Trudeau Liberals Release Election Platform: No Mention of Wireless Competition or Lower Pricing

CleanShot 2021 09 01 at 10 10 05

The federal Liberal Party of Canada has released its election platform, and the 86-page document fails to mention wireless competition or lower pricing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election platform only mentions rural Canada when it comes to wireless and internet investments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted much of our lives online and transformed how we live, work, learn, and do business. Rural communities without access to broadband are worried about getting left behind. Since 2015, we have invested more than $8 billion to accelerate the delivery of high-speed internet and wireless service across Canada. That is more funding committed to broadband investments than all previous federal governments, combined. We have partnered with provincial governments, municipalities, and telecom providers so that we can deliver for rural Canadians,” explains page 29 of the platform.

The Liberals go on to explain, “Because of our investments, this year alone over 400,000 more Canadians will have access to high-speed internet. But we know there are still rural and remote communities without access, and broadband projects waiting to be developed.”

As for what a re-elected Liberal government will accomplish? It says it will require telecoms that purchased rights to expand and build broadband to “actually do so”, with a “use it or lose it approach”.

“Canada’s large national carriers will be required to accelerate the roll-out of wireless and high-speed internet in rural and northern Canada by progressively meeting broadband access milestones between now and 2025. If these milestones are not met, we will mandate the resale of spectrum rights and reallocate that capacity to smaller, regional providers,” concluded the Liberal election promise.

The lack of detail related to wireless competition and lower pricing did not sit well with OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe. “They have completely abandoned telecom & affordability,” said Tribe. “No mention of competition (bad news for those opposing Rogers Shaw merger). No mention of affordability. All focused on rural wireless, treating the rest like a mission accomplished.”

The first 100 days of the Liberals would also re-introduce controversial Bill C-10 as well.

Conservatives and NDP to Take on High Wireless and Internet Bills

As for the federal Conservative Party of Canada, their platform specifically states how they plan to “lower cellphone and internet bills.”

“Canadians continue to pay some of the highest prices in the world for accessing the internet – both at home and on their mobile phones. A few giant companies have too much power, and Canadians are suffering for it. It’s time for a government that takes the side of consumers,” explains the Conservative Party election platform.

The Conservative four-part plan includes (page 51):

  • Accountability: Put consumers first and hold the big telecom service providers accountable for
    anti-competitive behaviour and practices that hurt consumers.
  • Competition: We will promote competition by:
    • Allowing foreign telecommunications companies to provide services to Canadian customers,
      provided that the same treatment is reciprocated for Canadian companies in that company’s
  • Access: Build digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to High-Speed Internet by 2025,
    ensuring that all Canadians have reliable access to the Internet regardless of where they live.
  • Investment: Promote investment in communications facilities by local and regional communities
    and businesses. This will reduce local and regional dependence on national telecommunications

As for the federal New Democratic Party (NDP), they previously announced if elected, they would set price caps on cellphone and internet services in Canada.