OpenMedia calls on all political parties to explicitly oppose the Rogers-Shaw deal

Any federal leader who cares about Internet affordability must block this deal.

September 13, 2021 — OpenMedia is calling on every federal political party leader to join the NDP in explicitly opposing Rogers' plan to purchase Shaw, Canada’s fourth-largest telecommunications provider.

On Friday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh became the first federal party leader to clearly state his party would stop Rogers from further consolidating Canada’s telecom market by purchasing Shaw. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has previously stated his party has “serious concerns” about the deal, and will reject mergers that substantially reduce competition, but has not explicitly promised to reject the deal. OpenMedia is urging all federal parties to make a direct commitment that once in government they will not approve any version of the deal.

“Canada can’t afford to make our wireless affordability problem even worse — and that’s exactly what approving the Rogers-Shaw deal in any form will do,” says OpenMedia Campaigns Director Matt Hatfield. “In Canada, we already pay some of the highest prices in the world for wireless services. Any party that wants to be taken seriously by Canadians on lowering our eye-watering cell phone bills needs to start by explicitly promising to block Rogers from buying Shaw.”

“That’s an important start,” continued Hatfield. “But a party that wants to present Canadians with a sustainable, long-term plan for lowering our sky-high home Internet and wireless prices should also explicitly commit to reversing the CRTC’s 2021 Internet wholesale rates decision, and fully open Canada’s cell phone market to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Together, these actions would enable widespread choice for consumers and drive down telecom prices by introducing healthy and much needed competition to the market.”

Earlier this year, OpenMedia and other advocacy groups delivered over 61,000 signatures to the federal government calling on policymakers to block the Rogers-Shaw deal. Over 81,000 petition signers have separately called on the government to revert the CRTC’s Internet wholesale rates to their lower 2019 levels.

Concerned Canadians who want a more affordable Internet can take action by emailing their local MP candidates of every party through OpenMedia’s elections platform hub: https://openmedia.org/election

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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