Telegraph and Telephone Companies Act

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Published: 2015-11-01

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chapter C-45

Telegraph and Telephone Companies Act

PART I 
TELEGRAPH COMPANIES

DIVISION I 
FORMATION OF THE COMPANY

Obtaining charter.

1. Any number of persons of the age of majority, not less than three, may, by observing the formalities hereinafter required, apply to the Government and obtain a charter authorizing them to build a line or lines of electric telegraph, with branches leading to or from the same, from one point to another in Québec.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 1.

Petition, contents.

2. The application for constitution as a legal person shall be made by petition containing:

 (1) the proposed name of the company;

 (1.1) the address of the company's head office;

 (2) a description of the line or lines of telegraph to be built, and the route or routes by which such lines are to pass;

 (3) the capital of the company;

 (4) the amount of each share;

 (5) the names and addresses of the provisional directors;

 (6) the name of the local municipality in whose territory the operations of the company are intended to be carried on.

Signature.

The signatures to the petition shall be subscribed before a notary or two witnesses.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 2; 1993, c. 48, s. 338; 1996, c. 2, s. 589; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

Name.

2.1. The name of a legal person shall be in conformity with section 16 of the Business Corporations Act (chapter S-31.1).

1993, c. 48, s. 339; 1999, c. 40, s. 74; 2009, c. 52, s. 553.

Information.

3. The Minister may call for the production of any information, documents, evidence and affidavits that he may deem necessary or expedient in order to satisfy himself of the truth of the facts alleged in the petition.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 3; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165.

Letters patent.

4.  (1) After the above formalities have been observed, and on the report of the Minister, the Government may grant to the petitioners, by letters patent under the Great Seal, a charter constituting them as a legal person for the objects set forth in their petition.

Grounds for refusal.

 (1.1) The Government shall refuse to grant the charter to a company where the petition of the company contains a name not in conformity with any of paragraphs 1 to 6 of section 16 of the Business Corporations Act (chapter S-31.1).

Contents.

 (2) The letters patent shall recite the principal facts alleged in the petition.

Deposit.

 (3) The letters patent shall be forwarded to the enterprise registrar, who shall deposit them in the register referred to in Chapter II of the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises (chapter P-44.1); from the date of such deposit, the petitioners and such others as may afterwards become shareholders in the company shall be a legal person, with the name mentioned in the letters patent.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 4; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165; 1993, c. 48, s. 340; 1999, c. 40, s. 74; 2002, c. 45, s. 286; 2009, c. 52, s. 554; 2010, c. 7, s. 282.

Changes.

5. No change in the provisions of the letters patent shall be made without the consent of two-thirds of the shareholders and the approval of the Government.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 5.

Formalities.

6. Whenever changes are to be made in the provisions of the letters patent, the directors, with the consent of two-thirds of the shareholders, shall present a petition to the Government, setting forth the changes asked for, the object of such changes and the consent of two-thirds of the shareholders; and the Government, on the report of the Minister, may grant supplementary letters patent amending the first, which supplementary letters patent shall be forwarded to the enterprise registrar, who shall deposit them in the register; the supplementary letters patent shall take effect from the date of such deposit.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 6; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165; 1993, c. 48, s. 341; 2002, c. 45, s. 286.

Remedy exercised.

6.1. The remedy provided for in the first paragraph of section 25 of the Business Corporations Act (chapter S-31.1), adapted as required, may be exercised in respect of the name of a legal person.

1993, c. 48, s. 342; 1999, c. 40, s. 74; 2009, c. 52, s. 555.

DIVISION II 
GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMPANY AND ITS OFFICERS

Holding land.

7. Every company formed as aforesaid shall have power to purchase, take, hold and transfer such immovable property and such only as may be necessary for the convenient transaction of its business and for effectually carrying on its operations.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 7; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

Appointments and by-laws.

8. It may appoint such directors, officers and agents, and make such regulations and by-laws, not inconsistent with the laws of Québec, as may be necessary in the transaction of its business.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 8.

Building lines.

9. It may build the lines of telegraph described in its letters patent upon any lands purchased by it, or the right to carry its line over which has been conceded to it by the parties having a right to make such concession, and along any and upon any public roads, or across any land or any of the waters within Québec, by the erection of the necessary fixtures, including posts, piers or abutments, for sustaining the cords or wires of such lines, provided the same be not so built as to incommode the public use of such roads, or to impede the free access to any house or other building erected in the vicinity of the same, or to interrupt the navigation of such waters.

Expropriation.

When the company wishes to put up its poles and lines and cannot agree with the owner of the land respecting the compensation to be paid, it may expropriate the portion of land strictly necessary to put up its poles thereon, with, in addition, a servitude conveying the right to put up its poles and wires and the right to pass over the land to repair and keep them in good order.

Existing line.

It may also lease or acquire, in whole or in part, a line already constructed.

Extending lines.

It may also prolong or extend its line, by building or by the purchase or lease of an already established line beyond the localities, places and roads indicated in its letters patent or its memorandum.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 9; 1973, c. 27, s. 20; 1983, c. 40, s. 69; 1988, c. 8, s. 83; 1997, c. 83, s. 31.

Bridges.

10. Nothing in this Act shall confer on any such company the right of building a bridge over any navigable water.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 10.

Debts.

11. No such company may contract debts exceeding one-half of its capital stock.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 11.

Signature.

12. All evidences and acknowledgements of debt issued by such company shall be signed and issued by its president and treasurer.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 12.

Companies created before 1934.

13. Any telegraph association or company organized on or before 7 March 1934 and operating at such date shall continue to exist notwithstanding the date fixed in the memorandum filed in the office of the Minister, as being that on which such association or company shall cease to exist.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 13; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165.

Winding-up.

14. Any such telegraph association or company so continued shall cease to exist when the majority of the partners decide, at a meeting regularly called for such purpose, to wind-up the business of the association or company. The association or company shall then forward to the enterprise registrar a declaration to that effect in accordance with the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises (chapter P-44.1).

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 14; 1993, c. 48, s. 343; 2002, c. 45, s. 286; 2010, c. 7, s. 282.

Transmitting despatches.

15. Every company in possession of any telegraph line in operation shall, except in cases provided for in section 16, forward all despatches in the order in which they are received, under a penalty of not less than $20 nor more than $100.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 15; 1990, c. 4, s. 322; 1992, c. 61, s. 221.

Privileged messages.

16. Any message in relation to the administration of justice, arrest of criminals, the discovery or prevention of crime, and government messages or despatches, shall always be forwarded in preference to any other message or despatch, if required by persons connected with the administration of justice, or by any person thereunto authorized by the Minister.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 16; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165.

Secrecy.

17. Any telegraph operator, or any person employed by a telegraph company, divulging the contents of a private despatch, shall be liable to a fine of not more than $100.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 17; 1990, c. 4, s. 323.

DIVISION III 
TAKING POSSESSION OF THE LINE BY THE STATE
1999, c. 40, s. 74.

Taking possession.

18. The State may, at any time, take, and, for any length of time, retain possession of any such telegraph line and of all things necessary to the sufficient working thereof, and may for the same time require the exclusive service of the operators and other persons employed in working such line; and the company shall give up possession thereof.

Duty of operators.

On pain of a sentence in the form of a fine of not more than $100 for any refusal or neglect to comply with the requirements of this section, the operators and other persons so employed, shall, during the time of such possession, diligently and faithfully obey such orders, and forward and receive such despatches, as they may be required to receive and forward by any duly authorized person of the Gouvernement du Québec.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 18; 1977, c. 5, s. 14; 1990, c. 4, s. 324; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

State ownership.

19. The State may, at any time after the commencement of a telegraph line under this Act, and after two months' notice to the company, take possession thereof and, upon such taking of possession, such line and all the property, real or personal, essential to the working thereof, and all the rights and privileges of the company as regards such line, shall be vested in the State.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 19; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

Expropriation.

20. If any difference arise between the company and those who act for the State, as to the compensation which ought to be paid to the company, for any telegraph line and appurtenances taken under section 19, or for the temporary exclusive use thereof under section 18, such difference shall be settled by expropriation proceedings.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 20; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

DIVISION IV 
SUBSCRIPTIONS BY MUNICIPALITIES AND OTHER LEGAL PERSONS
1999, c. 40, s. 74.

Subscriptions.

21. Any local municipality or other legal person may subscribe for and hold stock in any company formed under this Act, and may pay the amount of such subscription out of any municipal or other funds not specially appropriated to any other purpose, and such municipality may levy money by assessment, for paying any such subscription.

Rights.

Such municipality or other legal person shall have such rights as a member of the company, and shall vote upon the stock held by it in such manner and through such person as shall be determined by the by-laws of the company.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 21; 1996, c. 2, s. 590; 1999, c. 40, s. 74.

PART II 
TELEPHONE COMPANIES

Provisions to apply.

22. Part I shall also apply to telephone companies.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 22.

Secrecy by employees. Penalty.

23. Every operator or other person in the employ of a telephone company, who listens to or acquires knowledge of any conversation or message that is being carried on by means of the apparatus of such company, and who, except when lawfully authorized or directed so to do, divulges the purport or substance of such conversation or message, is liable to a fine of $100.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 23; 1990, c. 4, s. 325; 1992, c. 61, s. 222.

Message overheard.

24. Every person who listens to or acquires knowledge of any conversation or message passing over the lines of a telephone system, not addressed to or intended for such person, and divulges the same or the purport or substance thereof, except when lawfully authorized or directed so to do, is liable to the same fine as that prescribed in section 23.

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 24; 1990, c. 4, s. 326.

Companies created before 1934.

25. Any telephone association or company organized on or before 7 March 1934 and operating at such date shall continue to exist notwithstanding the date fixed in the memorandum filed in the office of the Minister, as being that on which such association or company shall cease to exist.

Winding-up.

Any such telephone association or company so continued shall cease to exist when the majority of the partners decide, at a meeting regularly called for such purpose, to wind-up the business of the association or company. The association or company shall then forward to the enterprise registrar a declaration to that effect in accordance with the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises (chapter P-44.1).

R. S. 1964, c. 286, s. 25; 1966-67, c. 72, s. 23; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 165; 1993, c. 48, s. 344; 2002, c. 45, s. 286; 2010, c. 7, s. 282.

Minister responsible.

26. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the administration of this Act except the provisions relating to the responsibilities of the enterprise registrar, which are administered by the Minister of Revenue.

1982, c. 52, s. 166; 2006, c. 38, s. 23.

The Minister of Finance exercises the functions of the Minister of Revenue provided for in this Act. Order in Council 362-2014 dated 24 April 2014, (2014) 146 G.O. 2 (French), 1871.

PART III 

27. (This section ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987).

1982, c. 21, s. 1; U. K., 1982, c. 11, Sch. B, Part I, s. 33.

28. (Repealed).

2002, c. 45, s. 288; 2006, c. 38, s. 24.

REPEAL SCHEDULE

In accordance with section 17 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes (chapter R-3), chapter 286 of the Revised Statutes, 1964, in force on 31 December 1977, is repealed effective from the coming into force of chapter C-45 of the Revised Statutes.