NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Friday announced his plan to protect Canadians from gouging by big telecom companies. Singh is calling for a cap on cell phone and internet prices, which would save families almost $250 a year.
“For most Canadians, having a cell phone and high-speed Internet is not a choice — they need these things for school, for work, and to stay connected with family and friends,” said Singh. “And Canadians who are fortunate to have access to reliable service pay some of the highest prices in the developed world. They can’t afford to give these things up, even as rising costs squeeze their budgets.”
Liberal and Conservative governments have left Canadians to go at it alone as telecom companies gouge them all while raking in billions of dollars. On Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s watch, the Big Five telecoms enjoyed profit margins of almost 40 per cent in 2017. To top it off, Trudeau rewarded Bell, Rogers and Telus with $50 million in subsidies and more than $700 million in contracts, according to the NDP.
“Canadians deserve better than Liberal and Conservative governments that keep making life easier for their corporate friends and harder for everyone else,” said Singh. “I’m ready to fight for everyday people and stand up to rich telecom companies. Our plan to cap prices on cell phone and internet bills is part of our commitment to make life more affordable.”
The New Deal for People would also introduce a Telecom Consumers’ Bill of Rights to put an end to the aggressive and misleading sales and services practices of big cell and internet companies. The NDP will require service providers to offer basic plans that meet the needs of Canadians, end caps for internet plans and require companies to offer affordable, unlimited data plans for cellphones – so Canadians don’t have any surprise on their monthly bills.
- Among OECD countries and other developed economies, Canadians pay some of the highest prices for mobile wireless and broadband subscriptions.
- Similar countries like Australia are sometimes paying two times less than Canada for the same plan.
- In 2018, the total revenue per gigabyte in Canada was roughly 70 times higher than in India and 23 times higher than in Finland.
- Canadian telecoms made 35 times what Indian companies made for the same data usage in 2017. As a result, Canada has lower data use than many other countries.
- The NDP price cap will save families on average $10 per month for each bill meaning that a family with two plans will save almost $250 per year.