Consumer protection news, advocacy and information in Canada from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
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Post-Rogers-Shaw: A New Hope?
Well, we are back after a long hiatus (sorry, stuff going on in Canadian communications!) to survey the competitive landscape after the Rogers-Shaw deal closed in Spring of 2023 - two years and 15 days after being announced.We speak with George Burger, Chief Operating Officer, about the Canadian home Internet market post-Rogers-Shaw; why VMedia and Videotron (Quebecor) are a strong independent disrupter outside Québec that will only help consumers, and why the wireless market may just reward us with a strong 4th player (yes, please!).Not quite sure if it's going to come true, but hopium at this stage is good.We end with a dunk on those people who thought Bill C-11 meant more money for Canadian creators. Turns out traditional broadcasters are not as keen on funding it when they think someone else will pay.
A Christmas Scarol - Competition Tribunal on Rogers-Shaw
This episode recounts the dramatic, rapid decision(s) of the Competition Tribunal allowing the merger of Shaw and Rogers (with divestment of Freedom Mobile to Videotron) and why that is weird, appealable, and not a good sign for Canadian wireless and other telecommunications markets.Ben Klass again joins the podcast to give his opinion on the meaning of the decision(s), the appeal, the possible state of the market if the merger proceeds and the weaknesses of Canada's Competition Act and related entities.We close with an update on the CBC-Radio-Canada licence renewal decision that was overturned by Cabinet and welcome new CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides. She has a lot to do.
Wireless Wind of Change?
We return to look at the Rogers-Shaw deal and possible different solutions than the divestment of Shaw's wireless business to Videotron (Quebecor) - solutions that might include a "maverick" once and future(?) independent wireless competitor, Globalive, best known as the operator of WIND Mobile before it was sold to Shaw and renamed "Freedom Mobile". Globalive's Simon Lockie joins the podcast to give the inside scoop on a past and future competitor's efforts to start a fourth national wireless company and whether Globalive can acquire Shaw's "Freedom Mobile" assets if Shaw (or Rogers) must sell them to obtain regulatory approval of the larger Rogers-Shaw deal, which is now before the Competition Tribunal. What Canadians pay for wireless service for the foreseeable future will be decided in the next few months and we discuss all of the possible futures at this hinge point.
Bill C-27: Privacy, only worse
We discuss Bill C-27, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, Personal um, something AI and a tribunal, I think? It does not matter, because the federal government took the last bill ('the other' Bill C-11) to try to replace the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and MADE IT WORSE. Wow.The new Bill C-27 guts consumer privacy by simply abolishing it and replacing it with a regime of business use of consumer information. All done without your knowledge and consent. But don't worry, it will all be used by the artificial intelligence (AI) industry to do whatever discrimination they say is important to do with all of that big data. Oh, sprinkle on the bacon bits of all of the exceptions (legitimate interests (of business)) from the European Union's GDPR with none of the constitutional rights to privacy of the individual they have there, ignore the mismatch with provincial privacy laws (especially Quebec), and just dare Europe to call this Bill what it clearly is: inadequate. Plus a bonus update on CRTC's continued low-effort non-proceeding into the Rogers outage.With Executive Director John Lawford and PIAC staff lawyer Yuka Sai, who had to figure out the problems with C-11 back in Episode 5. Ah well, on with the show.
Black Swan or Red Friday? The Rogers Outage in Context
Black swans, red dawns and consumer pawns. I had a longer summary but the Internet ate it. Not typing this again. Just listen.