François-Philippe Champagne: Minister of Collapse

Meet Champagne — the Minister behind Canada’s Internet collapse.

Internet competition and affordability is collapsing before our eyes — and our “Minister of Collapse” François-Philippe Champagne, head of Innovation, Science and Industry Canada (ISED), is at the centre of it all.

Minister Champagne MUST get us off this crash course of his own making before it’s too late. Email him NOW to save Internet competition in Canada from total catastrophe:

Innovation Minister Champagne is leading Internet competition in Canada to a point of absolute collapse.

Internet prices are again on the rise, companies like Bell, Rogers, Telus and Quebecor have never seemed more comfortable flexing their monopolies, and most disturbingly: the small number of alternative Internet service providers we do have are rapidly going extinct.1-4


The consequences? Our sky-high Internet bills — already some of the highest in the world6 — are on track to get MUCH WORSE. It isn’t complicated: having robust competition with meaningful choice of providers in our telecom market is critical to giving everyday people cheaper Internet service.

If we think the Big 3 are bad, just wait until it’s the Big 2 — or even the Big 1! Once Rogers absorbs Shaw and other small providers are gone, there’s only one next step: further consolidation. Canada is rapidly hurtling toward a reality where only Bell, Rogers, and Telus exist before they inevitably gobble each other up as well. That will be Minister Champagne’s legacy — unless he IMMEDIATELY takes concrete action to change course.

OK — but how has Minister Champagne systematically driven telecom competition to this point?

Since taking office in January 2021, “Minister of Collapse” Champagne has:

🚩Directly undermined telecom competition, choice, and affordability.

  • UPDATE October 2022: Minister Champagne has now officially paved the way for the Rogers-Shaw buyout to move forward, while peddling a false and misleading narrative that he "denied" the deal. Unfortunately, Rogers-Shaw is far from blocked, regardless of Minister Champagne’s posturing: click here to find out how he pulled off the sleight of hand.
  • In January 2021, Champagne simply ignored more than 50,000 people who had petitioned his predecessor, Minister Bains, to answer for undermining Canada’s best chance for affordable Internet the summer prior.7
  • In May 2022, he decided to keep in place the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s Internet price hikes — AKA the 2021 wholesale rates ruling. This decision to abandon fair wholesale access to networks for small Internet providers has poisoned Internet competition in Canada ever since, destroying the ability for smaller competitors to stay in business, hurting non-profit providers’ ability to keep communities connected, and directly leading to more expensive home Internet bills across Canada.8-11
  • In May 2022, Champagne put forward a new policy direction for the CRTC — and gave it absolutely no teeth. No targets, no binding commitments, just a vague ask that they do better on affordability and timely decision-making. Ask for nothing and you will receive — competitors continue to leave the market, the CRTC has not changed their conduct, and things on the ground have gotten worse, FAST. More on that below.12,13

🚩Ignored growing red flags of imminent competition collapse, without lifting a finger to stop it.

  • Throughout 2022, Champagne has taken no action as small Internet providers have been bought out by Big Telecom in rapid succession: including EBOX (by Bell) in February, VMedia (by Quebecor) in August, and Distributel (by Bell again) in September.14-16
  • In July 2022, the government released evidence that showed Canada’s Internet prices are once again going up, without a whisper of a plan from Champagne on what to do about it.17
  • In August 2022, Xplore Mobile ceased operations — a reminder that spinning off mobile services (like removing Freedom Mobile from Rogers) is unlikely to work. Once again, Champagne took no notice or action.18

🚩Kept the kid gloves on for Big Telecom.

  • In February 2021, Champagne looked the other way when news broke Big Telecom companies had increased payouts to shareholders and fired thousands of employees while they collected close to a quarter-billion taxpayer-funded pandemic relief dollars — and never made them pay it back.19
  • In July 2021, Champagne failed to act when evidence emerged of inappropriate closeness between the CRTC and Big Telecom leaders, as evidenced by CRTC Chair Ian Scott’s informal 1:1 beers with Bell’s CEO.20
  • In August 2021, Champagne’s ruling Liberal party called a new federal election. Conspicuously missing? A return of the telecom affordability targets they promised Canadians in their 2019 platform.21
  • Since March 2021, Champagne has consistently refused to block the biggest threat to telecom competition, choice, and affordability in Canadian history: Rogers’ bid to purchase western-based competitor Shaw.22,23

And that’s not all. For a full look at how Champagne has earned his title #MinisterOfCollapse, click here to read our accompanying blog.

We need to turn this ship around NOW, before it’s too late. Minister Champagne can, and MUST, immediately take concrete action now. That starts with setting aggressive and specific targets for the CRTC on competition and affordability, and continues with explicitly directing the CRTC to revisit and recalculate wholesale rates — both for wired Internet AND the gold standard of connectivity, fibre. Actions, not words, will bring Big Telecom to heel and give Canadians the fair and affordable telecom prices we need and deserve.

Email Minister Champagne NOW: Stop the rapid extinction of Internet competition, choice, and affordability in Canada!


  1. Bell acquires Longueuil-based Internet provider EBOX - Newswire
  2. Quebecor quietly acquires VMedia in a bid to expand services outside of Quebec - Financial Post
  3. Bell to acquire independent telecom company Distributel - MobileSyrup
  4. The federal government's little secret: Prices are soaring - TekSavvy
  5. Image headlines: 
    • Canada’s merger laws let companies ‘extinguish competitive threats,’ new report says - Global News
    • See 1
    • See 2
    • Canada’s internet prices are rising again — and critics say the CRTC’s broadband reversal is to blame - Toronto Star
    • Bell’s acquisition of Distributel a death blow to ISP competition: consumer advocate - National Post
  6. Canada’s internet prices are rising again — and critics say the CRTC’s broadband reversal is to blame - Toronto Star
  7. Minister Bains just undermined Canada’s best chance for affordable Internet - OpenMedia
  8. New CRTC policy direction on telecom lacks teeth - OpenMedia
  9. Your voice, DELIVERED: OpenMedia’s submission to Cabinet on the CRTC’s wholesale rates decision is in! - OpenMedia
  10. Still fighting for change after 30 years - National Capital Freenet
  11. Last chance to save Canada from the Big Telecom hogs! - TekSavvy
  12. See 8
  13. Minister Champagne announces a new policy direction placing consumer interests and innovation at the forefront of telecom decisions - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  14. See 1
  15. See 2
  16. See 3
  17. See 4
  18. Xplore Mobile shut down is a signal for government to ‘stop approving telecom mergers’ - National Post
  19. Rogers, Bell and Telus collected more than $240 million from Canada’s wage-subsidy program — and Bell and Telus raised shareholder payouts - Toronto Star
  20. ‘No rule was ever broken:’ CRTC chair Ian Scott says meeting with Bell executive was a drink with a friend - Toronto Star
  21. Election 2021: Where the parties stand on cell phone affordability - OpenMedia
  22. Consumer groups and opposition parties support move to block Rogers-Shaw merger - National Post
  23. The CRTC Shrugged: A Special Law Bytes Podcast on the Industry Committee Hearing Into the Rogers Outage - Michael Geist

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

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