of this Act.
1988, c. 8, s. 98; 1994, c. 14, s. 20.
99. (Omitted).
1988, c. 8, s. 99.
REPEAL SCHEDULE

In accordance with section 9 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes and regulations (chapter R-3), chapter 8 of the statutes of 1988, in force on 1 March 1989, is repealed, except sections 96 and 99, effective from the coming into force of chapter R-8.01 of the Revised Statutes.