August 23rd, 2013

NDP forces parliamentary committee to discuss challenges facing wireless telecom

OTTAWA – As the deadline to submit requests about the new cell phone spectrum auction approaches, the NDP has forced an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, to ensure Canadian consumers are treated fairly.

Official Opposition Industry critic Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain) said the meeting is needed to discuss challenges facing the wireless telecom industry ahead of the Conservatives proroguing the House. Prorogation ends all Parliamentary committee work.

“Conservatives snubbed our request to call an emergency committee meeting, so we were had no choice but to force this meeting. Canadians want to understand how the government’s policies affect them,” said Charlton. “A proper study of these issues is crucial to ensuring long-term competitiveness and providing Canadians with reliable, affordable high-speed networks.”

The NDP also tabled a motion outlining the importance of robust market competition and affordable wireless access for all Canadians.

Ms. Charlton’s motion:

“That the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology immediately commence a study on Industry Canada’s upcoming auction of the 700 MHz aspect of the radio spectrum, specifically examining the policy and licensing framework being used by the government, its impact on access to wireless services for all Canadians, the prices Canadians will pay for those services, Canadian jobs, and the privacy of Canadians; and that for this study the Minister, officials as well as industry, labour and consumer stakeholders be called as witnesses, and that the study be completed for September 13th, 2013.”