Ex-Bell Executive: Ottawa’s Verizon Plan Puts Seniors’ Pensions at Risk


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The Star reports the wireless war over Verizon coming to Canada has now involved pensioners, in particular one former Bell executive who says his pension is at risk. Dan Braniff, 82, says if Verizon comes to town and eats away at the profits of the Big 3, his portfolio (which has more Bell stock than others) is expected to take a hit:

Braniff expects this battle to be bigger. Pensioners across Canada will be sideswiped if Ottawa gives American telecommunications giant Verizon privileged access to the Canadian telecommunications market. Many have a large portion of their savings invested in Bell, Rogers and Telus.

As a former executive of Bell Canada, Braniff is more exposed than most. But he is by no means alone. Robert Farmer, president of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners, which represents a quarter of a million retirees, fired off a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, warning that the failure of any of the big three Canadian telecommunications companies would bring “irreparable harm to all pensioners.”

The Canadian Federation of Pensioners sent off a letter to Prime Minister Harper to explain the dire consequences should Rogers, Telus and Bell lose profits due to Verizon, citing:

“The Verizon proposition is like providing a tax incentive and free transportation for cross-border shoppers.”

With the September 17 wireless spectrum auction application deadline looming, the Big 3 have stepped up their marketing efforts to convince Ottawa to reverse its wireless plans, despite the latter already saying the auction will go on as planned. Yesterday, telecom analysts expressed the incumbent PR campaign has caused more backlash than gained support.

Just yesterday, WIND Mobile’s CEO pushed his company’s stance on the auction and labeled the Big 3 guilty of serving up a “buffet of misinformation” to Canadians with their ‘Fair for Canada’ ad campaign.


  • iv

    Well these pensions should invest in Verizon. No pension investment is guaranteed. Look at interest rates they go up and down. These pensions should “diversify”!

  • so tired of this

    simply unbelievable

    whats next?

    our children are at risk?

  • Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket they say!

  • trancen

    Un-Freaking believable! I’m speechless.

    This boggles the mind… The “sky is falling”…

  • Shier

    Next we’ll be hearing about how verizon coming to Canada will cause cancer and aids to be spread among our people, and only the big 3 can protect us!!

  • Chrome262

    Actually these are former exec back in a time when huge monopolies ran the show, and forced us to pay whatever they want. I for one hope these old grifters get shafted in the markets. Besides if they are that worried they can make one call and switch their investments, which I am sure they have tons of, most of whom have portfolios that would make their pensions look like a kids allowance. So yes, screw their pension, make their lives slightly uncomfortable.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Bravo my friend, well said!

  • Mike

    Jeezus! That’s how stocks work. If you think your Bell/Telus/Rogers stocks are going to tank, then sell them! It’s not rocket science.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Well maybe if the big 3 were to compete instead of conspire, lost revenue and lost clients wouldn’t be a concern. If these overpaid execs who are now retired didn’t diversify their investment portfolios or at the very least save all that cash that the Brinks trucks dumped at their doorsteps then I could give two shits if they have to stand in line at the food bank.

  • Al

    It’s a shame when senility sets in.

  • websnap

    This is what they said about Blackberry too…

    People need to remember that investments have risks.

  • Chrome262

    Or that retirement has made you feel ineffectual and you want to join in. But alas you just look silly because you haven’t kept up on what’s going on. Or to put it more crudely; being a burnt out whore looking for that last trick to make you feel like you still got it, but found no one willing to take you up on it.

  • Chrome262

    if it wasn’t for the loss of jobs, I would love to see Bell, and Rogers go under.

  • Desmond

    I’m sure the i-bankers at CPP can find a different investment vehicle to get a similar return.

  • They should look into Verizon.

  • FragilityG4

    I don’t know how to respond to this … I just have a smile on my face … Is this true? Is it April Fools because this has to be a joke. Give it up Stupid Three. Welcome to the world of competition … The rest of the world has to deal with it, so do you.

  • Noel

    Oh Please!!!! Now the government is supposed to guarantee you’re private pension??? Gimme a break. invest in something else. Nothig is a sure thing. Such nonsense.

  • ward09

    Shhhh, don’t spoil the surprise. They are preparing their radio and newspapers now.

  • ward09

    Spoiler alert!

  • ward09

    50 upvotes for you!

  • ward09

    Well they have the time to sell now. I hope they trigger a massive sell off.

  • downhilldude

    Sure. See if the U.S. government gives a Canadian company the same advantages, if they tried to compete down there. Competition is fine, when it’s fair.

    Anyway, too much fuss about nothing. If Verizon buys Wind, we’ll likely get the same crappy service that Wind is supplying today. Out of all the people I know who tried Wind, only one is still with them, and now she’s thinking of switching back. The quality of service is abysmal.

  • FragilityG4

    These telecoms have been given a free ride for years! Fair?! What about fair for us?! And I’m not talking about their propaganda parade, I mean working class Canadians that have been ripped off by these telecoms for years. Fair?! How about how all the Stupid Three are offering a nice $50/month plan in Quebec to compete with their regional carrier who first offered it … This is a Quebec only plan … What happen to fair there?! How about all the jobs the Stupid Three have outsourced to other countries is that fair?! They care about Canadians?! Stop drinking their cool aid … Or selling it as methinks you have some sort of vested interest in one of these telecoms.