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SPEAK OUT: Our next CRTC Chair MUST be a champion for the people!

Right now, we have a once-in-5-years shot to appoint a CRTC Chair who works for the people, not Big Telecom — a MASSIVE Internet and cell phone affordability win!

Since 2017, our government has left Big Telecom’s friends in charge of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) — and each year, they’ve done catastrophic damage to affordable connectivity in Canada.1,2

With the current chair’s term ending this year, our government must decide: will it appoint another friend of Big Telecom, guaranteeing 5 more years of skyrocketing bills, or choose a pro-consumer, pro-Internet chair who will serve OUR best interests as people in Canada?

It’s up to us to demand they make the right choice. Sign the petition NOW: our government must commit to appointing a champion for the people’s Internet as our next CRTC Chair!

To: Cabinet Ministers
Cc: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Click here to see petition text

The track record of current CRTC Chair Ian Scott has made it clear: When the head of the CRTC has past business and personal ties with the corporate giants they are meant to regulate, they make decisions that benefit those giants — and hurt Canadians. 

Our government must commit to appointing a champion for the people’s Internet to replace Chair Ian Scott at the end of his term. Canada’s next CRTC Chair must:

  1. Have NO ties to, or past working relationships with, telecom giants like Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, and Quebecor;
  2. Have demonstrated a commitment to consumer protection and welfare in their career;
  3. Possess lived experience of telecom affordability challenges and/or rural, remote, or Indigenous connectivity gaps in Canada;
  4. Promise to revisit the CRTC’s 2021 wholesale rates decision, and the 2021 low-cost alternative cell phone provider (aka MVNO) decision, to maximize market competition and public benefit in Canada.

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Ian Scott, former Telus executive and self-described “personal friend” of Bell’s CEO3,4, has spent years as CRTC Chair denying Canadians every opportunity for greater Internet & cell phone competition and choice.5 Time and again, his CRTC has issued rulings that have propped up Big Telecom and directly led to higher connectivity prices in Canada, already some of the most expensive in the WORLD.6,7

Fighting Big Telecom's unfair dominance is hard enough without having one of their guys in charge of Canada's national telecom regulator. But what if we flipped the script?

This is our once-in-5-years chance to get a CRTC chair who works for us. Appointing a public interest champion — someone who stands for the PEOPLE’S Internet, not Big Telecom — as chair would be transformative for getting affordable, high-quality Internet in the hands of every person in Canada.

That’s why we’re demanding Trudeau and Cabinet publicly guarantee our next CRTC Chair will meet these 4 key criteria:

  1. Have NO ties to, or past working relationships with, telecom giants like Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, and Quebecor;
  2. Have demonstrated a commitment to consumer protection and welfare in their career;
  3. Possess lived experience of telecom affordability challenges and/or rural, remote, or Indigenous connectivity gaps in Canada.
  4. Promise to revisit the CRTC’s 2021 wholesale rates decision and 2021 low-cost alternative cell phone provider (aka MVNO) decision from a public interest perspective.

After years of corporate capture of our nation’s telecom regulator under Ian Scott’s leadership, it’s high time Canada had a people’s advocate at the helm of the CRTC — one that will actually stand up to Big Telecom. 

Our petition lays out the basic characteristics that Cabinet should look for in our next CRTC Chair. We need someone who understands personally what it is like to pay our Big Telecom overlords some of the highest prices in the world for cell phone and Internet services, and has a proven track record of fighting for the little guy and for ordinary Canadians.

If we don’t speak up right now, Trudeau and Cabinet will do what they always do: quietly let Big Telecom rig the game against everyday people in Canada. We CANNOT let that happen. Sign the petition NOW to hold our Cabinet Ministers accountable: Commit to appointing a champion for the people’s Internet as our next CRTC Chair!

If you’re already on board, sign the petition above! Looking to dive deeper? Check out our FAQ blog here!

Sources

  1. It’s time for a public interest champion to take over at the CRTC - OpenMedia
  2. ‘No rule was ever broken:’ CRTC chair Ian Scott says meeting with Bell executive was a drink with a friend - The Star
  3. See 1
  4. See 2
  5. See 1
  6. The state of 4G and 5G pricing, 2H2021 – country rankings - Rewheel
  7. Canada among top five highest costs for 100Mbps internet speed - MobileSyrup

Press: Rosa Addario | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 0  | [email protected]