It’s no secret that Canadians pay the highest cell phone bills in the developed world according to a report commissioned by the CRTC in 2016:
“The study, which was carried out by Nordicity Group for the telecom regulator, found that Canadians looking for 150 minutes of monthly mobile service paid more than consumers in every other G7 country and Australia.
That entry-level wireless package costs an average of $41.08 a month in Canada. By way of comparison, the cheapest price for that level of service cost just $17.15 in Germany.
… At each of four … levels of higher-service options, topping out at unlimited talk and text and 10 GB of data, Canadians were paying the second-highest price among the eight countries the study looked at. The U.K. was the cheapest.”
But we suspect that most Canadians have either forgotten, or simply didn’t know who was responsible.
It seems that in 2007, Maxime Bernier, as Minister of Industry in the Harper regime, decided to reform our telecommunications laws by overruling the plans of the CRTC to regulate the industry. He mandated that the commission “rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible and to regulate telecommunications services only when necessary.”
Critics at the time remarked that “the emphasis on market forces has been so great that the Minister from the Beauce might be better characterized as the Minister from Bell.” (Source:https://www.thestar.com/business/2007/02/12/berniers_troubling_stand_on_net_neutrality.html)
The CRTC study that found that Bell, Rogers and Telus (the Big 3) had a 91 per cent collective oligopoly of all wireless service revenues in 2016. In a complete denial of facts, this study was criticized by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), a “pro-free-market think-tank” which argued against any government regulation of the wireless industry claiming that the market was competitive when it clearly was not. According to an MEI spokesperson, Canada’s telecom industry “has a regulation problem, not a pricing problem” despite the fact that it wasn’t being regulated at all.
With a budget of nearly $2.3 million annually, the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is a “non-profit research organization (or think tank) based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It aims at promoting economic liberalism through economic education of the general public and what it regards as efficient public policies in Quebec and Canada through studies and conferences,” according to its Wikipedia page.
It also happens that Maxime Bernier was an Executive Vice-President at MEI in 2005 before he became Canada’s Minister of Industry. MEI fully endorses Bernier’s often repeated attacks on the concept of supply management, claiming that it will ultimately benefit consumers.
Just like deregulating the wireless market did, Max?
The Montreal Economic Institute is a partner of The Atlas Network, a Globalist consortium of “think-tanks”. It has 13 such partners in Canada, many of which are astro-turfing as “grassroots”:
ATLANTIC INSTITUTE FOR MARKET STUDIES
CANADIAN CONSTITUTION FOUNDATION
CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION
FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
INSTITUTE FOR LIBERAL STUDIES
JUSTICE CENTRE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS
LUDWIG VON MISES INSTITUTE OF CANADA
MACDONALD-LAURIER INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
MONTREAL ECONOMIC INSTITUTE (INSTITUT ECONOMIQUE DE MONTREAL)
WORLD TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATIONS
Another People’s Party of Canada lieutenant, Martin Masse, also worked at MEI and Bernier’s other lieutenant, Maxime Hupe, worked for the Fraser Institute. Both Atlas and Fraser have received large donations from the Koch brothers.
For those who are just getting their feet wet in the realm of political ideology, Bernier’s self-proclaimed “Libertarian” leanings are actually the exact opposite of Nationalism/Populism. While he claims to reject crony corporatism, he has a history of doing exactly the opposite: supporting Globalist corporate goals over the public interest at every turn.
The People’s Party of Canada is no party of the people unless you’re one of the people pulling the strings.