Statement from Minister Champagne on competitiveness in the telecommunications sector

Statement

October 25, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario 

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, made the following statement:

“Good afternoon, everyone.

“Later this week, the parties to the Rogers-Shaw transaction will begin mediation with the Competition Commissioner.

“As Minister of Industry, I wanted to take a moment to remind Canadians of where I stand with respect to spectrum licence transfers and to be crystal clear about my expectations moving forward.

“Earlier this year, I stated that I would—under no circumstances—permit the wholesale transfer of wireless spectrum licences from Shaw to Rogers.

“Today, I officially denied that request, which had been pending before me. 

“My decision formally closes that chapter of the original proposed transaction.

“As you’ve heard me say many times before, I will never waver in my commitment to promote competition and make wireless services more affordable for all Canadians.

“Since the original request was tabled, Shaw has proposed to sell its wireless division—Freedom Mobile—to Vidéotron. This would require my approval to transfer the spectrum licences. 

“As we look forward, I want to make very clear the lens through which I will consider this proposed spectrum transfer.

“First, I am giving notice that any new wireless licences acquired by Vidéotron would need to remain in its possession for at least 10 years. A new service provider needs to be in it for the long run.

“Second, I would expect to see prices for wireless services in Ontario and Western Canada comparable to what Vidéotron is currently offering in Quebec, which are today on average 20 per cent lower than in the rest of Canada.

“Promoting competition to bring down prices has been at the core of policies advanced by successive governments for many years.

“But let’s face it: when it comes to wireless services, Canadians deserve and need better options.

“Wireless services are essential to our daily lives. They keep us connected to the world around us, to our loved ones and to our jobs.

“Canadians deserve world-class networks and access to wireless services at affordable and competitive prices. I am resolved to achieve these objectives—full stop.”

Contacts

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
laurie.bouchard@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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