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Dan Albas

New code to bring wireless relief

In my March 12th MP report I touched on the subject of Canada’s wireless communication industry and the fact that Canadian consumers pay some of the highest wireless communication rates worldwide. In the same report I also covered many of the initiatives that our Government has introduced or is in the process of bringing forward to help stimulate wireless provider competition and improve availability in many markets across Canada. In response to that report I received a number of comments from citizens who were generally encouraged that government is taking a more active role to increase competition and encourage greater access along with more competitive pricing. Following that report I also had a meeting to hear directly from representatives of the Canadian wireless industry who also passed on some information that may be of interest.

According to the Canadian wireless industry roughly 99% of Canada’s population now has access to wireless service that is 3G or faster, in fact there are now more wireless connections in Canada than wired. The largest growing demographic of smartphone users is between 18-34 years old - who make up 74% of all Canadian users. On average traffic on some Canadian wireless networks is growing by 5% per week with over 274 million text messages sent per day. As for the Canadian wireless industry, it now employs more than 261,000 people and contributes in excess of $40 billion annually to the Canadian economy. In terms of investment, nearly $24 billion has been invested in wireless infrastructure over the past decade. It is estimated that by 2014 more people will connect to the internet via a mobile device than a conventional desktop computer. At the same time for users over 55 years of age smartphone use is expected to increase from roughly 17% of the population to close to 30%. Clearly the Canadian wireless industry is a fast growing one involving more and more Canadians of all age groups. It is for these reasons that many might take interest in the newly announced CRTC wireless industry code that will bring new rights to Canadian wireless consumers.

Changes to “The Code” as it is referred to, will include the ability to cancel your contract at no cost after a maximum of two years, the ability to cancel your contract and return your phone at no cost, within 15 days (and specific usage limits), if you are unhappy with the service, to be able to have your phone unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if you paid in full for your phone. Also included is the option to have your service suspended at no cost if your phone is lost or stolen, to receive a notification when you are roaming in a different country, disclosing what the rates are for voice services, text messages, and data usage, to limit your data overage charges to $50 a month and your data roaming charges to $100 a month and to pay no extra charges for a service described as “unlimited”. You may also refuse a change to the key terms and conditions of your contract, including the services in your contract, the price for those services, and the duration of your contract. The above changes in some cases apply differently to pre-paid wireless services and all of the changes do not come into effect until later this year on December 2nd of 2013. If you have further questions or comments on these changes please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Debate in Ottawa this week will include the following Government Bills C-60 “Economic Action Plan 2013” and Bill C-51 “Safer Witnesses Act”. Senate Bills S-2 “Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act” and S-17 “Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013” Private Members Bills this week will include Bill C-419 “An Act respecting language skills” and Bill C-478 “Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act”. If you have comments, questions or concerns on these or any Bill before the House of Commons please contact me toll free at 1-800-665-8711 or via email at [email protected]



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About the Author

Dan Albas has been a Penticton resident since 1981. After attending Okanagan University College, Dan choose to move into small business where his company Kick City Martial Arts has flourished, training hundreds of men, women and children to bring out their best. For his work on child safety and awareness, Dan was the recipient Penticton’s “2005 Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

Dan and his wife Tara reside in West Kelowna, where they raise their four daughters.

Dan has served as campaign chair for the United Way of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in 2006-7 and 2010-11, both times surpassing their fundraising goals.

As a community leader, Dan was elected to Penticton City Council in the 2008 municipal elections, where as a first time candidate he won with 5656 votes, topping the polls. Through his work as a city councillor, Dan has proven himself to be a strong constituency worker delivering results and standing up for what he believes in. Dan took a leading role on public safety by proposing aggressive panhandling and dog control bylaws; he proposed a review that greatly helped his community to balance the books and to focus on core services by eliminating wasteful or unnecessary spending. His Penticton Politics website blog has offered new ways for constituents to communicate on important issues.

On June 28 of 2012 Dan became one of the first MP’s in recent history to have a Private Members Bill (Bill 311) C-311 become law with the unanimous all party support of both the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate.  Bill C-311 “An Act to amend the Importation of intoxicating liquors Act” amended a prohibition era law to prevented the free trade of wine over provincial boarders.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla as their Member of Parliament. He has made good on his commitment to establish a personal blog with his www.DaninOttawa.com site, where he chronicles his activities as the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla.

Dan welcomes your input, so please contact him by e-mail, phone or mail. He can be reached at:

Okanagan- Coquihalla’s MP office
Suite 202-301 Main Street
Penticton, BC V2A 5B7
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 250-770-4480
Fax: 250-770-4484
Toll Free: 1-800-665-8711




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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