The Supreme Court of Canada granted the application of Consumers Council of Canada and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre for leave to intervene in Telus Communications Inc. v. Avraham Wellman in an order released August 16.
The case addresses a provision in Ontario's Arbitration Act when there are class actions involving two different types of potential claimants.
Ontario's Consumer Protection Act states that, in the case of consumers, any user agreements that call for arbitration are invalid in terms of restricting the right to be part of a legal action. For the Ontario Court of Appeal, in its decision last year, the main issue was whether business customers of Telus should be excluded because those contracts included a mandatory arbitration clause. Section 7(5) of the Arbitration Act permits a court to stay certain “matters” within an arbitration agreement.
In the Telus litigation, the proposed class affected is made up of consumers in and outside of business plans.
The Council is being represented for purposes of the intervention by Sotos LLP.