One of Canada’s major mobile service providers appears to have set the stage for a battle with Ottawa over the timing of proposed wireless rate cuts.
Telus and affiliated brands Koodo and Public Mobile recently placed what they are calling a “True North Affordability” stamp on their websites — a move one consumer advocate says is an attempt to reset the starting point for a Liberal campaign pledge to reduce wireless rates.
The promotion comes ahead of regulatory hearings this week that could eventually result in more small competitors in Canada’s wireless industry, putting pressure on the bigger players to lower prices and improve services.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election platform included a promise to slash cellphone rates by 25 per cent, a commitment the Liberals said would save a family of four an average of nearly $1,000 per year.
The Liberals based their pledge on a 2018 pricing comparison model which Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile now say they have already exceeded.
Last month, however, federal Industry Minister Navdeep Bains made clear that he viewed the starting point for the cuts as mid-December 2019, when he received ate mandate from Trudeau to ensure prices are lowered.
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