NDP Ignites Crusade to Tackle Cell Phone Bills and Internet Ontario
NDP’s Leader of the Official Opposition, Marit Stiles (Davenport), along with Consumer Protection critic Tom Rakocevic (Humber River – Black Creek) and colleagues, have initiated province-wide hearings to confront soaring cell phone bills and the scarcity of reliable internet access, particularly in Northern and rural areas.
Stiles minced no words on Monday, highlighting that Ontarians face some of the world’s steepest cell phone and internet charges. “Ontarians pay some of the highest cell phone and internet bills in the world. And yet, there are parts of the province that do not have reliable access to high-speed internet. This is unacceptable,” said Stiles in a statement to iPhone in Canada. “We are determined to find solutions that will give Ontarians affordable access to quality services and finally close the deliberate digital divide that has been leaving Northern communities behind.”
The Ontario NDP caucus, along with experts and advocates, plans to facilitate a series of public consultations addressing the future of cell phone and internet services, focusing on affordability and accessibility. These consultations will invite industry stakeholders, consumer advocates, and telecom experts to propose solutions and afford communities a platform to voice their concerns about cell phone bills, service, and accessibility issues in rural and remote areas.
“Cellular service and reliable internet are not luxuries, but basic and essential services,” said Rakocevic. “People rely on them to connect with loved ones, for their livelihoods and jobs, for safety, education, and more. Yet, our system allows for a select few large corporations to gouge hard-working Ontarians simply so that they can access this essential service. Affordable and reliable access to these services is long overdue and we are looking forward to building equitable and innovative solutions that serve all Ontarians.”
The hearings will kick off at Queen’s Park on June 28th, and registration can be completed online. Subsequent hearings and consultations will be scheduled throughout summer and autumn, with dates to be announced soon.
Separately back in 2021, the federal NDP tried to tackle cellphone and internet bills as part of their election platform.