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Opposition to Rogers-Shaw buyout surges in Alberta after nationwide outage

Calgary Stampede-goers express concerns over Rogers’ takeover of prairie-based innovator Shaw

JULY 11, 2022 — This weekend Albertans attending the Calgary Stampede expressed their concerns with OpenMedia over the job losses, higher prices, and worsening monopoly powers that will come from Rogers’ buyout of Shaw. The swell of opposition came in the wake of Rogers’ service outage that left millions of Canadians without basic connectivity. OpenMedia’s street team attended events throughout the weekend, handing out flyers and speaking with Albertans about how the $26Bn buyout will affect them. The Rogers-Shaw buyout will threaten thousands of Alberta-based jobs and make Canada’s telecom bills even more expensive — already some of the highest in the world. 

“We knew folks would be opposed to seeing a Calgary-based company swallowed up by Rogers, but we were taken back by the strength of the opposition,” said OpenMedia Communications Manager Rosa Addario. “Especially following Friday’s outage, Albertans on the ground in Calgary are angry. They can feel Rogers’ chokehold over Canada’s connectivity and they’re afraid it will get worse if Rogers buys Shaw. They're scared to lose their jobs. At a time of record-high inflation, when families across the country are feeling the pinch, the last thing people in Alberta need to worry about is losing jobs and higher telecom prices.”

“Minister Champagne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can still avoid being the ones responsible for enabling this buyout, IF they act,” continued Addario. “No matter what Rogers says, this is a bad deal for Albertans. Every version of Rogers-Shaw is bad for people, including splitting off Freedom Mobile. The bottom line will still be the same: thousands of Alberta jobs are still under threat, and our telecom bills are getting more expensive. If Minister Champagne and Prime Minister Trudeau insist that Shaw’s spectrum remain with Shaw, they will save not only Alberta jobs, but Canadians from the fallout of this disastrous buyout.”

Since March 2021, community members from OpenMedia and other advocacy groups have spoken out 83,000 times to the federal government calling on policymakers to block the Rogers-Shaw deal. People across Canada concerned about giving even more power to Rogers after Friday’s outage can email their MPs and the Minister here. OpenMedia recently launched a new campaign in Alberta calling on MPs to voice their concerns over the jobs threatened by the buyout and ask Minister Champagne to block it. 

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