Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Telecommunications Act (S.C. 1993, c. 38)

Act current to 2021-06-28 and last amended on 2019-07-11. 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


 [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.

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