· It often takes the Board four years or more from a tariff filing to even get to the hearing stage. In the case of the currently highly fraught Access Copyright proposed PSE tariffs spanning 2011-2013 and 2014-2017, the effectively uncontested hearing was not held until 2016 – almost six years after the tariff was filed – and the decision is still pending and likely going to prove very problematic, . Nine years and counting for a decision on an effectively uncontested tariff is simply inexplicable and unacceptable.
· Worse still, it is often far from clear at precisely what time the “conclusion” of a hearing takes place. The Board frequently has afterthoughts and questions and keeps the record open for some time. Despite enormous expense in many cases, the parties don’t always put their best foot forward at the earliest opportunity. Moreover, the Board has rarely been effective in restraining excessive and irrelevant interrogatories. For that is still underway. In normal judicial proceedings, Courts reserve judgment at the conclusion of the oral hearing – and that is it – the record is closed. One waits and hopes for the best and a decision is normally rendered within six months. The record is very rarely re-opened – except in very exceptional circumstances such as when an important and potentially binding decision is rendered by another court before judgment is pronounced.
· The Copyright Board should be required to render a final decision on contested tariffs within 24 months from the time the proposed tariff is published in the Canada Gazette.
Note the above highlighted date of May 27, 2019 to respond to the Government,