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Union tells Harper: Stop wooing Verizon

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers(CEP) Union of Canada says it stridently opposes advantages the Harper government is offering New York-based Verizon Communications to "take over Canada's telecommunications.


August 3, 2013  


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The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers(CEP) Union of Canada says it stridently opposes advantages the Harper government is offering New York-based Verizon Communications to “take over Canada’s telecommunications.

“Granting one of the biggest companies in the world special rights to public airwaves (spectrum), to buy small players and to existing companies’ networks may be the most ill conceived policy the Harper government has come up with,” says CEP president Dave Coles.

“In its ideological crusade to open the telecommunications sector up to foreign ownership the Conservatives are ‘gaming the rules’ in favour of a major U.S.-based multinational.

“If the government is really concerned about protecting wireless consumers why not simply regulate pricing and contract rules. Instead they are hell bent on foreign ownership of this country’s telco sector, which is bad for Canada’s workers, security and culture.”

In September, Industry Canada will start the bidding process for 700 megahertz spectrum, which is considered the best spectrum that is made available in decades.

This bandwidth frequency will allow telecommunications companies to rapidly transmit large amounts of data, which will improve cell phone connections in rural areas as well as elevators, tunnels and other places where service is often spotty.

“We support granting rights to these valuable public airwaves in exchange for job guarantees, improved service for remote First Nations or to strengthen public ownership in the sector,” says Coles. “But discounting spectrum for a mega rich U.S. based company is ludicrous.”