05/07/2012 06:46 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia clarifies contentious provision in proposed cellphone bill

HALIFAX - Service Nova Scotia Minister John MacDonell says the province has moved to clear up a legislative clause the cellphone industry says would have compelled it to transmit any government message.

The clause is included in a proposed bill regulating the mobile phone industry that would require companies to work with the government as it implements measures to combat cyberbullying.

It would give the government the right to make regulations concerning messages.

MacDonell says the clause has been changed to make it clear that they are messages provided by cellphone companies to customers and not by the government.

He says the intent of the provision is to help the government educate the public about measures to fight cyberbullying.

The bill, which is yet to pass third and final reading, contains a number of consumer-friendly measures, including a cap on cancellation fees to $50.

MacDonell also says there will be no changes to another provision that calls for service to be cut off when a cellphone contract ends.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association has said the move would leave customers abruptly without service and without a number that they could take with them into a new agreement.