Rogers, Telus and Bell CEOs Summoned to Testify in Front of MPs

Earlier this week, a report from the Competition Bureau said some cell plans were costlier after the Rogers-Shaw merger. This story also mentioned a plan by the federal NDP to summon the executives of the ‘Big 3’ telcos in Canada to speak on phone pricing and affordability.

Now, on Wednesday, in a unanimous vote, Members of Parliament have called for the CEOs of Rogers, Telus and Bell to testify at a federal committee, which is examining the accessibility and affordability of wireless and broadband services across the nation.

During a meeting of the House of Commons industry committee on Wednesday, a motion introduced by NDP MP Don Davies specifically requested the presence of Tony Staffieri, Darren Entwistle and Mirko Bibic—the CEOs of Rogers, Telus and Bell, respectively.

MPs want them to answer questions regarding the services provided by their companies. This action follows an earlier invitation to these executives, along with Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau, to discuss the same issues.

While Péladeau has already responded to the committee’s call earlier this month, replacements representing the incumbent telecom firms were present at Wednesday’s meeting. Davies said these were “not the ones that this committee requested appear,” reports The Canadian Press.

The committee’s concerns revolve around the high costs of cellphone and internet services in Canada, again hinting that Canadians are paying way more than other nations for similar services.

These CEOs appearing in front of MPs makes for a good show, but it won’t bring down cellphone or internet pricing. The only way to do that is to increase competition. That’s what we’re seeing with Freedom Mobile’s aggressive Canada-US plans, which have finally been matched by Telus on its prepaid carrier Public Mobile. This marks the first of the ‘Big 3’ to match Freedom’s $34/50GB Canada-US plan.

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