Open Letter — Canada can’t wait for affordable Internet
The government and the CRTC have tools to remedy the situation, but aren't using them effectively. It is time for change.
Today a group of experts, civil society organizations, and small ISPs sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, and CRTC Chair Ian Scott, calling for action to support more affordable internet access to everyone in Canada.
The letter comes in advance of the Affordable Internet Day of Action, held tomorrow on March 16, 2021.
The full letter is below.
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
March 15, 2021
Dear Prime Minister, Minister Champagne and Mr. Scott,
We, the undersigned, are writing to you to express our collective concern and frustration with the state of affordability of telecommunications services in Canada and to demand that you take concrete action now to remedy the situation.
Prior to the pandemic, Canadian internet and wireless prices were routinely found to be high by international standards – in some cases, among the highest in the world. This has only worsened during the current crisis, as many Canadians have been hit by price increases while having to conduct virtually every aspect of daily life online.
The government and the CRTC have at their disposal a number of tools and policy directions that could be used to remedy this situation, but to date have not used them effectively.
The situation cannot continue. We are convening virtually on March 16 in a national Day of Action for Affordable Internet to speak to Canadians. We will tell them that we are urging you to use these tools and others at your disposal to immediately correct and reverse the affordability problem. Canadians have been paying far too much for connectivity for far too long and many are suffering because of it. We call on you and your government to take action.
Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP)
Digital Justice Lab
Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law, University of Ottawa
National Capital FreeNet
Marina Pavlovic, University of Ottawa
Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)
Tech Reset Canada