Tell Bains’ replacement: reverse the Internet price hikes!

On January 12, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains stepped down from his role. Now there’s a new Minister in town: François-Philippe Champagne.1 And he needs to hear from you ASAP.

In 2020, over 53,000 members of the OpenMedia community called out the government and Bains for siding with Big Telecom, after their disastrous federal cabinet decision resulted in Internet price hikes across the country.2 Now, that responsibility lies with Minister Champagne.

This is Champagne’s chance to prove to Canada that he’s an Innovation Minister who works for the people, NOT telecom giants. Sign the petition: call on Minister Champagne to immediately set the record straight on the government’s August decision and undo the 2020 price hikes!

To: François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development

We need bold action from our government to bring Internet choice and affordability to everyone in Canada — regardless of where they live or how much is in their bank account.

But last August’s Order in Council decision undermined the CRTC’s Internet wholesale rates, and resulted in retail price increases from smaller ISPs who could no longer rely on the lower rates. Hit by resulting bill hikes, over 53,000 members of the OpenMedia community sent emails to Minister Bains calling for accountability for causing Internet prices to go up in the middle of a pandemic. As of his resignation, Minister Bains kept them waiting.

Now, all eyes are on you, Minister Champagne. We need to know where you stand. Is affordable access to the Internet a priority? If so, we need you to clarify this Order in Council, and the government's next steps. 

If the federal government really does stand by affordability, then it is up to you to make it happen. We need you to reverse the 2020 price hikes. Please restore our trust that our government will side with people over telecom giants. 

Sincerely,

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People in Canada have been burned too many times by broken promises of cheaper, more accessible Internet from the federal government.

Case in point: on August 15, 2020, former Minister Bains and federal Cabinet chose to side with telecom giants over the wellbeing of people in Canada. The government’s Order in Council decision on Internet wholesale rates stated that it thought the CRTC’s rates — the result of months of consultation and calculation — were too cheap, and might “undermine investment” from telecom giants.3

As expected, that head-scratching decision made Internet prices go up — smack in the middle of a global pandemic.4

People have been yelling from the rooftops since August that they need the government to fix this mess, and start giving Canada more Internet affordability and choice. Champagne deserves a shot to prove he’s the Minister who will make that happen.

Add your voice to the petition! Call on Minister Champagne to hold the government accountable and undo the 2020 price hikes!

Sources

  1. Trudeau shuffles cabinet as poll shows Liberals flirting with majority territory - Global News
  2. Minister Bains just undermined Canada’s best chance for affordable Internet - OpenMedia
  3. Federal cabinet says wholesale broadband rates could stifle investment but declines to overturn ruling - The Globe and Mail
  4. TekSavvy raises internet prices, blames feds for siding with big telecom companies - MobileSyrup

Image credit: Photo of Minister Champagne is by Saeima used under CC-BY-SA2.0 and modified by OpenMedia

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