Opposition MPs Slam the Rogers Hiring of a Former Industry Minister

The recent appointment of former industry minister Navdeep Bains as chief corporate affairs officer at Rogers, has stirred controversy among opposition Members of Parliament.

Federal NDP and Conservative MPs have criticized the Liberal government for failing to tackle high wireless prices and expressed concerns over the hiring of former industry insiders by major companies, reports The National Post.

“The former industry minister told Canadians he was going to negotiate with Rogers. Canadians didn’t know he was just negotiating for a corner office in Rogers,” said Conservative MP Ryan Williams.

NDP industry critic Brian Masse added, “Former Liberal cabinet ministers landing cushy jobs in big corporations is nothing new, but this is unreal. You just can’t make this stuff up.”

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne defended the government, stating that competition is the key to lowering costs. “We’re always going to stand up for Canadians to make sure prices go down in this country,” he said.

However, NDP MP Matthew Green countered, “I can assure you the way to bring costs down is not to appoint Liberal insiders to executive positions at Rogers, and the fact that he doesn’t even know what the problem is just shows how out of touch they are with Canadians.”

Williams pointed out that Canadians pay the highest cellphone rates globally, with Rogers customers facing the steepest prices in Canada. He also noted that Bains joined Rogers shortly after the Rogers-Shaw merger was finalized, raising further concerns about industry consolidation and even higher prices.

“Why is it always that Liberal friends and insiders benefit while Canadians have to pay?” questioned Williams.

Champagne shot back to say the Rogers-Shaw deal has “the longest series of conditions in Canada’s history to make sure that the telcos will deliver for Canadians.”

Williams then cheekily replied, “If you believe that, then I actually have a Rogers cell phone plan to sell you.”

A Rogers spokesperson stated that Bains will not lobby the government on behalf of the company and emphasized his compliance with the Lobbying Act.

In January 2021, Bains suddenly stepped down as ISED Minister under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he wanted to devote more time to his family; he also chose not to run in the next federal election. Just over two years later since resigning, he now works for Rogers.