Canada Conservatives Knock Phone Companies in Fundraising

Canada’s governing Conservative Party is using this week’s policy decisions about the wireless telephone industry to appeal to supporters for money.

A statement posted on the party’s website cites Industry Minister Christian Paradis’s decision today to limit spectrum acquisition by the country’s largest telecommunications operators in its appeal for support.

“We will not allow the big telecommunications companies to shut down competition,” the party said in the statement. “More competition means lower prices and more choices for you and your family.”

The website also cited a decision yesterday by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission to allow users to cancel contracts with carriers after two years without charge and limit extra data and roaming charges.

Paradis said he is blocking Telus Corp. from acquiring the airwave licenses of smaller competitor Mobilicity as part of his government’s efforts to safeguard consumer choice.

Ted Woodhead, senior vice-president, regulatory affairs at Telus, said he’s “disappointed” with Paradis’s decision today, adding the company would consider its options and that he didn’t think the door was permanently closed on a Telus-Mobilicity deal.

“It’s no secret that the Harper government puts Canadian consumers first,” Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey said by e-mail. “Today’s announcement is yet another reminder of why Canadians elected a stable, national, majority Conservative government – one which will always put the interests of Canadian consumers first.”

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