Conservative Party leader candidate Maxime Bernier says Canadian consumers are best served when telecom providers are free to compete and invest, not when bureaucrats tell them what to do, and that there is therefore no need for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and its regulations (via the Canadian Press).
From his perspective – detailed to the audience of the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto – it’s not the regulators or the government’s role to decide how the telecom market should evolve: Let the producers and consumers decide that. He says that the telecom industry “is not a playground for bureaucrats” and calls for a phase out of the CRTC in its role as a telecom regulator.
Almost everyone agrees that more competition is good for consumers. It’s easy to understand that when companies are forced to compete, they tend to offer better services and lower prices. The problem is to determine how to foster competition. Interventionist policies that are meant to bring more competition actually do the opposite.
Instead of the CRTC, the Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development should take over the remaining essential functions, including social regulation, and let the Competition Bureau deal with competition issues.
He had harsh words for the CRTC and its work done so far. For example, he criticized the government’s telecom policy of setting aside spectrum for new entrants so they can launch wireless services. He says competitive markets “don’t need government intervention to work; they only need to be free”, so he called for opening the sector fully to foreign investors.