North

N.W.T. court upholds ruling against Bell Mobility in 911 case

The N.W.T. Court of Appeal has upheld a 2013 ruling that found Bell Mobility liable after charging customers in the territories for 911 services not available in their communities.

The N.W.T. Court of Appeal has upheld a 2013 ruling that found Bell Mobility liable after charging customers in the territories for 911 services not available in their communities.

Since around 2004, Bell Mobility charged all customers in N.W.T., Nunavut and Yukon the same 75 cents a month for 911 service that it charged its customers in the south, even though the service is available only in Whitehorse.

Yellowknifers James and Samuel Anderson launched the original lawsuit in 2007. Bell stopped listing the charge on bills in 2009.

But James Anderson questions whether the fee really disappeared.

"Your monthly fees didn't decrease, so I think the charge is still there, but it's hidden," he says.

Keith Landy, the lawyer representing the Andersons and all other Northern customers, says he hopes Bell will now co-operate.

"They've been very resistant up until now to be co-operative," he said. "One would have thought that Bell as a corporate citizen should act a little more responsibly and show some respect to the citizens of the North."

The company has been ordered to provide a disclosure so it can be determined just how much money needs to be repaid to almost 25,000 northern customers.

A spokesperson for Bell Mobility says it's disappointed with the N.W.T. Court of Appeal's decision. They say the company will consider its options. 

Anderson said he is hesitant to celebrate this decision, as Bell has continually appealed the court decisions.

"It's disheartening, but we have prevailed and we have a very competent legal team." he said. "I'm very pleased, with what is, hopefully, the final outcome."

now