New West-Burnaby MP takes aim at telecom price 'gouging'

New Westminster – Burnaby MP Peter Julian has moved a motion in the House of Commons that aims to stop what he calls “gouging” gouging on cellphone and internet service.

“In any one month, half of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency, but successive Liberal and Conservative governments have allowed cellphone and internet prices to skyrocket,” said Julian. “These are essential services, but the big telecoms have been allowed to gouge Canadians with impunity. That has to end. The NDP five-point plan would put measures in place to ensure this stops now.”

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Julian said that in London, a two-gigabyte plan that costs $75 in Canada, costs consumers an average of $26.56. In Paris and Rome, that same plan is $30 and $24.70, respectively.

“The price for a two-gigabyte phone plan in Australia is $50 less than it is in Canada per month. That’s a $600 difference annually,” said Julian. “Australia is a vast country, with remote communities. It has the same infrastructure challenges as Canada. The fact that Australia has more affordable telecom services at the same time it has better remote broadband and cell phone access proves the point that Canadians are getting ripped off.”

The NDP plan will introduce a price cap, Julian said, to ensure every Canadian saves money on their bill, will establish a Telecoms Consumers’ Bill of Rights, and will put an end to what the NDP calls “egregious and outrageous” sales and services practices of the telecom companies.

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