MASSE DEMANDS MINISTER MAINTAIN CANADIAN OWNERSHIP RULES FOR TELECOM: CRTC decision on Globalive must be upheld

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 2009

MASSE DEMANDS MINISTER MAINTAIN CANADIAN OWNERSHIP RULES FOR TELECOM
Canadians need make decisions in important industries: CRTC decision on Globalive must be upheld

Ottawa, On- Today, Brian Masse, M. P. (Windsor West) and NDP Industry, Automotive, and Border Critic, demanded that the Industry Minister maintain the Canadian ownership rules in the telecom sector by upholding the Canadian Radio Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruling on Globalive.

“The CRTC did its job by determining that Globalive did not meet the Canadian ownership rules. The other new entrants in the sector, Public Mobile and DAVE, were able to meet the standard and so should Globalive,” Masse stated. “What is troubling is how earlier this year the Industry department sanctioned Globalive’s ownership structure and now the CRTC analysis resulted in the opposite determination. Questions must be raised about the appearance of favouritism or the lack of thoroughness of the department’s efforts. These are significant problems and must be resolved immediately.”

On Oct. 29, the CRTC found that Globalive Wireless Management Corp is not controlled by Canadians, a requirement under the Telecommunications Act. It said the combined debt and equity its foreign backer, Egyptian carrier Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, has in the start-up gives Orascom control. The commission also had issue with Globalive's board structure and shareholder agreements held with Orascom. This ruling makes Globalive ineligible to enter the wireless market in Canada. Earlier this year Industry Canada approved the shareholder structure of Globalive. Industry Minister Tony Clement is expected to review the CRTC decision.

“The Minister should set a time period for Globalive to comply with the ownership rules. Furthermore, while more competition is essential to lower prices for consumers, regulations are needed to ensure a fair and level playing field will actually result in real consumer savings and better services. A wireless consumers’ bill of rights, a universal access mandate, and a telecom ombudsman with real enforcement powers must be instituted to correct what is essentially a profiteer’s market,” Masse stated.

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For more information please contact: Mohummed Peer 519-255-1631