Back in summer of 2012 the Supreme Court of BC struck down a Nanaimo city bylaw aimed to charge carriers a 75 cent per user fee to help offset the $1.5 million (at the time) operating costs of the Central Island 911 Call Centre, which is shared between the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
The City of Nanaimo argued since more than half of 911 calls were made by cellphones, they wanted to enact a bylaw to charge $30 per call to carriers that refused to pay the monthly fee.
Fast forward to today, and the CWTA along with TELUS, Rogers and Bell have announced they will be donating $22,000 to the City of Nanaimo to support its 911 operations. That dollar figure is the amount of legal costs awarded to the CWTA and its wireless carrier members after a Decision by the Supreme Court of BC last July
“Our goal in determining what role wireless carriers can play in ensuring that 9-1-1 call centres are properly funded was never about costs,” said CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. “Canada’s wireless industry looks forward to working with the provincial government in coming up with a solution that will benefit the public safety community across the province and keep British Columbians safe.”
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said the City and its 911 service partners, “appreciate the CWTA’s gesture to return these costs back to our community. Our desire has always been to have a province-wide solution on the Call Answer levy, and we believe that this is achievable through cooperation with the industry and Province.”