MLA for Elmwood Jim Maloway today announced serious concerns about the proposed sale of MTS to Bell Canada, calling it a bad deal for Manitobans. In particular, Maloway highlighted that everywhere there is a reduction of competition in cellular service, there is a commiserate increase in rates for consumers.
“In jurisdictions with less competition such as Toronto, cell phone rates are almost double the cost as in Manitoba,” said Maloway. “That is not a good deal for the people of our province.”
Premier Pallister today applauded Bell’s proposed capital investment plans. However, Bell’s commitment of spending over $1 billion over five years is less than what MTS has spent over the last five years. The Globe and Mail has recently pointed out that MTS’ own investments and projected investments, “compare either favourably to or better than anything Bell offers.”
Maloway emphasized that the original privatization of MTS resulted in the loss of hundreds of jobs across the province and increased local phone rates. “Loss of competition means higher cell rates and that is bad for consumers,” said Maloway. “It can even mean loss of jobs right here in Manitoba.”
Today Maloway introduced a petition that calls on the Provincial Government to intervene with regulators to stop the proposed sale. He is also encouraging Manitobans to contact the Competition Bureau to voice their opposition, as the sale still needs the approval of the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.