Mark Goldberg


Policy direction consultation truly consulted

As someone who has been an observer of government consultations, it is easy to sometimes be cynical about whether Ottawa actually is willing to incorporate suggestions to improve the preliminary views that have been circulated.

In the case of the 2019 Policy Direction to the CRTC, there are a number of subtle but important changes between the original and final text. Here is a ‘track changes’ version of the main body:

  1. the Commission, when relying on regulation, should consider how the measures used its decisions can promote competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation, namely in particular the extent to which they
    1. encourage all forms of competition and investment,
    2. foster affordability and lower prices, particularly when there is potential for telecommunications service providers to exercise market power,
    3. ensure that affordable access to high quality telecommunications services is available in all regions of Canada including rural areas,
    4. enhance and protect the rights of consumers in their relationships with telecommunications service providers, including rights related to accessibility,
    5. reduce barriers to entry and barriers to competition for new, regional or smaller telecommunications service providers,
    6. enable innovation in telecommunications services, including new technologies and differentiated service offerings, and
    7. stimulate investment in research and development and in other intangible assets that support the offer and provision of telecommunications services; and
  2. the Commission, when relying on regulation, in its decisions, should demonstrate its compliance with this Order and should specify how the measures used those decisions can, as applicable, promote competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation.

Subtle, but significant changes, demonstrating that the consultation considered the representations brought forward. I find that to be refreshing.

You can find the final text below:

2019 Policy Direction to the CRTC

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