Bernier takes aim at the CRTC


TORONTO – Conservative party leader candidate Maxime Bernier is calling for a phase-out of the Canadian broadcast regulator’s role as telecom watchdog as part of his plan to deregulate the industry.

He says the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has stifled competition with some of its decisions.

Bernier is slamming the CRTC for ruling that the major Internet service providers must sell space on their high-speed infrastructure to smaller rivals at wholesale prices, and for wasting time and money by holding consultations on whether broadband Internet is an essential service that may require new regulation.

He says the CRTC’s role as telecom regulator should be phased out.

Instead, Bernier proposes the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development could take over its remaining essential functions, like social regulation, while the Competition Bureau could tackle any competition issues.

Bernier made the comments in his address to the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto. He made similar comments about deregulating the telecom industry at a speech at the summit nearly a decade ago.