TELUS Takes Federal Government to Court Over Wireless Policy–Again

Back in late July, TELUS took Ottawa to court, on the basis it wanted “clarity from the court on the legality of the government’s June 28 decision to re-write the rules for transferring wireless spectrum mid-stream, and to clarify if the minister actually has the legal right to require his personal approval of changes of control of a company.”

Now, it appears TELUS is taking the Federal government to court, again. This time it’s to challenge Ottawa and its upcoming wireless spectrum, reports the Financial Post. Ted Woodhead, Telus senior vice-president of government and regulatory affairs, emailed the following to the Post:

“We are asking the court to determine whether it is lawful for the Industry Minister to single-handedly establish a new eligibility criterion for the issuance of spectrum licences – something he did when he determined that a ‘large wireless service provider,’ such as Telus, will not be issued a licence for more than one prime block of 700 MHz spectrum in the upcoming auction while other competitors are eligible for two prime blocks,”


“We are seeking clarity from the court to ensure that the auction process respects the rule of law and to avoid any risk of the auction results being invalidated after the fact,”

The Federal government has ten days to respond to the application by TELUS. Jessica Fletcher, Industry Minister James Moore’s director of communications responded by saying “our policies put consumers first, and we will continue to move forward with our agenda.”

TELUS has ramped up its efforts recently to persuade Ottawa to reverse its wireless spectrum policies recently: busloads of 500 employees staged a protest outside Minister Moore’s Port Moody constituency office; former Conservative cabinet minster-turned-TELUS-director Stockwell Day urged Ottawa to delay the auction; former retired General Rick Hillier blasted existing wireless policies as “Canada Last”.

Despite the company’s vocal efforts along with other incumbents, Ottawa has stood firm and maintained existing policies will move forward as planned.