Congratulations to Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
Over the past few years, I have been somewhat critical of some telecom policy position papers to emerge from the Conservative party. Truth be told, I have been critical of a lot of telecom policy… full stop.
Let’s face it, Canadian telecommunications policy hasn’t won a lot of fans among consumers, or among service providers for that matter. Yet here we are, continuing to pursue the same approach, with spectrum set-asides and using number of competitors as a lazy substitute to measure competitive intensity.
But, with a new leader of the opposition, a “champion of free markets”, it just might be an opportunity for a fresh look at developing a “free market telecom policy”, as a key enabler of Canada’s digital economy.
So, in the spirit of the start of a new school year, let’s review our initial reading list, kicking off our graduate-level course in Free Market Canadian Telecom Policy.
- Telecom Policy Review Panel: Report [pdf, 1.6MB], 2006
- The Logic: No downside to making Bell, Rogers and TELUS compete with foreign companies, according to secret government analysis, Zane Schwartz, November 2018
- Financial Post: Telecom policy needs to be rebooted, Jack Mintz, September 2013
- Toronto Star: Should foreign telecoms be allowed into Canada?, Walid Hejazi, Daniel Trefler, Vass Bednar, April 2021
- Rotman School of Management: Foreign investment limits cost Canadian economy almost $10 billion a year says new study, Walid Hejazi, Daniel Trefler, June 2019
- Journal of International Business Policy: Implications of Canada’s restrictive FDI policies on employment and productivity, Walid Hejazi, Daniel Trefler, April 2019
- Conference Board of Canada: Competition in Canadian Telecom, implications of consolidation, June 2022
- Fraser Institute: Eliminating barriers to competition—the overlooked remedy for high cellphone bills, November 2019
- Fraser Institute: Governments should stop shielding Canadians from benefits of competition, May 2019
- Macdonald-Laurier Institute: Turning the channel on failed telecommunications policy: MLI analysis by Paul Beaudry and Sean Speer, March 2016
- Macdonald-Laurier Institute: Making the Connection Between Smart Telecoms Policy and the Innovation Agenda [pdf, 986 KB], Paul Beaudry and Sean Speer, March 2016
- CD Howe Institute: Canada needs a better approach to foreign direct investment, Globe and Mail Op-Ed, July 2018
- Business Council of Canada: Compete to win: the Wilson panel report six years later, March 2015
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Canadian Chamber urges independent review of Competition Act, June 2022
There you go.
That should be a good start for some background reading on a more free market approach to Canadian telecom policy. I’m happy to hear if there are others to be added.
Be ready for a pop-quiz in the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing proposed topics for your term papers. And don’t forget – class participation represents a significant piece of your final grade.