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Michael Geist's Blog

Harper Stands Firm on Telecom Policy

Prime Minister Harper addressed the campaign by the Bell, Rogers, and Telus to change current Canadian wireless policy in response to the possible entry of Verizon into the market on Friday (media coverage on the issue from the Star and Globe). Harper's complete comments:

“On the telecommunications issues, let me just say the following. Look, I understand full well where some of these big companies are coming from. They’re important parts of the Canadian economy, and they have a responsibility to protect their profits and to protect their bottom lines for their shareholders, for the people who work for them, and I understand that, and I fully appreciate that. At the same time, the government has a responsibility towards a wider public interest. And Canadians are very clear about what that wider public interest is to us. They want to see enhanced competition, lower prices, better services in this area. Our government has pursued extremely consistently and extremely clearly a policy of fostering greater competition in this industry for the benefit of Canadian consumers over the past several years. We have seen some results already from that policy. We have every intention of continuing that policy in the interests of Canadian consumers and broad Canadian public, including proceeding with the auction as we have laid out for some time. So we think this is the right direction, and as I say, while I appreciate that some companies may have their own interests that are very important, our government’s first priority is the wider Canadian public and Canadian consumers, and we are convinced that this is where they want to see us go.”
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