Three B.C. Appeal Court judges have thrown out an appeal by a Kamloops-based Internet provider that took Telus to court over a payment dispute.
Cindy Quigley, the former owner of On Call Internet Services Ltd. (OCIS), had argued in B.C. Supreme Court that Telus was forcing her company into bankruptcy.
In an Aug. 14 decision written by Madame Justice Kirkpatrick, the OCIS appeal of a Supreme Court chambers order regarding an arbitrator’s final award in the case was dismissed.
Quigley could not be reached by deadline.
Kirkpatrick explained a series of reasons for dismissing the appeal, with costs going to Telus. But she also disregarded Telus’s request for special costs because On Call made improper allegations of fraud, saying it was time to put the protracted dispute to an end.
“On Call has been adjudged bankrupt and is presumably incapable of paying any costs award. Telus’s request for special costs would require us to entertain written submissions from the parties which would only prolong the agony of deferred finality,” she wrote.
OCIS and Telus have been locked in a battle over contract services involving tariffs, rates and billing for more than a decade. At stake is $900,000 that Telus claims it is owed by OCIS. On the opposite site, OCIS claimed to be owed more than $1 million by Telus.
The two sides have gone through arbitration and then the courts over beliefs that the arbitrator erred.
But the appeals court decision said there was no arbitral error and that On Call did not establish the judge erred in refusing leave to appeal.
Telus began providing wholesale Internet services to OCIS in 1997. The billing battle reached a peak in October 2007, when Telus demanded that OCIS pay what it said were outstanding arrears. By February of 2008, Telus had proposed arbitration and a lawyer for On Call agreed verbally to go that route.
Arbitration in 2009 resulted in Telus being awarded costs for the challenge and a later dismissal of On Call’s application that Telus had breached a term of the arbitration agreement.
The case then went to the B.C. Supreme Court, where it was dismissed by a judge in chambers in February of 2010.
Telus also applied to have On Call put into bankruptcy that year, but the judge at the time wanted to give the company a chance to resolve the disagreement in court first. Later, another judge put OCIS into bankruptcy.