The right-wing supporters of "free enterprise" in Canada claim to favour choice. Except if that choice includes a publicly-owned company to provide your cellphone and other telecommunications service. Two weeks ago my union called on the Harper Conservatives to establish a Crown corporation to fulfill this objective. We were promptly mocked by right-wing voices.
The Harper government needs to explain to Canadians how it intends to review and address national security concerns related to Verizon Communications' entry into this country's wireless market. Verizon has been deeply involved in the world's biggest ever spying scandal, as revealed by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.
Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper: I read with interest that you are considering allowing Verizon Communications to operate Canada with unique acquisition rights. Bad idea. Why would you allow one of our country's most aggressive tax dodgers, a company with a track record of overtly ripping off our government, into your country?
In recent weeks it has come to light that Verizon has been working intimately with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to collect the personal information of millions of its U.S. customers. With the Harper government offering the New York-based company significant advantages to enter the Canadian wireless market, it is important to look at the privacy and security implications of this move.
The CEOs of the country's largest telecommunications firms are crying foul that the Government of Canada is poised to allow American wireless behemoth Verizon from acquiring small Canadian carriers. The whining of their advertising campaign barrage is more than unseemly; it is hypocritical and intellectually dishonest.
Thursday, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle was campaigning at the Globe and Mail and National Post, warning of a "bloodbath" if the government sticks with its commitment to allow for a set-aside of spectrum for new entrants such as Verizon. While the companies frame their arguments around level playing fields, the real goal is simply to keep competition out of the country.