Canada Access Internet Choice & Affordability

OpenMedia community joins parliamentarians in condemning Rogers-Shaw deal

INDU committee has it right: this buyout is bad for Canada under any conditions.

MARCH 8, 2022 — Last week, Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) released a report confirming the view of consumer advocates, small Internet providers, and industry experts: the Rogers/Shaw buyout is not in the best interest of Canadians, and must be blocked under any circumstances. Today the OpenMedia community is delivering the voice of over 11,000 new comments and signatures from our community to Cabinet that reinforce INDU’s message; Rogers-Shaw must not go through.

“Our elected representatives on the INDU committee should be applauded; they’ve rightly concluded that Rogers-Shaw should not go through,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Director Matt Hatfield. “This was a bipartisan decision by our elected MPs, and the closest thing we’ll get to a fair assessment of what this deal means to Canada. All eyes are now on Justin Trudeau and Minister Champagne: are they going to act on the best judgement of our democratic institutions? Or are they going to ignore that judgement and cut Big Telecom a new sweetheart deal, further worsening our oligopolistic telecommunications system.”

“What’s particularly heartening about the INDU committee’s conclusions is they look beyond this deal to see the rot at the core of the problem,” continued Hatfield. “Why is Big Telecom allowed to grow bigger and bigger, snuffing out competition, consumer choice, and affordable prices, year after year? INDU has rightly identified the causes; an inexplicably industry-friendly CRTC uninterested in the welfare of Canadians, a failed plan to force duplicative facilities-based telecom competition, and a weak Competition Act that fails to guard the whole system. We join INDU in calling on our government to block the Rogers-Shaw merger, reform the Competition Act, and reform the CRTC to ensure it has the best interests of people in Canada at heart — not telecom giants.”

The INDU report is being reinforced by OpenMedia’s delivery of nearly 5,000 petition signatures this morning to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champagne, calling on Cabinet to outright block the Rogers-Shaw buyout. The petition delivery also includes close to 6,500 individual community responses to the Competition Bureau’s 2021 Request for Information on the deal. 

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