Accelerated deregulation and the MoI

p> Less than a week ago today, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology issued a report. The report was the result of a significant study of deregulation in Canada. Presumably upset with the Minister of Industry cherry picking from their previous recommendation reports, this time the committee was very clear. No recommendations, save one, and that the Minister of Industry introduce a comprehensive plan dealing with all the issues involved in deregulation. Here is what they said:

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee has studied the deregulation of telecommunications and recommends that the Minister of Industry withdraw the order varying Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15 and table in Parliament a comprehensive package of policy, statutory and regulatory reforms to modernize the telecommunications services industry. [1]

What this means is that the committee recommended that the last time the CRTC was overruled by the Government, on forbearance, that the overruling should be withdrawn, and instead a comprehensive package tabled for debate in the house.

This report was seen as a major win by Net Neutrality advocates, because any reasonable deregulation bill would include Net Neutrality. Instead, yesterday the Minister of Industry overruled the INDU comittee much like he overruled the CRTC, and further accelerated the deregulation of telecommunications without any regard to the implications of deregulating an oligopolistic market.

It would so-far appear that this New Government of Canada, has no interest in drafting a comprehensive package, or presenting it in-front of the house and therefore has no interest in introducing Net Neutrality as part of deregulation. Instead, it is ignoring the committee, ignoring the CRTC and ignoring Net Neutrality.

It is time for this government to step-up and debate deregulation in the House of Commons, introduce strong Net Neutrality regulations, and ensure that broadband, application and content competition will be accessible to all Canadians.

1. INDU Report 6

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