High-speed internet and cellular services are increasingly becoming a necessity for Canadians especially here in our region.
Despite this, broadband access and wireless services are far from being affordable or reliable in our region and across Canada.
In fact, Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for cellular and internet access. At the same time many people in our region have limited or no coverage.
For decades successive governments have left cell phone and internet companies with very little regulation – and absolutely no cap on what they can charge people. Here in Manitoba the Liberal government allowed Bell to take over MTS, reducing the competition that keeps prices affordable The result is that three big companies – Bell, Rogers, and Telus – serve 90 per cent of Canadians – and those companies are free to hike rates without competition.
Despite receiving $50 million in subsidies and $700 million in contracts from our federal government, these companies charge Canadians 30 per cent more on average than people in France, Germany and the U.K.
These are services Canadians rely on for work, school and health care and they need them to stay connected to family and friends – but prices are skyrocketing and families are facing bills in the hundreds of dollars every month.
Canadians deserve leadership on this issue. As MP for our region my message is clear. We must use every tool available to make life more affordable for people, including affordable cell phone and internet service. Also we must do more to expand high-speed Internet and cell phone service.