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Dan-in-Ottawa

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 is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola which include the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton and Merritt.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth 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 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.

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 borders.

Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of only five Members of Parliament in Canada with a 100% voting attendance record.  Locally in British Columbia,  MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending Members of Parliament on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

 MP Dan Albas is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top ten most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

In October of 2015 MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.  Dan is currently the Deputy Finance Critic, serving with Finance Critic, MP Gerard Deltell and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola as their Member of Parliament.

MP Dan Albas welcomes your input, so please contact him by e-mail, phone or mail.

He can be reached at:

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola's MP office
2562-B Main Street
West Kelowna, B.C. V4T 2N5
Email: [email protected]
Phone toll free: 1.800.665.8711
Fax: 250.707.2153



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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