TekSavvy Praises OBCM Resolution Asking Cabinet To Overturn Anti-Consumer CRTC Decision

TekSavvy has applauded the unanimous resolution passed by the Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM), which calls upon the federal Cabinet to reinstate a key 2019 CRTC decision that would lower Canadian internet prices (the 2019 Rates Order).   

Issued by the CRTC in August of 2019, the 2019 Rates Order confirmed that Canada’s largest carriers, such as Bell Canada and Rogers, systematically broke rate-setting rules to inflate their costs of providing network access to competitors, resulting in higher retail prices for consumers. The CRTC set new rates and ordered the large carriers to repay amounts they overcharged competitors during its proceeding. The CRTC was widely expected to implement the 2019 Rates Order this year, given that it was based on a rigorous, evidence-based, 4-year long regulatory process. It had already been upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada and Cabinet declined to review it. 

However, on May 27, 2021, the CRTC stunned observers when it arbitrarily reversed its own 2019 Final Rates Order. The CRTC’s reversal is bad news for consumers, as it effectively guarantees Canadian internet prices – which are already among the highest in the world—will continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today’s unanimous resolution, passed by the OBCM —comprised of mayors of Ontario’s largest cities and collectively representing nearly 70% of Ontario’s population—calls on the Federal Cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and ISED Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne to overrule the CRTC’s reversal and immediately implement the evidence-based 2019 Rates Order to deliver lower prices. The OBCM joins over 250,000 Canadians across the country in demanding immediate federal action to lower internet and cell phone bills.

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