Members may recall that some time ago, a pensioner had commenced a class action against Bell arguing that the annual indexation for the year 2017 should have been 2% rather than the 1% calculated and implemented by Bell. We provided some background on this on the BPG website in January 2018:
When the 2017 indexation was announced BPG did seek and paid for advice from Koskie Minsky about the validity of the calculation by Bell. The advice we received from Koskie Minsky was that while there was ambiguity a lawsuit would be unlikely to succeed so the matter was not pursued
Subsequently the law firm that Les Austin approached asked Koskie Minsky if they would take on the case as a class action. They in turn sought permission from BPG to engage in the matter since they were already engaged with BPG on the matter. The BPG board agreed to let them pursue the case. Ironically the ambiguity identified by Koskie Mimsky was cited by the court of Appeal as a key error of the motion judge in allowing the appeal. This was reported in April 2017 newsletter page 2.
We updated this in July 2018 once the court action had been scheduled:
We further updated this matter in August 2019 when the Ontario Superior Court rendered its decision upholding Bell’s interpretation and dismissing the class action:
Subsequent to that judicial decision, the class action plaintiff launched an appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. On February 21, 2020, the appeal court rendered its decision which allowed the appeal and awarded judgment to the class action plaintiffs on behalf of all members of the class. Effectively, the decision requires Bell to implement a 2% indexation increase for the 2017 year rather than the 1% previously implemented and refers development of the implementation details back to the lower court.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal on the class action suit brought against Bell regarding 2017 indexing. This means that the class action has succeeded. BPG will provide additional information about what the next steps are, once known.
A copy of the decision is presented in the:
Court of Appeal Decision, released Feb 21, 2020.