Annual Report

August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019

Board of Directors

Our Board is structured to provide for the participation of all stakeholders while remaining independent from the telecom and TV industries. It consists of seven directors who are elected for three-year terms:

  • four independent directors, two of whom are appointed by consumer groups
  • three industry directors, one each to represent the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), the cable companies and the other Participating Service Providers

Independent directors

Catherine Aczel Boivie, PhD, ICD.D (Board Chair, appointed October of 2016)

A senior executive and CEO, Catherine has led the advancement of the strategic value of information technology as a business enabler at Vancity Credit Union, Pacific Blue Cross and CAA British Columbia. She serves on several boards, including those of Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), MedicAlert Canada and Artsclub theatre. More…

Darlene Halwas

Darlene currently serves on the boards of Canada Development Investment Corporation, Watt Consulting Group and the Alberta WaterPortal Society. She has almost 30 years of work experience, with 15 years focused on leading risk management functions for companies. More…

Independent directors: Consumer group appointees

Marina Pavlović

Marina is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, where she is a member of the Center for Law, Technology, and Society. Marina has research and teaching experience in consumer protection, telecommunications, law and technology policy, and dispute resolution. More…

Jacques C.P. Bellemare

Jacques graduated in Engineering Physics at École Polytechnique in Montreal (1961) and later obtained an MBA from Laval University in Quebec (1973). In the private sector, he has worked in telephony with Bell Canada, in cable TV with Cablevision Nationale (acquired by Videotron), in consulting with Raymond, Chabot, Martin, Paré, and in regulation with Teleglobe Canada after its privatization. More…

Industry directors: Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs)

Ruby Barber

Ruby is Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs, at Bell Canada and is based in Ottawa. She joined Bell in 1997 and has a broad range of legal and regulatory experience with telecom issues. More…

Industry directors: Cable companies

Dean Shaikh

Dean is Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Shaw Communications, where he is primarily responsible for CRTC proceedings and compliance under the Broadcasting Act. He also provides advice on matters involving the Telecommunications Act, Competition Act and Copyright Act. More…

Industry directors: Other Participating Service Providers

Bram Abramson (August to October 2018)

Bram is a former head of law, regulatory, and public policy at TekSavvy; communications lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault; and senior analyst at the CRTC and at TeleGeography. Bram is a graduate of Concordia (BA, Communications) and McGill (BCL/LLB, Law) universities and, alongside his Ontario bar membership, holds the CIPP/C, CIPM and FIP privacy designations.

Geoff Batstone (from October 2018)

Geoff is the Vice President, General Counsel at Distributel Communications where he is responsible for managing the legal, regulatory and public policy affairs of the Distributel group of companies. Called to the bar in 1995, he has over twenty years of experience working in diverse legal environments, advising a range of clients from small start-ups to multinational companies. More…

For up-to-date biographies throughout the year, see our Board of Directors web page.

Board changes

In, October 2018, Bram Abramson retired after serving on the Board since July 2016. Geoff Batstone was appointed to the “Other Participating Service Providers” director position that Bram vacated.

Meetings and director attendance

Committees and working groups: Membership and meetings

The Board has the following committees and working groups. Membership and meeting dates are as follows.

Audit Committee: Jacques Bellemare, Darlene Halwas, Dean Shaikh.
Meetings: August 1 and September 24, 2018, and January 16, January 22, February 14, May 9 and July 31, 2019.

Corporate Governance Committee: Catherine Aczel Boivie, Marina Pavlović, Geoff Batstone.
Meetings: August 14, September 12 and November 9, 2018, and March 11, April 2, May 31, June 20 and July 17, 2019.

Independent Directors Committee: Jacques Bellemare, Catherine Aczel Boivie, Darlene Halwas, Marina Pavlović.
Meetings: October 4, 2018, and January 22, March 20, April 16 and June 25, 2019.

Budget Working Group: Marina Pavlović, Ruby Barber.
Meetings: June 6, 12, 14 and 20, 2019.

To advance the work of the organization’s strategic plan, a special committee was struck in 2018. It completed its work in early 2019.

Members: Catherine Aczel Boivie, Darlene Halwas, Marina Pavlović, Bram Abramson (until October 2018) and thereafter Dean Shaikh.
Meetings: November 8 and December 13, 2018, and January 18, 2019.

CCTS budget

The CCTS audited financial statements for 2018-19 can be found in Appendix C. The CCTS is funded by the service providers. Large providers pay a fee based on the proportion of their revenues to the revenues of all the large service providers. Small providers pay an annual fee. All providers pay a fee for each complaint concluded by the CCTS from their customers in the year. New provider sign-up fees and bank interest make up the other sources of revenue.

In 2018-19 the CCTS recorded significantly more revenue than projected because more complaints were concluded than anticipated. The CCTS’ recorded expenses were substantially below projections, largely related to delays in hiring for certain staff positions as well as decisions to postpone executing on certain projects, including a plan to acquire additional office space.

Under the Participation Agreement that governs the relationship between the CCTS and PSPs, the CCTS normally credits the excess of revenues over expenses back to the service providers as a year-end adjustment. In 2018-19, the Board of Directors decided to return 75% of this excess to service providers, which will receive a credit on a subsequent invoice. A decision was made to retain 25% to ensure sufficient funding for the increased 2019-20 budget and to ensure that adequate operating cash flow is available to the CCTS throughout the fiscal year.