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Statutes of Newfoundland 1998


CHAPTER 29

AN ACT TO AMEND THE PUBLIC UTILITIES ACT

(Assented to December 15, 1998)

Analysis

1. S.2 Amdt.
Interpretation

2. S.5 Rep.
Policy statement

3. S.6 Amdt.
Appointment of board of
commissioners and staff

4. S.9 Amdt.
When commissioner
not disqualified

5. S.13 Amdt.
Board’s expenses

6. S.15 Amdt.
Budget

7. S.18 R&S
Annual report

8. S.19 Rep.
Contents of report

9. S.21 Amdt.
Board policy

10. S.23 Amdt.
Copies of orders

11. S.41 Amdt.
Capital budget of public
utility

12. Ss.51 & 52 Rep.
51. Changes in type of
equipment
to be approved
52. Telephone terminal
attachments

13. S.77 Amdt.
Incidental sale of services
to public

14. S.82 R&S
Investigation by board

15. S.91 Amdt.
Approval of security
issues

16. S.97 R&S
Record of proceedings
to be kept

17. S.103 R&S
Disobedience of order
of board

18. S.104 Amdt.
Penalty for false
statement

19. S.105 Amdt.
Penalty for unjust
discrimination

20. S.106 Amdt.
Penalty for accepting
unauthorized compensation

21. S.107 Amdt.
Penalty for undue preference
or prejudice

22. S.108 Amdt.
Penalty for soliciting or
receiving rebate

23. S.109 Amdt.
Penalty for failure to
complete forms

24. S.110 Amdt.
Penalty for destruction of
apparatus of board

25. S.111 Amdt.
General penalty

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


RSN1990 cP-47
as amended

1. (1) Paragraph 2(1)(d) of the Public Utilities Act is amended by striking out the words "or revenue".

(2) Subparagraph 2(1)(e)(i) of the Act is repealed.

(3) Subsection 2(2) of the Act is repealed.

2. Section 5 of the Act is repealed.

3. (1) Subsection 6(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the number "3" and substituting the words and number "not fewer than 2".

(2) Subsection 6(2) of the Act is amended by striking out the words "and shall appoint a clerk for the board".

(3) Section 6 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (3) the following:

(3.1) The board shall appoint a board secretary and shall set the terms and conditions of the appointment.

(4) Subsections 6(5) and (6) of the Act are amended by striking out the word "clerk" and substituting the words "board secretary" wherever it occurs.

(5) Subsection 6(12) of the Act is repealed.

4. Section 9 of the Act is amended by striking out the words and comma "the lessee or user of a telephone, or".

5. (1) Subsection 13(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Board’s expenses

13. (1) The expenses of the board, including the salaries, pensions and allowances of the commissioners, board secretary, counsel, experts, accountants, stenographers and other assistants, and reasonable allowances for travelling of all the persons shall be estimated by the board annually and assessed upon and borne by the individual public utilities that carried on business during the whole or a part of the preceding calendar year in the proportion or at the rate that the board may determine on the gross earnings of each public utility as shown by the balance sheets, reports and other information relating to the financial year of the public utility filed with the board by the public utilities respectively and the cost of inquiries chargeable to specific utilities under section 90 shall not be included.

(2) Section 13 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (6) the following:

(7) Where the expenses of the board are less than the assessments paid by the public utilities under subsection (5), the board may retain the amount of the difference, and the amount retained may be applied to reduce a subsequent assessment under subsection (5).

6. Subsections 15(2) and (3) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

(2) In a budget submitted under subsection (1), the board shall set out, in the detail and form that the Minister of Justice may prescribe, the amount the board estimates it will require from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the proposed expenditure of that amount for the financial year for which the budget is submitted.

(3) Where an amount received by the board from the Consolidated Revenue Fund is not expended by the board in the financial year in which it is received, the board shall remit the unexpended amount back to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

7. Section 18 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Annual report

18. The board may publish an annual report regarding its proceedings.

8. Section 19 of the Act is repealed.

9. Subsection 21(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the words and commas "annual leave, sick leave," and substituting the words and comma "paid leave,".

10. Section 23 of the Act is amended by striking out the words "under the seal of the board".

11. (1) Subsection 41(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Capital budget of public utility

41.(1) A public utility shall submit an annual capital budget of proposed improvements or additions to its property to the board for its approval not later than December 15 in each year for the next calendar year, and the budget shall include an estimate of contributions toward the cost of improvements or additions to its property the public utility intends to demand from its customers.

(2) Section 41 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (5) the following:

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5), a public utility may, without the prior approval of the board, demand from its customers a contribution toward the cost of an improvement or an addition to its property where the demand for the contribution is approved under a policy of the board.

12. Sections 51 and 52 of the Act are repealed.

13. Section 77 of the Act is amended by striking out the words and comma "telephone services," wherever they occur.

14. Section 82 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Investigation by board

82. Where the board believes that a rate or charge is unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or that a reasonable service is not supplied, or that an investigation of a matter relating to a public utility should be made, it may, of its own motion, summarily investigate the rate or charge or matter with or without notice.

15. Subsection 91(3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(3) In considering an application under subsection (2), the board may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing, and where the board is satisfied that the proposed issue by a public utility of its shares, stocks, bonds, debentures or other evidence of indebtedness is to be made in accordance with law and for a purpose approved by the board, the board shall make an order approving the proposed issue to the amount that it considers appropriate, and shall prescribe the purpose to which the issue or the proceeds of the issue are to be applied.

16. Section 97 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Record of proceedings to be kept

97. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings held before the board on formal investigations and all testimony shall be recorded in the manner ordered by the board.

17. Section 103 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Disobedience of order of board

103. (1) A public utility that fails to obey an order of the board made under this Act is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $5,000.

(2) Where it is proved that a public utility has failed to obey an order of the board made under this Act, the president and every vice-president, director, managing director, and superintendent of that public utility is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $5,000, unless the person proves that he or she took all necessary and proper means to carry out the order of the board, and that he or she was not at fault for the failure to obey the order.

(3) Where it is proved that a municipal corporation has failed to obey an order of the board made under this Act, the mayor, or other head of that corporation, and every member of the council, or other ruling or executive body of the corporation, is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $5,000, unless the person proves that he or she took all necessary and proper means to carry out the order of the board, and that he or she was not at fault for the failure to obey the order.

(4) Nothing in or done under this section shall lessen or affect the liability of a public utility or prevent or prejudice the enforcement of an order of the board.

18. Section 104 of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$500" and substituting the amount "$2,500".

19. Section 105 of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$50" and substituting the amount "$250", and by striking out the amount "$25" and substituting the amount "$125".

20. Section 106 of the Act is amended by striking out the words "or the conveyance of telephone messages" and by striking out the words and comma "except telephone station equipment upon the subscriber’s premises,".

21. Section 107 of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$50" and substituting the amount "$250".

22. Subsection 108(2) of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$25" and substituting the amount "$125".

23. (1) Subsection 109(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$200" and substituting the amount "$1,000".

(2) Subsection 109(2) of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$500" and substituting the amount "$2,500".

24. Section 110 of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$100" and substituting the amount "$500".

25. Subsection 111(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$20" and substituting the amount "$100", and by striking out the amount "$1,000" and substituting the amount "$5,000".

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