Jagmeet Singh pledges to make phone bills cheaper for Canadians
In a Facebook Live video today, Jagmeet Singh announced his intention to make phone bills cheaper for Canadians. He claims telecom companies are “ripping Canadians off.”
In an interview with CTV, he exclaimed, “We’re very confident that people deserve and need access to affordable data.”
In an article I previously wrote, I suggested that Canada needs to adopt a more libertarian free-market approach to allow competition to reduce prices for consumers. It seems as though Jagmeet Singh, being a big-government left-wing Social Democrat, takes a surprisingly similar position.
His plan would include the introduction of a price cap until the industry becomes more competitive. The NDP says that this would also lower bills by at least $10 per month on average.
According to NDP, the average price of an internet plan with a 25 Mbps download speed and 200GB data is $53 a month in Canada. In comparison, the OECD average is $38 a month. The NDP’s proposed cap for such a plan would be $43 a month.
For a cell phone plan with 300 calls and one GB data, the average price in Canada is $47 a month, compared to $29 a month in the OECD. The NDP proposes a $39 monthly cap for that plan. These price caps are part of his vision to ensure the most basic phone plans are accessible to all Canadians.
His justification for these price caps is that it has worked in Australia. Singh is not wrong.
However, one thing that Singh must realize is that too much control on the prices will drive down investor confidence. While his move will certainly serve to stimulate competition in the short run, in the long run, he must abolish these barriers and work to ensure there is organic competition within the telecom sector.
One area where Singh comes with a brilliant plan is to encourage telecom companies to abolish data caps for broadband internet. He wants to force companies to create unlimited data plans at affordable rates for wireless services. Countries such as the US already have this in place.
He further mentions a “Telecom Bill of Rights” which, although he offers very little detail on, is “aimed at taking on sales and services practices.” This area is something that needs more scrutiny, as Trudeau’s move to create a “Digital Bill of Rights” descended into criticism of veiled Orwellianism.
Lastly, he wants to revisit how spectrum auctions work to make sure Canadians benefit the most from the revenue of these sales of licenses to transmit signals. Canada’s spectrum auctions have either benefited the “Big 3” (Telus, Rogers, and Bell) or have been inefficiently allocated to companies resulting in a loss for the government, and Singh wants to change that. How he plans to exactly address this is unclear, but it’s a first step in creating such rhetoric.
The Liberals vowed in the 2019 budget that, by 2026, 95% of Canadian homes and businesses will have access to high-speed internet. The internet is something many in rural Canada still have limited, if no, access to. Singh wants to ensure it’s done economically and efficiently.
On his Facebook Live video, Singh further stressed that countries like India have internet plans that are “70 times cheaper than Canada’s.”
Speaking during a news conference on Parliament Hill Monday afternoon, Singh said that young people are one group really feeling the burden of these big bills.
“We need access to [the] internet, to data for work, for school, we need it to stay in touch with people, it’s a way of communication, it’s become a necessity and it’s so incredibly expensive,” Singh said. “Our plan today is to change that, we’re saying ‘you know what? Enough.'”
The NDP has tabled an opposition day motion calling on the House to push the government to move forward on its plan immediately.
Singh must also try and convince that the big-government MPs from his party don’t propose a greater plan for the nationalization of telecom, which will only further aggravate the inefficiencies Canadians face today. While his policies are sound and effectively tackle the middle and lower income groups in Canada, he must ensure that his vague “Telecom Bill of Rights” doesn’t infringe upon personal liberties and tackles only the companies that have ruined our telecom sector.
What do you think of Jagmeet’s phone plans? Do you think this can provide Canadians with better coverage and lower prices? Let us know in the comments below!
An anti-pipeline blockade was established in Toronto near the corner of Jane and Dundas at the end of the workday on Tuesday. Police were quick to respond and are currently facing off against the blockaders.
Police took some blockaders off the tracks but others remain and the tracks are still blocked as blockaders are demanding an Indigenous liaison.
Photojournalist Beth Baisch, who has freelanced for The Post Millennial, is on the scene, is being blocked from taking video by activists.
The blockade was set up by Toronto group Rising Tide Toronto and was one of a few blockades that prevented thousands of people from getting home from work.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Conservative leadership candidate, Peter MacKay, is not a fan of the legalization of marijuana. He says he is worried about how it will affect driving, mental health and young people according to Vice.
During an interview with the Kelowna Daily Courier MacKay said that he believes the legalization of marijuana was “forced” and it should only have been decriminalized.
“It should have been decriminalized and that’s where our government was heading on the advice of the Canadian Police Association and chiefs of police. Bringing in a phased-way with decriminalization would have been far preferable. What I most worry about is the impact on young people, the mental health implications, the impaired driving implications,” said MacKay.
Stats Canada released information that conflicts with some of MacKay’s views. The statistics show that consumption of marijuana in 15-17-year-olds has dropped 10 percent since its legalization.
MacKay described the legalization as a “back-of-a-napkin promise that the current prime minister had made.”
He also called the attempt by the government to reduce black market sales a “complete failure.”
“I believe we have jumped the shark on that issue. More emphasis on protecting people from other drugs, fentanyl and oxycontin has to be part of any plan that’s there for public health reasons.” MacKay continued.
“The promise that it (legalization) was going to reduce the black market has been a complete failure. There’s now simply more marijuana available to more people, including young people. I don’t think that’s the most productive and highest priority that a government could pursue.”
MacKay is not the only politician against cannabis legalization. Former Conservative MP Julian Fantino compared legalization to murder in an old interview with the Toronto Sun, Fantino said, “I guess we can legalize murder, too, and then we won’t have a murder case”
In 2015, Fantino said he was still “completely opposed to legalization of marijuana”
Peter MacKay’s campaign manager Alex Nuttall has had to apologize over a tweet that seemed to link an invitation to a shooting range with complaints about the anti-pipeline protests.
In his original tweet, Nuttall said “tonight might be the best church service ever. People keep walking up to me to saying the blockade should go down … and then they announced a day at the range for anyone that wants to go.”
This tweet soon created outrage on social media, with many seeing Nuttall’s message as a suggestion for Canadians to “shoot ingenious people.” Nuttall, however, was quickly clarified his tweet, saying “there are two unrelated thoughts that shouldn’t have been communicated together.”
Peter MacKay’s campaign has been plagued with mistakes on social media. A few weeks ago, Mackay had to apologize for a tweet referencing the Prime Minister’s indulgence in yoga, which seemed to make fun of the innocuous activity.
After Nuttall published the apology, he made his Twitter account private.
A murder with a hammer that killed a 64-year-old Toronto woman on Feb. 21 is being called a terrorist attack by police, as the murderer now faces terrorism-related charges.
Police say Saad Akhtar, 30, was facing first-degree murder charges over the death of the woman, when those charges were changed to “murder-terrorist activity” by prosecutors. The change was made due to the prosecutors belief that the murder constituted terrorist activity.
“As part of our investigation into the homicide, we came across evidence that lead us to believe there may be a terrorism-related offence,” said Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray to Global News.
Police contacted the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Toronto, the group responsible for probing terrorism cases. The charges were then changed Monday morning.
Akhtar would eventually turn himself into police shortly after the attack.
The victim was apparently a random target. Sixty-four-year-old Hang-Kam Annie Chiu was called “a stranger” by the suspect’s mother.
If found guilty of terrorism charges, it would be the first deadly terrorist instance since the July 22, 2018 Danforth shootings in which Faisal Hussain killed two people and injured 13 in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood.
Akhtar’s murder occurred on his usual daily walk home from his local mosque, but his mother claims he did not return home at the usual time. Police say the murder did not occur on Akhtar’s usual route home.