Industry Minister Christian Paradis was in the news this week (Globe, Post, Cartt.ca) urging foreign telecom companies to consider investing in the Canadian market in order to beef up the competitive environment. Paradis is right to court the big foreign players, who would bring capital, buying power that the current Canadian carriers can’t match (potentially leading to better deals on devices), and the ability to leverage their global networks to offer better roaming rates. Foreign telecom companies should view the Canadian market as attractive, given some of the highest ARPU (average revenue per user) rates in the world (see CRTC Figure 6.1.9). Yet they will likely give Canada a pass due in part to failed government policies. These include:
Archive for February, 2013
As reports of yet another government security breach emerge, NDP MP Charmaine Borg has at least tried to kickstart the government’s dormant private sector privacy reform efforts with a private member’s bill that would add mandatory security breach disclosure requirements to the law along with new order making power. The […]
The government’s recent decision to kill its online surveillance legislation marked a remarkable policy shift. The outcry over the plan to require Internet providers to install surveillance capabilities within their networks and to disclose subscriber information on demand without court oversight sparked an enormous backlash, leading to the tacit acknowledgment that the proposal was at odds with public opinion.
While many Canadians welcomed the end of Bill C-30, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the year-long battle over the bill placed the spotlight on an ongoing problem with the current system of voluntary disclosure of subscriber information: Internet providers and telecom companies disclose customer information to law enforcement tens of thousands of times every year without court oversight.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on February 23, 2013 as Canada’s Telecom Transparency Gap is Alive and Well The government’s recent decision to kill its online surveillance legislation marked a remarkable policy shift. The outcry over the plan to require Internet providers to install surveillance capabilities within their networks and […]
Canadian and European officials traded public barbs yesterday over the inability to finalize the Canada – EU Trade Agreement. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said unless Canada makes some additional steps, there will be no deal. Canadian officials responded that Europe has yet to meet Canada’s core concerns. The comments come after a ministerial meeting this month was unable to yield an agreement. De Gucht and Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast met in Brussels in November 2012, but those talks failed to solve the outstanding issues. The two ministers met again in Ottawa two weeks ago with a similar result.
While officials continue to put a brave face on the talks, the latest comments suggest mounting frustration at the unwillingness of either side to cave on key issues in order to strike a deal. The major remaining issues have been the same for months: agriculture, patent protection for pharmaceutical companies, investor access and protection, public procurement, automotive issues, and cultural protections. Indeed, these issues were identified years ago as the major areas of disagreement (copyright was initially on this list but the defeat of ACTA removed it as an issue).