March 17, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EDMONTON, AB – Matt Jeneroux, the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Riverbend, released the following statement on the Official Opposition forcing hearings of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the proposed Rogers Communications acquisition of Shaw Communications:
“Some argue the Rogers-Shaw deal means more investment, others that it means less competition. The only way to know for sure through careful study and intense debate. Conservatives want the Industry Committee to hear from customers, workers, business leaders, engineers, economists, and other experts, to get a complete understanding of the proposed deal.
“In most sectors, free enterprise forces businesses to compete for workers with higher wages and for consumers with better products and prices. Canada’s telecommunications sector is an exception. It is not a free market but a protected regulated system, where government agencies try to do what open competition would normally do. That system has not served Canada particularly well and has left us with higher prices and millions of Canadians who cannot access high-speed internet to run their businesses or have their kids participate in online learning.
“The Rogers-Shaw deal would have been massively important before COVID as it would create a $50 billion company with $20 billion-a-year in revenue, 33,000 workers, and almost 13 million wireless subscribers. But it will be even more important now that COVID has shifted hundreds of thousands of jobs to work-from-home. If some communities cannot get fast, affordable connections, their people will be left behind.
“Conversely, fast, affordable wireless combined with remote work could revive struggling rural, remote and indigenous economies like we have not seen since the urbanization phenomenon began. For it to happen, we can no longer accept poor internet at high prices.
“It is hard to remember it now, but Canada was once among the world’s most advanced economies. To regain that position and secure our future, we need the best digital connection at the best prices.”