The Trouble with the TPP series has spent the past two months examining dozens of provisions in the agreement and their implications for Canadians and Canadian law. Yet beyond the new restrictions, missed opportunities, and business uncertainty, lies real doubt about the actual gains from the TPP. While certain groups were prepared to support the TPP sight unseen, the evidence continues to mount that there are very limited Canadian benefits from the deal. The next few days will consider the economic and employment implications of the TPP.
At a recent Standing Committee on International Trade hearing on the TPP, Brian Kingston, a Vice-President with the Business Council of Canada (formerly the Canadian Council of Chief Executives) was asked if there were any negatives about the deal. Incredibly, Kingston responded that he could not think of any, a position that was rebutted in the next hearing as agricultural groups talked about billions in losses. Further, Kingston was also asked about studies on the TPP. He indicated that the main study he had seen was from the Peterson Institute.
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Canadians appear to have become so accustomed to an uncompetitive cable and satellite market typified by frequent price increases and restrictive options that many are failing to recognize the arrival of greater consumer choice. Last week’s launch of the new $25 basic “skinny” cable packages mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) left many underwhelmed, as the patchwork of channels and hidden fees seemingly confirmed critics’ claims that consumers would be better off sticking with their existing, pricier packages.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) acknowledges that there is plenty of room to criticize the cable and satellite companies. They have no intention of actively promoting the cheaper options and some seem determined to make them as unattractive as possible. However, the reality is that the combination of basic television service and the pick-and-pay model that must be offered by the end of the year is changing the marketplace for the better.
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Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 7, 2016 as Skinny TV Packages Jump Start Competition Canadians appear to have become so accustomed to an uncompetitive cable and satellite market typified by frequent price increases and restrictive options that many are failing to recognize the arrival of greater consumer choice. […]
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