• ABC Details

Consumer Advocate

Department

Justice and Public Safety

Authority

Section 117 of the Public Utilities Act

Remuneration

The Consumer Advocate is remunerated at a rate of $200 per hour

Purpose:

The Consumer Advocate may be appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to represent the interests of electrical services customers in matters brought before the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities pursuant to the Public Utilities Act. The Consumer Advocate may also be appointed to represent the interests of automobile insureds pursuant to the Automobile Insurance Act and the Insurance Companies Act

Structure:

In accordance with section 117 (1) of the Public Utilities Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a consumer advocate under this Act upon those terms and conditions that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may determine. The Consumer Advocate may also be appointed in accordance with section 61 of the Automobile Insurance Act and section 3.1(8) of the Insurance Companies Act for the purposes of matters before the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities under those statutes.

Competency Profile:

The Consumer Advocate encompasses both insurance and public utility matters. The following competencies are preferred:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the legislation, regulations, programs, policies, practices and precedents governing electricity service and automobile insurance;
  • Knowledge of the electric utility and insurance industries, including trends and issues;
  • Knowledge of cost of service regulation, including knowledge of revenue requirements, deferral accounts, utility finance, income taxes, cost allocation, cost of service studies, rate design and terms and conditions of service;
  • Knowledge of economic principles relating to utility rates and costing methodologies;
  • Knowledge of automobile and insurance actuarial principles including loss development, loss trends, credibility standards and risk classifications;
  • Knowledge of administrative law;
  • Effective advocacy skills in quasi-judicial and judicial hearings; and
  • Effective written and oral communication, advocacy, facilitation, negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

Qualifications:

  • Related experience in utilities regulatory intervention, insurance regulatory intervention, administrative tribunals and hearings;
  • Ability to prepare and present comprehensive reports;
  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening and interpersonal skills; and
  • Conceptual, critical, analytical thinking and problem solving skills.

The required Competencies and Qualifications as listed above would normally be acquired through the completion of a law degree and experience practicing in a relevant field of law. Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

Time Commitments:

The monthly demands of this role fluctuate throughout the year and vary depending upon the quantity and complexity of the regulatory matters in which the Consumer Advocate is involved. Furthermore, in proceedings of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities that lead to public hearings, the time commitment for preparation and attendance at hearings can be extensive.

Term:

The Consumer Advocate may be appointed in relation to specific matters before the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, as well as on an annual basis to represent the interests of electrical services customers, automobile insureds and other members of the public in accordance with relevant legislation.

Current Members:
NameTitleAppointment TypeAppointment Date (yyyy/mm/dd)Expiry Date (yyyy/mm/dd)
Browne, Q.C., Mr. DennisConsumer AdvocateLieutenant Governor in Council2016-10-112019-10-06

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