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Letter to the Editor

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August 13, 2013
A Telecom Policy for All Canadians
I am pleased to respond to many of the issues raised in the letter printed in the Financial Post today written by Anthony Fell, Bell Canada Enterprises Board Member.

I recognize that Canada's largest wireless companies have responsibilities to their shareholders and their bottom line, and I also understand the need to pressure our Government to design policies that serve the interests of their firms. However, Mr. Fell's letter is filled with assumptions about the outcome of the upcoming spectrum auction, and misinformation about the intent of our Government's policy.

Our policy is designed to benefit Canadian consumers, first and foremost - and our policy will achieve this goal. Since 2008, due to liberalized investment rules and a consumer-centered policy on roaming service, rural spectrum deployment, antenna tower and site sharing, our Government has delivered for Canadians.

At times, Canada's telecommunications firms have agreed with our reforms, at other times they have disagreed, but at no point have their views not been understood by our Government or not been incorporated into our policy deliberations.

I have tremendous respect for the leaders of Canada's telecommunications firms and their drive to do what is best for their shareholders. However, our responsibility is toward a broader public interest, and we are serving Canadians with our policy approach.

In his letter, Mr. Fell says our policies are merely "a political populist initiative to capitalize on a mis-informed public view" of Canada's telecommunications industry. I can assure Mr. Fell that our policies were quite deliberate, based on a great deal of consultation with all players – including Canada’s wireless companies – and will serve Canadians well.

Unlike Mr. Fell, I do not believe the public is misinformed. I think Canadians know very well what is at stake and they know dishonest attempts to skew debates via misleading campaigns when they see them. Equally, Canadian consumers know instinctively that more competition will serve their families well through better service and lower prices.

Hon. James Moore, PC, MP
Minister of Industry

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