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Prior to filing an application
Before an application is submitted to the AUC many hours are spent by an applicant preparing the application and may include consultation with affected parties and experts.

Application
Applications are expected to be filed electronically through the eFiling System. More information on the system is available on the eFiling System page of the AUC website.

Under certain limited circumstances, the AUC will accept the filing of an application by email or in paper format. Further information on filing an application with the AUC is available on the Filing an application page of the AUC website.

Review
Once the application is filed with the AUC, Commission members and staff members are assigned to review the application as required.

Notice issued
The AUC typically issues a notice, which contains the following information:

  • Name of applicant.
  • Application number and/or proceeding identification number.
  • Nature of the application.
  • How to participate (intervene) in the proceeding.
  • The AUC's lead application officer’s name and contact information.
  • The applicant’s contact information including an individual that can provide further information.

 

All notices are published on the AUC website in the notices section, added to the AUC’s electronic filing system and circulated to interveners who have participated in previous, similar applications. Notices for some applications are also published in the most widely circulated daily newspaper in the area of those affected.

Any party with concerns or objections respecting any application must register to participate and must submit a Statement of Intent to Participate letter according to the schedule outlined in the Commission’s public Notice.

Statement of intent to participate (SIP)
The SIP should note the applicable application number and the proceeding identification number in the subject line and set out the name of the party or organization name, address or legal land description, telephone number and email address (if available).

Depending on the requirements outlined in the public Notice, the SIP submission could require one or more of the following items:

  • A description of the nature of the party’s interest in the proceeding (i.e. how the party will be affected by the Commission’s decision).
  • A clear description of the nature of the party’s concerns or objections to the proceeding.
  • An indication as to whether the party supports or objects to the application.

If you are represented by another party, please include the contact information for your representative. If you are a group, provide a contact person for the group and give details on the group members. Submissions should be addressed to the AUC.

For more information on how to participate visit the Getting Involved page of the AUC website.

The discovery process continues
The review of the application is ongoing. It is scrutinized by the AUC as well as parties who have shown interest in the application. Information is exchanged between the applicant, interested parties and the AUC, through the use of information requests (IRs) and responses. The IR’s are transmitted though the AUC electronic filing systems. Documents are filed and marked as exhibits and may be referred to throughout the application process.

All information filed in this process is considered to be on the public record unless a specific request is made to the AUC to make certain information confidential. The AUC will make a ruling on the confidentiality request as soon as practical.

Registered interveners may be provided the opportunity to enter evidence regarding the application. This is an opportunity for the interveners to potentially present an alternate position to the matter that is being dealt with in the application. The AUC, the applicant and all other registered interveners are provided the opportunity to examine the intervener evidence through IRs. If an oral hearing is required, any party submitting evidence should make one or more witnesses available to respond to questions during the hearing.

Resolution of application
During the course of an application process, the applicant and interveners sometimes negotiate on matters related to the application through a separate process. In some instances, an agreement is reached between the parties. When this occurs there may be no need for an oral hearing or a significantly shortened oral hearing or written hearing will take place. The AUC considers all of the information filed from a public interest perspective and releases a decision report.

Absent a settlement agreement, the AUC will continue to review the application through a written process, and in some cases, an oral public hearing will also be completed.

Hearing
An oral hearing is held when issues in an application cannot be dealt with sufficiently through a written process. The hearing is similar to a court proceeding. Typically a panel of three Commission Members is assigned for an oral hearing. Expert witnesses are cross examined and any additional relevant evidence is registered in the proceeding. A transcript of the events is prepared by a court reporter. An oral hearing will vary in length depending upon the number of interveners and quantity of material to be covered by expert witnesses.

Final submissions
Once the oral hearing has concluded or at the point that all evidence has been exchanged in a written proceeding, dates are established for the presentation or filing of argument. Typically, argument is provided in written form but it can also be provided orally. The argument is the opportunity for the applicant and all interveners to provide their final submissions regarding the application and will include each party’s recommendations on how it considers certain matters should be resolved by the AUC. Argument can only deal with matters that have been covered during the prior processes. New matters cannot be introduced at this phase of the application process.

Reply argument is the opportunity to respond to the initial argument of other parties. Only those issues covered in the initial argument can be addressed in reply argument.

Decision
The AUC reviews all of the information collected throughout the application process to arrive at an informed decision. The AUC assesses the submissions and evidence provided by the applicant and the interveners and arrives at decisions on various matters. The supporting rationale for the decisions is also provided by the Commission in its decision reports.