NDP and Conservatives Agree to Question Big 3 Wireless Price Hikes

The NPD and the Conservatives have agreed to put forward a motion today to question recent wireless plan price increases by the Big 3 and how they will affect consumers. Toronto NDP MP Peggy Nash’s motion will be supported by the Harper Government, a spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore told GlobalNews.

However, spokesman Jake Enwright criticized the NDP for not supporting the government’s budget this year which had plans to cap domestic roaming fees, saying “The NDP have been silent on wireless and digital policies since the summer.”

Nash fought back to say the NDP has long supported capping roaming rates in the past:

“We need to do a lot more to make wireless services more affordable for Canadians,”

[…]

“The Conservatives have been buying ads and patting themselves on the back about wireless prices but this is a concrete example for consumers of their failure to create competition and better prices.”

Last year, the NDP also called for Parliamentary Hearings to question Ottawa’s wireless plans.

Nash also wants the committee to report back by the end of April–but Conservative MP Joyce Bateman who sits on the committee says it’s unrealistic to have the report completed with the Easter break coming up soon.

Nash’s motion reads the following and she also cited increases such as a recent $5/month plan hike across the board by Rogers, Telus and Bell:

That the Standing Committee on Industry, science and technology undertake a study of recent wireless plan price increases by Canadian wireless carriers and their impact on the affordability of life for consumers and report its findings to the House by April 30, 2014.

Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said although there was a $5/month increase, their most popular data plans decreased by $5/month. He also reiterated “Wireless is one of Canada’s most competitive industries, and that’s reflected in ongoing price competition.”

Rogers spokeswoman Jennifer Kett said the company would be eager to participate in the study but also emphasized “Like any business, we regularly adjust our prices and the services we offer.”

Just yesterday Industry Minister James Moore tweeted the Federal Government has received its payment of $5.27 billion from the 700MHz auction and licenses have been transferred.

The study will reveal what we already know—competition in Canada is limited unless there’s a regional fourth carrier, like we’ve seen in these various price plans.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Parksy

    They can look into it all they want. We all know they don’t have the balls to actually do anything about it. It’s all about the way they look in the media. We got screwed when the CRTC made them limit contracts to two years. The Telco’s then had to make sure they earned three years revenue in two years and then took a little more for the fun of it. I’ll do my absolute best to never sign another cellphone contract again and stick with my current Rogers plan. I’m paying $60 a month for 200 minutes and 6GB’s of data. Rogers keeps calling to get me to change my plan to a “better” plan that gives me more minutes. I keep telling them to look at my usage and they’d see that I use my phone for less than 100 minutes a month and the rest is MY10. They keep trying and I keep resisting. That better plan they keep offering me is also $125/month. I’m sure they have a mechanism in the original contract I signed to make me change at some point but I’ll do my best to fight it until then.

  • Anon

    Once your plan is over, you’ll be screwed. I have a similar 6Gb plan (with credits) that ends in Dec this year. I dread that day.

  • Parksy

    My plan ended a year ago and I’m still rolling along.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    I think we can all agree nothing & I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will come out of this rhetoric!

  • They can’t force you off your plan. Just go month to month and you’re good.