About 500 Telus employees rallied outside Industry Minister James Moore’s Port Moody, B.C. constituency office on Thursday to protest what they believe would be an unfair advantage for Verizon in Canada’s mobile market, Coquitlam Now reported.

The protesters, who were bused in by Telus, said they wanted a level playing field ahead of a wireless spectrum auction in which Verizon could bid. The rally came as the Big Three — Bell, Rogers and Telus — combat the Harper government over its rules that allow new entrants, possibly including Verizon, to purchase more wireless spectrum.

Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall said the company would welcome competition from Verizon, but wants fairness, according to Coquitlam Now.

“[It's] a foreign company getting a two-for-one advantage over Canadian firms and that's just not right," he said. "All we're saying is put us on an equal footing with them."

Under the rules, Verizon would be able to bid for two out of the four blocks of spectrum up for grabs, while the Big Three would be allowed to bid only on one block of spectrum each.

Spectrum’s a scare resource, just like water or natural gas. So why would we let an American company buy twice what Telus can?” Telus executive Josh Blair told CKNW.

The Harper government has stood behind its rules in the name of competition and lower cellphone rates, and Moore has travelled across Canada defending them.

“These large companies have very high profits, the highest profits in the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development], at the same time Canadian consumers are paying some of the highest cellphone rates in the OECD. I think we can do better than that as a country,” he said.

Moore has also slammed Big Telecom over its promotional campaign, which he called “misleading” and “dishonest.”

According to a recent Forum Research poll, 57 per cent of those surveyed said they want foreign companies to enter the Canadian market, and 65 per cent said foreign companies shouldn’t have “preferential access” in the wireless spectrum auction, scheduled for January, The Globe and Mail reported.

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Window Phone

    Designed by <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/08/18/phone-that-shames-the-weather-bureau/">Seunghan Song</a>, this "window phone" concept will reflect current weather conditions on the screen. To input text, you just blow on the screen to switch modes, then write with your finger as a stylus.

  • Cobalto

    <a href="http://petitinvention.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/cobalto-zafiro/">Mac Funamizu's "Cobalto"</a> has taken the cell phone concept way into the future, with an almost all-glass design. The phone would feature 3D imaging that could make Google Maps even more useful, as demonstrated here.

  • Leaf Phone

    <a href="http://www.behance.net/Gallery/leaf-phone/325190">Anastasia Zharkova's organic "Leaf Phone"</a> melds aesthetic creativity with functionality. The winding stem of the leaves could be wrapped around a user's arm, wrist, neck, or other body part.

  • Sticker Phone

    <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/12/03/sticky-phone/">Liu Hsiang-Ling's "Sticker Phone"</a> has a solar panel on the back of the phone and a curved surface that will allow it to stick to a window via suction to charge. Plus, you won't lose your phone somewhere on your desk.

  • Kambala

    A pop-up phone! <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/06/08/phone-ear-phone-phone/">Ilshat Garipov's "Kambala" </a> is a fascinating concept that features a center piece that can pop out to fit into your ear, making it an earphone. In theory, it will also have the ability to match your skin tone, rendering it almost invisible.

  • Packet

    <a href="http://www.behance.net/Gallery/PACKET-phone/162229">Emir Rifat's "Packet" phone</a> won first place at the Istanbul Design Week 2007. The tiny phone starts off at 5 cm square, then folds out as needed for different functions.

  • Dial

    <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/11/30/phone-fashion/">Jung Dae Hoon's "Dial"</a> concept takes the rotary phone of the 'good ol' days' and combines it with mobile technology and modern jewelry sensibilities.

  • Morph

    Nokia's "Morph" phone uses nanotechnology to create a flexible body and transparent screen that can be molded to whatever shape is the most convenient for its user. The nanotech could even clean itself.

  • Natural Year Phone

    People tend to keep cell phones for only two years, and <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/12/08/now-thats-a-grassy-phone/">Je-Hyun Kim’s Natural Year Phone</a> concept takes that into consideration. The phone is designed to naturally biodegrade after the two years are up.

  • Fujitsu Contest "Pebble" Concept Phone

    At first glance, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/06/fujitsu-cellphone-design-contest-yields-mind-blowing-results-ha/">this entrant</a> into Fujitsu's cell phone design contest looks like an ordinary paperweight. Actually, it's a cleverly disguised phone. As the picture shows, the small black dot can be transformed into a keypad, media panel or web browser depending on what corner of the plastic handset you drag it to.

  • Mobile Script

    <a href="http://www.industrialdesignserved.com/Gallery/Concept-Phone-aoeMobile-Scripta/244692">Aleksander Mukomelov's "Mobile Script"</a> phone starts with a stylish and sleek small screen, then reveals a larger touchscreen hidden within the phone's body to meet all of your media device needs.

  • Visual Sound

    <a href="http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/01/25/deaf-phone/">Suhyun Kim's stylish "Visual Sound"</a> voice-to-text concept phone for deaf people is a huge step from current systems like teletypewriters.

  • Coca-Cola Powered Phone

    Forget solar power, electricity, or fuel: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/10/coke-powered-cellphone-am_n_416839.html">Daizi Zheng's concept phone</a> is powered by Coca-Cola.

  • Wearable Terminal

    NTT DoCoMo's prototype "wearable terminal" brings us one step closer to being cyborgs. You stick your index finger in your ear to hear and speak through the microphone at the back of the wristband, then snap your fingers to connect or disconnect the call.

  • Pen Phone

    This <a href="http://gizmodo.com/320328/pen-phone-design-is-smallest-yet">pen phone</a> is one of the thinnest and smallest phone designs yet. While it's designed to be connected mainly via a bluetooth headset, the top and bottom of the phone do include a receiver and earpiece.

  • Nokia Flexible Concept Phone

    This Nokia concept is made of memory plastic that can be molded to fit around a wrist, for example, then can be heated to return to it's original shape.

  • Fujitsu Concept Phone

    A concept phone from Fujitsu's cellphone design contest.